Director's Message: Do 60% believe there is no math in hygiene?

Oct. 22, 2013
In a past Director’s Message, Running by Your Head or Heart?, I invited you to begin to gather statistical information about your dental hygiene department.

In a past Director’s Message, Running by Your Head or Heart?, I invited you to begin to gather statistical information about your dental hygiene department. If we lack an understanding of the key statistics to track, it limits our ability to understand various systems and salary (compensation) models. Compensation includes all ways an employee is rewarded and recognized at work.

My previous suggestion appears to have come at an opportune time since the hygienists who took the survey (as of Oct. 22, 2013) indicated:

  • 57.8% do not know their salary to production ratio
  • 6.5% say its 10-20%
  • 17.7% say its 20-30%
  • 16% say its 30-40%
  • 2.1% say its 40-50%

Often, after advising hygienists to look and track their numbers, I am ‘butted.” I often hear, “Yeah, but my doctor doesn’t share numbers with us!” And I usually respond that whether or not the doctor or office manager “share numbers” (such as revenue, productivity, profit, cost of goods, cash flow, and expenses), you have at your disposal your schedule, office fee schedule, and a calculator, correct?

On a basic level, then, you have access to your production to salary ratio. For those who are computer savvy, your dental management computer software can run the numbers/ reports for you.

Hate numbers? My response: “Get over it.” We usually love numbers when we want a raise, pay for a vacation, and or collect from a scratch lottery ticket. Nowadays, no one is “entitled” to a yearly raise. So before hygienists enter into a salary review meeting and or complain that you “don’t receive” salary reviews, (40% of dental hygienists have not received a pay raise in more than five years, according to a survey conducted in a previous issue of RDH eVillage, prompting more than 80% to admit that they do not believe raises are awarded at fair intervals. The timing of pay raises in dental hygiene.) consider learning how to appreciate numbers and the trends they represent.

So, again, your self-directed action steps are to collect and analyze the following numbers:

  1. What is your hygiene production per day, month and year to date?
  2. What is your hygiene production percentage of your total office production?
  3. What percentage of your patients’ of record is active in continuing care?
  4. What is your overall hygiene compensation percentage in regard to the direct hygiene production?
  5. What percentage of your office’s restorative, cosmetic and advanced dentistry is generated in hygiene?
  6. What percentage of your hygiene patients accepts treatment presented during their continuing care visits?

Bonus: Do you know your practice’s collection ratio?

In an upcoming Director’s Message, I will dig deeper into compensation models and examples. So, if you have not completed the survey, please click on this link, so your voice can be heard AND SHARED!


The secret rules of sharing numbers with your dental team members

Kristine A. Hodsdon RDH, MSEC
RDH eVillage, Director

Kristine’s Disclosures: Kristine is a consultant and trainer with Pride Institute, and owner of Dental Influencers, LLC.