Miller points to 'business of hygiene' in UOR seminar

A course on “calculated hygiene” presented by Nancy Miller, RDH, is one of three general sessions scheduled to kick off the RDH Under One Roof Conference at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

Apr 1st, 2014
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Nancy Miller, RDH, BA

A course on “calculated hygiene” presented by Nancy Miller, RDH, is one of three general sessions scheduled to kick off the RDH Under One Roof Conference at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

The other two general sessions in that time slot on Aug. 14 are:

  • “Communication from the Patient’s Perspective,” presented by Toni Adams, RDH
  • “The Myths, Legends, and Realities of OTCs,” presented by Judy Bendit, RDH

Miller’s seminar is titled, “Calculated Hygiene: The Business Side.” Miller, a 40-plus year veteran, still practices in Green Bay, Wis. Since 1992, she has had her own consulting company, Ultraconcepts, and she also works as a coach for Jameson Management.

Calculated Hygiene: The Business Side” focuses on the statistic that 60% of treatment in a dentist’s operatory is based on observation and discussion from the dental hygiene operatory. Miller’s seminar presents strategies for the “business aspects of clinical hygiene” to achieve goals to keep a practice financially healthy.

Miller answered questions about her seminar in an interview with RDH eVillage.

RDH eVillage: You will be talking about evaluating the services that dental hygienists provide. What are some of the additional services you feel like every hygienist should offer?

Miller: Obvious ones with dollars attached are whitening services. On a smaller level — but also critical — it involves giving patients individualized attention and personalizing their time with you to make them feel understood and important.

RDH eVillage: You will be talking about case presentation skills. Do you believe technology should be used to enhance “effective case presentation skills?” If so, can you give an example of technology that should be considered?

Miller: The intraoral camera is the No. 1 educational tool we have to get people to move forward with treatment. People believe what they see, and it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words.

RDH eVillage: You also want to devote some time to increasing patient understanding of dental benefit plans. What is the greatest misfire between patients and dental professionals in regard to dental benefits?

Miller: Besides patients not understanding that they basically have a thousand dollar coupon toward their treatment, the difference between a periodontal maintenance appointment and a routine healthy recare appointment simply eludes most people. And a lot of dental business people too!

RDH eVillage: A term that you will be introducing to your RDH Under One Roof audience is performance benchmarks. Can you give an example of a “performance benchmark” that helps measure efficiency in the hygiene operatory?

Miller: Determining how much treatment is diagnosed from the hygiene chair encourages assessment of verbal skills, patient education efforts, and case acceptance rates. A benchmark of about 60% of the treatment in the doctor's chair should be coming from the hygiene chair.

RDH eVillage: In addition to dental services, you also want to focus on patient retention strategies during the appointment. What’s the main patient retention strategy that you plan to focus on during the seminar?

Miller: Without sounding trite, the best retention strategy is to give them a reason to come back. Make your service level such that they want to come back.

To view the course description for Miller’s seminar, click here.


Toni Adams, RDH, MA

To view the course description for the seminar presented by Toni Adams, click here.

Judy Bendit, RDH, BS

To view the course description for the seminar presented by Judy Bendit, click here.

For registration information about the RDH Under One Roof conference, click here.

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