Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2015 04 Dental Hygienist 1

Dentrix Mastery Part 3: Maximizing employee production

April 23, 2015
Knowing the key performance indicators of your dental practice will help you determine whether you're simply busy, or whether you're actually making money. Maximizing employee production will help you reach your production goals.

In the third article of this series, we’re going to delve into the third key performance indicator (KPI) — production. The production KPI illustrates the difference between simply being busy and actually making money. It also lets you and your team know what areas need focus and improvement so that each team member can better provide to your practice’s profitability.

Dentrix Mastery Part 1: Growing active patient revenue
Dentrix Mastery Part 2: Managing the hygienist's patient growth

You want your office to have a consistent and healthy hygienist and doctor mix. The ideal mix is 65% to 75% for doctors and 25% to 35% for hygiene. The best way to keep tabs on these percentages is to track them separately. This way you know what work is being done, who is doing what, and how much revenue each provider is expected to bring in.

Many dentists consider the hygiene department the backbone of their practice. So while the average hygiene production is only 25% to 35%, it’s important that you track your time to make sure your hygiene production doesn’t fall to 15% to 20%. If it does, you need to take corrective measures to bring that percentage back up where it needs to be.

In order to maintain a healthy hygienist and doctor mix and increase your practice’s production and profitability, here are some ideas for what you need to do:

Remember time is money – If you want to increase your production and revenue (and who doesn’t?), you have to use your time wisely. That means not procrastinating, not getting distracted, and not getting off schedule by chatting too long with coworkers or patients. Also, review your appointment times, preventive care times, screenings offered, and more to ensure the times you allot for each area is driving the best results for your practice.

Evaluate employees quarterly – Once hired, employees should know what their job description is, what specific duties they have, and what’s expected of them. It’s important to have practice standards set in all areasso that you can statistically evaluate all the systems in the practice. For example:

New patient coordinator
• Exam to start ratio – 55% is average, 62% is good, and 75% or higher is excellent
• Pending percentage – 20% or less

Scheduling coordinator
• Recall effectiveness ­– 85% or higher is fantastic
• Recalls with no appointment – 5% or less
• No shows – 7% is the average
• Reschedule – 15% is good
• Actives with no appointments – 5% or less is preferred

Financial coordinator
• Past due accounts – 3% or less of your total accounts receivable past due is best

Having clear expectations for individual positions will make it easier to evaluate your office production and see where you need to address areas of concern.

Stress the importance of a patterned schedule – Scheduling is a major part of a practice’s production. Your daily schedule controls basically every aspect in your day’s activity. A patterned schedule is easier to remember and accomplish each day for every team member. Do your best to schedule out the same production amount each day, so on average you stay busy and bring in the same amount of revenue on a daily basis. A great way to keep a patterned schedule and increase your production and revenue is to schedule the most important procedures during the first part of the day. Mornings are when people are most productive, and when 60% or more of daily production occurs.

Never forget that communication is key – Morning team huddles and regular team meetings are crucial for effective office communication. Everyone should know what everyone else’s roles are within the office and what the office goals are. Encourage team members to talk with each other about patients, procedures, and goals, not small talk or gossip. Don’t forget that communication is key with patients, too! Make sure to greet patients when they come into your office, talk with them about what treatment they’re having done and why they need this treatment, schedule their next appointment before they leave, and thank them for coming in. Also, when it works with the patient and scheduling, suggest combining a patient’s hygiene appointment with seeing the dentist. This helps fill the doctor’s schedule and saves the patient from making two trips.

Set, measure, and follow up on goals – Every team member is responsible for positively affecting patient case acceptance. Hold everyone accountable by setting goals as a team and individually. Encourage your team to go above and beyond, and to work together to meet or exceed the set goals. Write down the goals, measure the production numbers of each, and then discuss team goals in office meetings and individual goals in one-on-one meetings.

Use your practice management software to track production numbers – Your practice management software should let you track everything – by provider, the practice’s overall production, case acceptance, reappointment rates, outstanding treatment plans, and any other areas affecting office profitability. Tracking these numbers helps you create necessary action plans to get to where you want to be.

Your dental practice needs to be consistently reaching the ideal hygienist and doctor mix. You’ll be able to do this when you follow these steps to increase your production and productivity, and regularly track your production KPI.

For more information about the metrics you need to be tracking, download the latest eBooks from Dentrix at

Jeremy Johnson is the marketing manager for Dentrix, a practice management software program trusted by dentists for more than 20 years.