Giving Patients What They Want in 2021

Before COVID-19, a gradual shift in patient behavior toward an easier, digital experience was in progress. 69 percent of patients said they would switch doctors for a better, more convenient patient experience.

As the pandemic progressed, that demand has significantly accelerated. How have patient preferences changed? How will you adjust in 2021?

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Please join the webinar hosted by Jeff Pickett from Sikka, as dental industry brand experts Norm Schrager and Alyssa Graetz of PatientPop help you get ready for the new year with the latest data on patient trends so you can take the steps needed to attract and retain patients.

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Podcast: Boost Your Practice Revenue by Increasing Your Patient Referrals

Patient referrals are vital to practice growth! Boost your revenue by referring more patients. To learn more, listen to the podcast or read a transcript of the audio.

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7-Year Trends for U.S. Dental Production: Part 1

It’s always an excellent idea for dentists and team members to know what numbers are making an impact on their practice’s bottom line and to have some numbers from across the U.S. that they can use as a comparison to see how well, or not so well, they’re really doing.

As IgniteDA co-founder Kevin Henry often reminds dentists and team members during our monthly webinars, you aren’t just running a practice, you’re actually running a small business. Knowing your numbers is a key part of keeping that business successful.

Sikka Software has just compiled data from more than 13,000 dental practices throughout the U.S. in more than 70 different categories within the practice. In this two-part series, I’ve looked at 10 key metrics and boiled down the nationwide averages for the last seven years. Part 1 will examine aspects of hygiene, preventive, and doctor production along with the number of active patients.

Let’s look at those five numbers, what the seven-year trends are indicating, and what the numbers might be telling us.

Hygiene production

Let’s look at both scheduled and net hygiene production.

Hygiene scheduled production per month
2010 $9,571.11
2011 $9,719.78
2012 $9,089.40
2013 $9,217.99
2014 $9,385.04
2015 $9,743.48
2016 $10,081.50
2017 $10,614.23

Hygiene scheduling numbers have gone up the last three years. That’s a good sign that patients are starting to understand once again the importance of those six-month checkups.

How is your practice communicating the importance of these checkups to your patients? How are you making sure your hygiene appointments are actually scheduling their next appointments before they leave the practice?

Hygiene net production per hour
2010 $77.40
2011 $70.14
2012 $58.58
2013 $62.14
2014 $62.27
2015 $61.32
2016 $63.61
2017 $61.99

Following up on the points suggested after monthly hygiene scheduled production, 2017’s numbers dipped a bit from 2016, which had reached their highest points since 2011. While there isn’t a lot of difference over the last five years, it’s still a marked drop from earlier in the decade when the average was above $70 per hour.

Are you giving your hygienists enough time with every patient to provide optimal care while in the chair?

Doctor net production per hour
2010 $251.31
2011 $233.43
2012 $191.35
2013 $191.66
2014 $195.04
2015 $205.57
2016 $216.24
2017 $222.69

After a sharp drop between 2011 and 2012, doctor net production continues its upward climb. That’s good news for every dentist out there, but there is still work to be done to get back to levels from earlier in the decade.

Much of these numbers are dependent on the effectiveness of your case presentation skills. How are you ensuring your patients come back to your practice for the treatment they need? Are you asking the right questions and giving them reasons to schedule, such as the availability of third-party financing?

Active patients
(visited a practice in last 18 months)
2010 2,194.4
2011 2,206.9
2012 2,213.5
2013 2,231.5
2014 2,251.9
2015 2,335.3
2016 2,403.8
2017 2,161.8

Many practices like to make sure their patients see them every six months. How are you ensuring your active patients stay active?

We often hear doctors bragging about their new patient numbers, but make sure you’re treating your existing patient base like the kings and queens they are. Without repeat customers and raving fans, it’s tough for any business of any kind, including your dental practice, to grow and prosper.

Preventive production

Preventive production per month
2010 $14,199.35
2011 $14,480.12
2012 $14,686.31
2013 $15,039.14
2014 $15,648.33
2015 $16,405.55
2016 $16,494.62
2017 $16,287.67

Taking information from 17 different codes, we were able to look at exactly how much production comes from preventive procedures in an average month. Many dental practices pride themselves on being “preventive.” How are you making sure your practice is doing this?

Part of that includes taking the word “watch” out of your clinical vocabulary. Make sure you’re doing what’s in the best interest of your patient, even if your schedule seems a bit crazed at the moment. If patients need a procedure, use your communication skills to help them understand the reasoning behind it and that you are putting their health above all else.

Part 2 of this series will discuss gross production per assistant, monthly periodic exams, and more.

Alitta Boechler is the director of digital marketing at Sikka Software. You can email her at alitta.boechler@sikkasoftware.com. Get a head start on 2018 with a free 10-procedure fee survey for your ZIP code from the app Practice Mobilizer at www.practicemobilizer.com. The full fee survey with more than 600 procedures for three ZIP codes can be purchased at store.sikkasoft.com.

This article was originally published July 18, 2018, in DrBicuspid. You can view the original article here.

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Oral Health and Mortality: Examining the Connection

Health advocates and dentists alike are increasingly interested in the connection between oral health and mortality. There are several oral health factors that have been correlated with mortality including the number of missing teeth, subjective mastication function, periodontal disease and oral care habits. Here are a few studies that have examined the connection between oral health and mortality and their results.

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5 Ways to Foster the Patient Relationship

Check out our webinar featuring dental expert Kevin Henry in an interview with Drew Sparks, Co-Founder and CEO of Swell CX, on ways to foster your relationship with your patients. Learn how to quickly and accurately measure success, including how to use Net Promoter Scores and customer satisfaction surveys. Plus Drew and Kevin discuss how you can use this information to help grow your online reputation.

With 16 years in the dental publishing industry, Kevin Henry is the former group editorial director for Dental Products Report and managing editor for Dental Economics. He was recently named as one of the top five influential voices in the industry on Twitter (@kgh23).

Drew Sparks is the Co-Founder and CEO of Swell CX. He leads their business development efforts, and has a strong focus on helping healthcare providers better understand their patients’ needs.

Drew’s educational background is in mechanical engineering, but has always been an entrepreneur at heart. Before founding Swell CX, Drew was a part of the founding team of a healthcare startup aimed at helping independent pharmacy owners maximize their revenue potential. This is where he recognized the disconnect between providers and patients and the concept of Swell CX was born.

In his time with Swell CX, Drew has become an industry expert when it come to understanding the patient experience and developing the patient-provider relationship.

 

Watch the webinar here.

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What Will You Do?

It’s the weekend. You’re enjoying a barbecue with your friends when you get a call on your emergency number from someone who claims to be your patient and asks for Tylenol #3.

Do you go to your practice to check if this is a patient of record?

Do you log in to your practice using a remote connection and hope the computer is still on?

Do you take a chance and call a pharmacy to prescribe this drug, hoping that the person really is your patient and that you don’t get into trouble?

Do you ignore the request and possibly anger an actual patient who is in genuine pain?

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Most Effective Ways for Dentists to Attract New Patients

Check out our webinar featuring dental expert Kevin Henry in an interview with Jason Dolle, Founder and CEO of Testimonial Tree, on actionable ways to attract new patients. They discuss the most effective marketing methods dentists can use to meet their goals. Click here to watch the recording.

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