Why Optimizing Hygienists’ Productivity Matters at Your Dental Practice

dental tools

It’s no secret hiring and retaining quality hygienists during a staffing shortage is top of mind these days. But how does that affect your dental practice’s bottom line and, ultimately, a valuation of your business leading up to an eventual transition? Here’s how to optimize your hygienists’ patient care and productivity with these end goals in mind.

Streamline front office work

Before patients even see a hygienist, your front office staff should be taking steps to optimize their schedules. This includes working on a recall schedule, confirming appointments and establishing a protocol for cancellations, perhaps through the use of cloud-based dental practice management software. However, keep in mind that rescheduling appointments to meet your office’s needs is not ideal. Above all, front office staff should conduct these measures while being attentive to patients’ questions, concerns and needs.

Evaluate equipment

Part of a smooth workflow includes making sure your staff is using the most efficient tools and technology. Bonus points: This provides a higher quality of care for your patients, leading to a better overall experience. Ask your team if there are any upgrades you could make that would benefit their workload, including something as seemingly minor as poor lighting or uncomfortable chairs and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Understand workloads

The best way to make improvements to a hygienist’s workload is to understand what goes into their day-to-day. A good hygienist is likely taking the time to understand a patient’s dental concerns, so consider how you could better support that role. Would hiring a hygiene assistant to handle data collection, handoffs and operatory preparation help with overall productivity?

Assess compensation

A paycheck goes beyond making a living wage these days. Imagine the message you are sending if your hygienists aren’t being paid for no-shows or open appointments in the middle of the day. At the same time, you don’t want your hygienists to feel as though they are on the verge of burnout, aren’t able to take small breaks throughout the day and don’t have the time to make connections with patients. What other ways could you incentivize and motivate hygienists to produce the highest-quality work while contributing to their job satisfaction?

What’s next?

There are so many factors that go into your dental practice’s bottom line as it relates to a valuation. Contact the experts at Professional Transition Strategies to learn more ways to keep your dental practice on top of its game.