How a flow chart can help your practice

2017 12 01 18 31 4930 Butler Jen 2017b 400

Most owner-doctors lament over bringing in high-end, high-tech equipment or services that promise to increase production and impress patients. The justification for the delay is that the initial costs are, or appear to be, astronomical.

Jen Butler, MEd.Jen Butler, MEd.

And then once the focus is on the cost of the new equipment, the thought process often stops right there. Which likely means no new equipment and also no increased production and profits.

What about turning that thinking upside down and asking how you could have an office that combines cost-efficiency and the production and profits you are looking for. One of those answers is a perio flow chart.

A perio flow chart provides staff and patients with a clear view of the clinical spectrum from an unhealthy mouth to a healthy one, while also outlining what the clinical plan is for both prevention and treatment.

The chart also includes the detailed components of every hygiene appointment as outlined by professional dental organizations (such as the ADA, the American Dental Hygienist's Association, and the American Academy of Periodontology) to ensure your standard of care is maintained.

Simply obtaining x-rays and completing prophylaxis with the occasional scaling and root planing is not going to get any practice to its potential. Patients are the true casualty in this, as they are not receiving all they can to prevent, control, or treat periodontal conditions.

Positive outcomes

These flow charts can also become an important document for your strategic business plan. This chart allows you to show your clinical teams your step-by-step approach to hitting your production and practice goals. Some of my clients have seen an increase in hygiene production of up to 35% when they began using a flow chart.

When followed, shared. and modified, these charts can have positive outcomes:

“These flow charts can also become an important document for your strategic business plan.”
  • The charts can help increase a practice's hygiene production by making sure a patient's periodontal treatment is approached comprehensively.
  • The chart puts both hygienist and doctor on the same clinical page.
  • The chart can help increase patient trust because their care is predictable, repeatable, and consistent regardless of who provides the service.

There are benefits to both patients and the team when these charts are shared:

  • Patients know where you stand on comprehensive care and what they can expect as treatment for their level of periodontal condition.
  • Teams know the level of importance periodontal conditions have within the practice and adjust their behaviors, language, and messaging accordingly.
  • The information spotlights the offices' commitment to the systemic approach of care and opens doors for patient education and services.

Using a perio flow chart also provides benefit when modified:

  • Modification can show that you stay on top of research and are ever evolving as a healthcare provider.
  • Patients can learn to see the dental office as a larger member of their healthcare team and consider visiting for overall health issues.

So, when considering production and profits, it's not always about the bedazzling and expensive new tech. It's about leveraging every process and clinical tool you already have to its highest potential.

Jen Butler, MEd, is the CEO and founder of JB Partners. For practice management, communications, and stress management services, contact her at [email protected]. A perio flow chart is available for purchase in the JB Partners store.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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