My two hygienists came to me and made the case that we should schedule hygiene appointments for 70-minutes instead of 60. They said they would be able to do more education with their patients and have more time to recommend restorative care. At the same time, I also agreed to giving them a raise. Is this a good idea?
Hmm. So, your hygienists have successfully negotiated for a raise while also seeing fewer patients. Congratulations to them! There are two intertwining issues here: the math issue and the leadership issue. The math issue is easier – will you be able to recoup the production you had when they saw 8 patients a day? By my estimate you’re losing a minimum of $300 dollars a day, plus the potential restorative production that would come from your exams. Frankly, I think it’s going to be hard to make up for that lost production especially since hygiene expenses just went up. From a cost analysis perspective, I don’t think you have made a good decision.
And this leads us to the leadership issue. You might hate the “vision” questions but here they are: What is your vision for hygiene care in terms of the kind of care patients receive and your financial goals? What is your philosophy about compensation? How do decisions about these issues get made at your practice? Since this decision has been made, I suggest you look at ways to improve hygiene production itself which may include offering more cosmetic procedures, fluoride varnish, sealants, and antibiotics.