Over half of the population has some form of periodontal disease, but very few practices have periodontal protocols. What’s more, putting protocols in place doesn’t mean much if you’re not tracking three important KPIs. You need to know these numbers so you can tell if the protocols are working, so your team members can have accountability for their role in the process, and so you can have the option to course-correct—or even better—celebrate when you need to.
- Periodontal Visit Percentage
You can measure this easily in your practice management software, or even do it manually, but you need to look at what percentage of patients seen for hygiene within a given period of time were periodontal patients. You can do so by looking at the following periodontal codes in comparison to preventative hygiene services:
For the top 10% of practices, the industry benchmark for this KPI is 35%, so that’s a solid target to aim for. But remember what Kirk says: “Progress, not perfection,” because you’re not going from zero to 35% overnight. Focus instead on making incremental progress and celebrating your victories—as the confidence and knowledge of your team improves, your numbers will grow as well.
- Periodontal Diagnostic Percentage
These are the patients you’re seeing that were diagnosed with new periodontal treatment, using the same codes as above. This KPI is necessary because it helps to gauge the efficacy and consistency of making a diagnosis when you begin implementing a new periodontal protocol in the office—as you establish and track these protocols, seeing the numbers improve will help you stay motivated. The benchmark for this KPI will be parallel with the periodontal visit percentage, for the most part. The number will initially be higher, as you are diagnosing and reappointing for periodontal therapy, but as your periodontal protocol becomes more established and efficient, the numbers will level out.
- Periodontal Acceptance Percentage
Of those patients diagnosed with periodontal disease, what percentage accepted all or a portion of the treatment you presented? On its own, this number doesn’t tell the whole story, because if you diagnosed one patient who accepted treatment, that 100% doesn’t mean much—you’ve got to look at it in conjunction with your diagnostic percentage if you want to see the true picture. You’re not looking for a set benchmark with this one—it would be amazing to schedule 100% of the patients you treatment plan, so the higher the number, the better!
Tracking these numbers is most effective when you look at all three of them together, so don’t just pick one to be the basis of everything. Look at how all three relate to one another, and use the numbers to create healthy competition for your hygiene team and give them incentive to improve—they know that as the numbers increase, so will the number of patients whose health is improving. When you find yourself needing to course-correct, you must implement countermeasures, a topic I discussed in the previous blog and Episode 574 of the Best Practices Show Podcast, so check them out!
At the end of the day, you’re not going to see the growth potential of your protocols if you don’t build value for your treatment with your patients. They need to want the treatment, and that won’t happen if you tell them what they need—help them instead discover that they want it for themselves. Making any changes in your practice can be challenging, but remember that it’s never a bad thing to ask for help: give us a call and learn more about how to take control and build a Better Practice, and a Better Life!
Miranda Beeson is a Lead Practice Coach at ACT Dental