Hello Jill. I've been doing hygiene with the same group practice for the past 8 years. The company recently hired a new CEO. He's making some major changes to our practice. Unfortunately, he has no dental background and I'm afraid that these changes are based on money rather than patient care. They are trying to cut back the time given for appointments. Currently, I schedule one hour for adult prophy and 90 minutes for perio maintenance and full mouth debridement (we actually see a lot of patients for this). We have recently added computers to our rooms and can now do our own scheduling. I like to customize each patient based on how much time I actually need with them. How do I approach management about this issue? They also want to schedule patients with hygiene that are overdue for exams. We've always made sure that the patient has had an exam within the last year. I'm having problems finding legal statutes that state the need for an exam prior to hygiene treatment. Any help that you can offer would be much appreciated. Thank you!
You are expressing a concern that many hygienists who have worked long-term in the same practice setting are having after there is a change in leadership or even after a practice management consultant is hired. My advice would be to ask management why they feel such changes are needed. Has there been a drop in revenues or patient load? If so then perhaps there are other reasons for those decreases that need to be addressed (and not cutting back on allotted appointment time). As you suggested, part of the problem may very well be that the new CEO doesn't have a dental background. Volunteer to be his mentor! Share with him some of the excellent resources from the American Academy of Periodontology's website (http://www.perio.org). You'll find position papers and scientific articles that discuss all aspects of periodontal care. Included are guidelines for maintenance care and more. This will give him insight regarding the importance of tailoring care to the needs of the individual. It sounds as if you've been providing excellent, individualized care up until now and it would be troublesome if that changes.