Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Is it Time to go to Sleep Yet?

Cliff’s Notes for August 23, 2015

Cliff Marsh, Henry Schein ……Cell: 201-321-7494……Fax: 201-262-2210



Is it Time to go to Sleep Yet?

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”

Mahatma Gandhi

This week’s commentary is NOT about starting a Sleep Apnea program in your office, we have all been there. However, isn’t it part of your responsibility to screen for systemic conditions and refer to other specialists any concerns you detect?

Up to 70% of the general population has some form of sleep disorder. That means that 7 out of 10 patients that sit in your chair may suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The dental screening process for sleep disorders truly takes 90 seconds of doctor time, 3 minutes of Hygienist time & 2 minutes of front desk time. The dollar cost of all this is $00.00 (zero). So, why are you not offering this screening service as an “Added Value” to your routine exam? This is a fantastic internal marketing tool that involves the entire team and is just too easy.

I don’t have to tell you the dangers of OSA, but let me remind you that it may be one of the most un-diagnosed health concerns. Most people with OSA don’t even know it unless someone points it out to them like a spouse or roommate. Once again the medical side of healthcare is reactive to the to the patient’s complaint when the dental side of healthcare has the ability to be proactive. Proactive means simple screening and then a referral to a testing lab or ENT and with today’s technology, the patient can be tested in the privacy of their own home. Medical insurance covers the test, it costs you nothing and now you are establishing interdisciplinary connections as well as giving the patient a story to tell about you and your incredible team.

Screening patients routinely for systemic health issues is very easy. You need to look past the promises of money and revenue, you need to think outside the box and evaluate how a systemic health program will help your practice? A good program will raise the comfort level of your patients and the value of your services and along with that comes better treatment plan acceptance.

When you start a systemic health program, don’t expect it to take off like a rocket. It will take at least 2 patient cycles (Hygiene) before you start seeing the benefits. Some of those benefits are: Increased patient retention, re-care and compliance, interdisciplinary networking (ENT), new patients by referrals (best new patient), and team involvement in a true proactive healthcare facility.

So, now ask yourself why you are not involved with systemic health. There is no good reason that I can think of. In the past you jumped on marketing teeth whitening, laser dentistry and Invisalign. However, everyone is doing the same thing and they all involve an investment and selling. Maybe it is time to WOW your patients and show them the physician you truly are. Oh, the residual effect is that you just may generate some attractive revenue.

Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss the advantages and implementation of a 1st class proactive systemic health program.

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August 23, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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