“Teddy has met his activity goal for the day” flashes across my iPhone. Good, I think to myself. The dog walker is working out well. I open the app to see the route they took before dismissing the notification and turning back to my laptop.
In today’s world, we’re constantly collecting and monitoring data about ourselves and the world around us. We track how many steps we take, how many calories we’ve consumed, how many hours we’ve slept, what our heart rate is, how many miles we’ve run and at what pace and how many hours we’ve spent staring at the screen that feeds us this information all day. This trend has bled into other areas of our lives, like my dog Teddy’s new activity tracker and GPS that lets me know how many minutes of exercise he’s gotten.
Apps like this one and their human equivalents are everywhere. People swear by them for a number of reasons, be it weight loss or simply a conscious effort to be more active in a busy and distracting world. The apps themselves don’t deliver results, but being aware of what you’re doing, or not doing, does. How often do we look at our businesses through the same analytical lens, uncovering data we didn’t even know we should be looking at?
You might know how many steps you’ve taken today, but do you know your hygiene retention rate? Do you know how many new patients you need each day to negate attrition? Do you know how many insurance claims are outstanding or rejected? Have you ever analyzed which PPO contacts you can negotiate with? Do you know where the major opportunities are in your practice? Do you know what steps to take to capture them? Measuring your business can be the wakeup call you need to implement changes and achieve your goals.
Simply being aware of these numbers can lead to an improvement. What gets tracked will get results. Your practice management software can give you valuable reports every day, but you need to look at the data regularly and implement changes accordingly.
There are a few key performance indicators you should track regularly to keep a finger on the pulse of your practice. Let’s start with active patient count. Most dentists don’t know their true active patient count, meaning how many patients set foot in the office in the past 24 months. Next is the number of patients active in hygiene. Comparing this number to the total number of active patients may shed light on an unfortunate but common occurrence, patients are simply uneducated on the importance of regular dental hygiene visits. What you may assume is a need for more patients may simply be an issue in how you are rebooking your current patients for their next hygiene appointment.
Another key performance indicator is the amount of rejected claims your office receives. You need to make sure you’re coding correctly as a small coding mistake can add up to thousands of dollars in lost revenue. On top of that, you should know how your fees compare to those around you and make sure you’re getting the most out of your insurance agreements.
Next time you track an activity, think about what information you’re missing out on in your business. Staying aware of data trends in your office uncovers opportunities and could increase your profitability by thousands of dollars. Make it a priority to do regular health checks on your practice. There are options available to help you track your goals; the Henry Schein Practice Analysis compiles data from your practice management software and uncovers areas of opportunity. Be sure to schedule your Henry Schein Practice Analysis with your Henry Schein Dental Representative to keep track of the health of your dental practice.
Victor Andrade has over 19 years of experience in the dental industry. A graduate of the University of Delaware, he earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management and went on to attend the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. After two years of dental school, Victor decided to pursue a career in dental consulting. In 2011, Victor joined Henry Schein Dental and has held various leadership positions within the company. In his current role as Senior Director of Professional Development, Victor leads sales development and manages sales enablement tools to educate the Henry Schein field sales team on the business of dentistry so they can best serve their customers. He also oversees the Henry Schein Dental Business Institute, a professional education program to educate, train and develop entrepreneurial dentist-owners to successfully lead, manage, govern and grow dental practices of any shape or size from solo practice, to managed group practice, to corporate models.