January 2010 | Dental Products ReportThink like a CEOStatistical sweet spotHow to locate, collect, adjust and understand the statistics that shape your office.by Amy Mor
January 2010 | Dental Products Report
Think like a CEO
Statistical sweet spot
How to locate, collect, adjust and understand the statistics that shape your office.
by Amy Morgan, CEO of the Pride Institute
Photo: Mike Kemp/Getty Images
Sooner or later, most dentists realize they need to consistently keep and analyze statistics to make business decisions based on factual data. Most dentists also realize the capabilities of their computer software are woefully underused. The following are some recommendations as well as a checklist on what statistics to keep and where to find that information in your software.
Locating reports in your software
Most statistics can be accessed in more than one report-the key is to select the reports that serve your practice best and to keep a master list of the specific reports and where to access them and when.
These include all providers: dentists and hygienists + products sold (or individual production + total office production).
Adjustments to statistics
It is important to check adjustments to production and collection on a daily basis-that way, errors can be corrected quickly. It’s easy to forget that what is adjusted off cannot be collected-for fee-for-service practices, a 2% total credit adjustment is ideal, making the collection goal 98%.
It’s also very important to code all adjustments-insurance write-offs due to reduced-fee insurance plans, senior discounts, professional discounts, staff dentistry, patient refunds, restorative re-dos, bad-debt write-offs, collection fees, etc.
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New patient statistics
Marketing, whether internal or external, demands knowing how many new patients join your practice each month and how they get to your practice, whether it’s from referrals or from advertising. The initial telephone interview is key to collecting this information. The second step is entering the information in the database.
Treatment presented and case acceptance
It is important to gather this data for both new patients and patients of record.
Tracking production and collection is only half of keeping practice statistics. Expenses in all of the different expense categories must be tracked and analyzed monthly.
Software such as Quick Books and Quicken are the most efficient way to do this. Calculating what percentage each expense category is in relation to production gives you important information. You can set goals for expenses, which will help in controlling them as well as in making decisions about what purchases, improvements or increased compensation the practice can afford.
Software shouldn’t scare you
Technology now replaces the light bulb, the adding machine, and the pencil with the big eraser. It is easy to track and analyze statistics if you make friends with your computer reports and good bookkeeping software. It’s a match made in heaven.