In the past six years, most dentists have come to realize that the challenges triggered by the Great Recession are the new normal. Success now depends on business factors that few practice owners know how to address. Even if they understand the necessity of taking a more businesslike approach to running their offices, they hardly know where to begin.
Working with thousands of clients, Levin Group has developed a comprehensive set of proprietary analytical techniques and growth strategies that can transform a flat or declining office into a thriving practice. One of the most valuable tools is our renowned Practice Performance Matrixâ¢.
In the hands of an expert analyst, the Practice Performance Matrix facilitates a quick, thorough, and accurate appraisal of where your practice stands in regard to crucial business parameters -- what we call the 9 Areas of Expertise:
New Patient Experience
You can use an introductory Practice Performance Matrix to see where improvements are most needed â¦ and most likely to yield outstanding results.
There are certain performance metrics, known as Key Production Indicators (KPIs), that effectively measure the business health of a dental practice. By creating a matrix with one vital KPI in each of the 9 Areas of Expertise, you will be prepared to conduct a preliminary diagnosis. The following works well for most general practices:
Production -- Has production increased by 15% or more in the past 12 months?
Collections -- Do you collect 99% of fees billed by the practice?
Team Building -- Do you have a written vision statement for your practice?
Scripting -- Are 100% of patient interactions scripted to guide each conversation?
Case Acceptance -- Do 90% of patients say “yes” to need-based and elective treatment?
New Patient Experience -- Are 90% of new patient callers scheduled for an appointment within seven days?
Hygiene -- Does hygiene account for at least 25% of total practice production?
Scheduling -- Are no-show and last-minute cancellation rates less than 1%?
Marketing -- Do 40-60% of patients refer a new patient each year?
Take the time to go through your practice performance statistics and come up with real numbers rather than guesswork. Otherwise, you will not get a clear picture of what’s holding your practice back.
For most dentists, even this simplified analytical process is a revelation. When you see how your practice measures up to the KPIs in the Practice Performance Matrix, you will also be looking at a basic roadmap for the way forward. If your practice has been falling short in any of the 9 Areas of Expertise, you will need to focus your attention on those areas initially.
Effective solutions exist in all 9 Areas of Expertise. For example, if your collection rate is less than 99% - very possible, considering that the average rate for GPs in 2013 was 94.2%, according to the Levin Group Data Centerâ¢ - you can implement specific, proven systems to improve that number. These include everything from calling patients when the account is one day overdue to offering a range of payment options, including outside financing.
Using the Practice Performance Matrixâ¢ and the right KPIs, you can begin looking at your practice in terms of the 9 Areas of Expertise. This will give you a much better understanding of how to grow your practice in the new dental economy.
Editor's Note: To learn more about increasing practice production, come to one of Dr. Levin’s upcoming seminars. Pick a convenient date and location at www.levingroup.com/gpseminars.