Itís Not Just Running Reports
As a consultant, I advise dental practices to generate certain practice reports on a regular basis. Whether it’s the front office team, office manager, hygienist, doctor’s spouse, assistants, or the doctors getting the reports themselves, it is vitally important for someone to monitor this data.
The information available through practice reports is priceless, and it is a consultant’s goal to teach you how to do all this on your own; giving you the knowledge to evaluate your office on a regular basis. It is best if each department feels accountable for their numbers and “owns” them.
If information is not entered into the software correctly at the time of service, reports may not be accurate. In this case, we must work together to figure out where adjustments are necessary. For example, if an appointment is not broken properly or not set up correctly, there will be no way to track that patient in your recall system. They may become “lost in cyberspace” or end up with the wrong recall – perhaps not set up as a periodontal maintenance after root planing, or accidentally given two recalls, one for prophylaxis and one for periodontal maintenance.
In other cases, if information is being input correctly but all you do is generate the reports and don’t look at the data provided, you might be missing valuable information.. Once you generate the reports, you need to know what to look for so they can be properly examined.
When it comes to hygiene, it’s important to monitor the periodontal percentage of the hygiene department every month. At the end of the year, look at the periodontal percentage for each hygienist, in addition to the hygiene department as a whole. According to industry standards, this should be at 33% or more.
Look at hygiene to practice production. According to industry standard, this should also be 33%. Take note of how many patients are not returning vs. new patients increasing the patient base. If more patients are not returning than new patients coming into the practice, consider what major changes may have happened during that time. Did you bring on new employees, have staff turnover, or implement office protocol that directly affects patients? Did the quality of customer service and how patients are being cared for change in some way?
When consulting with a practice, I also look at how many cancellations, no-shows and open time you have available every month and the entire year. If you have a lot of no-shows, it may be because patients do not value their appointments. This would mean patients need more education about the importance of keeping appointments to improve their overall health. This requires effort from the entire team.
If you have a lot of open time, look at how many hours of hygiene you have and how many you really need. If you have more patients coming into the practice than leaving, hygiene time may need to be added to your schedule.
Not all reports are created equal either. Some software provides a report that will give you a production summary by category, showing the percentage and average dollar amount earned in each category. However, it may not allow you to see how many root planeings of one to three teeth were done, or how many periodontal maintenances, fluorides, full quadrants of root planing, etc. Knowing these details allows you to be more in touch with where the money is coming from in your hygiene department.
Next time you run a report, really take the time to look at all the information available. It may end up resulting in major practice benefits, such as a higher profit margin, raises, and new equipment.
Interested in improving your hygiene department? Email email@example.com and ask us about our 1-Day Hygiene Training Program or call 877-777-6151
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