How to Measure Success
Every dental practice needs to set goals. Why? Without clear goals, you have no way to measure success. Setting daily, monthly and yearly goals will help guide you and your team members, and is critical to growing a thriving, profitable dental practice.
As a practice management consultant, I love helping dental teams meet their goals. There’s really nothing better. I want to help you reach your goals, but first you must determine what those goals are. Not sure how? Don’t worry, you don’t have to do it on your own. Here’s what I recommend:
Start by determining your monetary goal. This is the most important standard to set for your practice. To set your monetary goals, review your employee gross wages for the past 12 months and your net collections. Gross Wages/Net Collections = Gross Wage Overhead. Salary standard in the industry is 19-22% of net collections for a general practice.
In most cases, from here you can establish what your collection goal needs to be for the next 12 months, assuming you don’t have any drastic changes planned. Just remember practice management overhead is not the same as what your accountant calculates.
Now let’s say the Gross Wage Overhead for your team is 24%, but you want to get it down to 20%. Start by determining what your production adjustments, or adjustments that reduced your patient fees, were last year. These include employee discounts, insurance adjustments and senior citizen discounts. Let’s say your adjustments were 20%. That means you need to divide your collection goal by the inversion of 20%, or 80%.
- Monthly wages / 20% = Monthly Collection Goal
Because your Scheduling and Hygiene Coordinator schedule to a production goal and not a collection goal, this step must be performed to correctly calculate your daily goal.
From there, determine what your hygiene goal should be based on one of two factors:
Monthly Gross Production Goal – Monthly Hygiene Goal (daily ?? x number of days worked) = Doctor Monthly Goal. Divide the Doctor Monthly Goal by the number of days worked = Doctor Daily Goal.
You can perform this calculation yearly or monthly. To save time and avoid changing the goal each month, I recommend doing this once a year.
Develop system goals. From here, put system goals in place to help you achieve your production and collection goals. Let me give you a few examples of system goals to work toward:
• Marketing internally to your existing patients to increase the number of new patients who come to your practice.
• Properly evaluating your staff for efficiency by incorporating job descriptions and making sure all team members are in a role suited for their temperament.
• Conducting new patient exams to begin building connections with patients who visit your practice for the first time.
• Diagnosing necessary treatment and educating patients about their condition at their level. Talking over their heads won’t help patients understand treatment, and it certainly won’t convince them to say yes.
• Educating patients about their periodontal condition to improve case acceptance.
• Spending quality chair time with new patients to start building trust and a rapport, leading to increased case acceptance and patient loyalty.
• Making sure that when patients are presented to the Scheduling Coordinator, all their clinical questions have been answered. The Scheduling Coordinator’s primary task is to schedule the doctor to meet the daily production goal, not to answer clinical questions that should have been addressed during the case presentation.
• Improving patient retention in hygiene and increasing the number of active patients to ultimately grow the practice. Remember your Hygiene Department is a profit center, not a liability.
• Celebrating every time goals are met. Team members want to be recognized for their accomplishments and feel like their contributions are important to the practice’s success. Recognizing their hard work will raise team morale and motivate them to continually meet daily, weekly and yearly goals.
You’re the CEO of your dental practice, which means you must provide direction for your team. Establishing goals helps provide that direction, making it clear how your practice will measure success. Take the time to determine practice goals as well as to develop strategies to meet those goals, and you’ll be well on your way to practice success. Need help to get there? Don’t hesitate to contact McKenzie Management.
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