By Robert McDermott; President/CEO, iCoreConnect

For many dentists, the struggle with taking action around data analysis involves a variety of factors, including not knowing what metrics to track, trouble tracking those metrics, or, more often, an inability to analyze those metrics.

Metrics alone are just numbers. What you need to do is take those numbers and gauge how they fit into your existing goals, so you and your staff can address shortfalls.

What are Dental Practice Analytics?

When you gather metrics and put them into perspective so they show you where you’re making progress and where you may need to double down on efforts, you have dental practice analytics.

For example, the number of new patients you have had in the past month is valuable data, but it’s merely a number until you compare it to new patient acquisition goals, which are determined by profit and growth goals. You may have 20 new patients in a month, which seems great—until you realize that to continue growth and profitability, you need at least 50 a month to hit your profit and growth targets.

Which Metrics Matter?

The honest answer is that the metrics that matter depend upon your goals. While growth is a goal for most practices, the metric that will matter most will be the one where you’re lagging.

For example, let’s say you’re doing a great job of acquiring new patients through various initiatives or community outreach, but your recall numbers are low. Existing patients are not scheduling treatments or procedures noted on your treatment plan. Then, for you, the metrics that may matter most include:

  • Number of active patients
  • Unscheduled procedures/treatments
  • Number of reappointments
  • Cancellations
  • Patient satisfaction

To determine which metrics matter most, you’ll need to identify your goals and then determine which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can help you measure strengths and weaknesses. From there, you can focus on the weaker areas.

So, what other metrics might you look at to help you analyze your practice and its health? Here are a few key metrics:

  • Production: From practice production to the production of individual dentists and hygienists, keeping track of how busy your team is day-to-day as well as month-over-month is vital.
  • Patients: As mentioned above, keeping track of returning patients as well as new patients can help you determine where you need to focus when it comes to generating revenue.
  • Overhead: Monitoring your overhead is important. A profit margin of about 40% is ideal.
  • Profits: Tracking your profit is about more than keeping tabs on what you make (minus your overhead). In fact, one of the best ways to track your profits is by procedures.
  • Accounts receivable: From claim delays to unpaid patient balances, failing to monitor what’s coming in (and how quickly they arrive after billing) can improve cash flow.
  • Scheduling: Not only is it important to consider whether your schedule is full, but also how well it’s being optimized.

While this is not an exhaustive list, these bullets cover some of the more essential areas where metrics and related analytics will help you improve your practice and profitability.

Finding the Right Analytics Tool to Improve Your Practice

Your ability to regularly assess the health of your practice rests on your ability to assess your KPIs, understand how they’re interconnected, and how they impact your revenue. If you’re ready to realize the revenue you need to grow, provide the care your patients need, and use analytics to improve team performance and efficiency, then investing in the right tool can help.

Dental practice analytics software takes practice data and turns it into valuable metrics that allow you to measure the health of your practice.

Actionable analytics require a few key components.

The first is the ability to collect the data you need, which means your analytics software should integrate with your existing practice management software.

In addition to integrating with your practice management software, your analytics tool should provide the ability to drill down into all needed metrics, like viewing details by your daily schedule. From there, you can assess the metrics that matter—from daily, recall, and treatment plan scheduling to accounts receivable and insurance verification.

Keeping tabs on all of these analytics in one location where you can access real-time data, view it in a simple format, set goals and take actionable steps can help change the trajectory of your practice.

In addition to individual patient’s metrics, you’ll want a bird’s eye view to see how the entire day’s schedule is impacting your practice and revenue over the month and year.

One of the biggest benefits to this is the ability to identify open AR. That’s where the data and analytics can help you capture that revenue at your fingertips.

Reach out to the iCoreConnect team today for a demo iCoreHuddle practice revenue analytics software. Let them show you how the information you already have can be aggregated in dental practice analytics software to provide valuable insights to your practice. TDA members have access to significant discounts.