Dental practice metric tracking is the most thorough way of gaining valuable insights and turning them into meaningful changes. From production and revenue to patient retention rate, there are various metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) your dental practice should monitor.
Dental KPIs Your Practice Should be Tracking
Tracking the right metrics is the key to finding new ways to improve patient satisfaction, streamline processes and operations, increase productivity, monitor earnings and expenses, and develop effective marketing and business strategies. Understanding metrics and KPIs and what they are measuring is an important part of running a dental practice and preparing for the future.
Here are metrics you can use to determine dental practice success:
One of the most important KPIs for dental offices is production. Production refers to the total amount of dentistry procedures performed. This metric provides insight into your practice’s ability to manage capacity, perform treatments, complete appointments and efficiently utilize resources. These metrics will tell you where productivity can improve and which processes can be made more efficient. It is a pertinent way of managing your business’s financial performance and well-being.
Another production metric that will help you determine success is average production per patient. This KPI measures the average revenue generated by each patient your practice treats. This measurement will give you invaluable data on the overall productivity of your practice and allow you to identify new opportunities for increasing revenue. Tracking this dental KPI will help you improve your treatment planning, cross-selling strategies and your need to up-sell products or services.
While production affects revenue, they are completely separate KPIs, and each gives you different insights and information. Revenue is the total amount of money your practice generates. Profitability, growth potential, financial data and insights are all born from the revenue information you gather. Revenue KPIs allow you to identify trends and compare month-on-month performances, giving you everything you need to make informed business decisions and plan effective strategies.
Profit is the amount of money remaining after all expenses and costs have been paid. This is one of the most useful dental practice metrics, as it indicates your practice’s financial health and long-term sustainability. This profit is the key to determining if you need to change the way you operate and your business strategies, whether you adjust service costs or find ways to lower expenses. With profits tracked, you can plan the future of your practice and make the required changes to improve your bottom line.
Overhead is a KPI that measures the total expenses your practice requires to keep operating. This metric is made up of direct and indirect overhead.
Direct overhead is what you must pay to deliver your dental services. Examples of direct overhead costs include the cost of labor, equipment and dental supplies. Indirect overhead refers to costs beyond the expenses required to deliver your dental services, such as rent, utilities, computers, etc. Knowing your overhead tells you where to cut costs, optimize resources and improve practice profits.
Patients are the lifeblood of your practice. The more patients you work with, the more revenue you generate. There are a number of patient-related metrics you need to monitor to help your practice survive and thrive. These metrics are current patients, new patients and patient retention rate.
Current or active patients refer to the number of regular and returning patients your practice serves. These are loyal clients who value what you offer. Your number of current patients is a measure of your practice’s ability to retain patients. This dental metric lets you identify patient retention and loyalty trends that can be incorporated into your business strategy.
Your number of new patients is a valuable metric that measures your ability to acquire new clients. Counting the number of new patients your practice receives each month, quarter or year can give you insights crucial for growing and expanding your business. The effectiveness of your marketing and advertising, referrals and patient satisfaction are all key insights you can gain by monitoring this metric. With this critical KPI, you can easily find new ways to improve marketing efforts and patient engagement.
Patient retention rate evaluates the average revenue generated by each patient over a given period. Using this metric, you can properly evaluate your productivity and find new opportunities to improve revenue and earnings. A high retention rate indicates a high level of patient loyalty and satisfaction. This is an especially useful metric to use when working on quality of care, convenience and communications.
Consider surveying current patients to find out what they like about your practice and any recommendations they have for improvement. You may find you need to expand your hours to accommodate more patients or hire specialists who can complete more services.
Percentage of Kept Appointments
The percentage of scheduled appointments kept and attended by patients each month is a crucial metric. You can learn much about your patients’ behavior, habits, engagement and appointment scheduling process by tracking this KPI.
If this percentage is low, look at ways of improving your offerings, services and patient experiences, as it can influence your practice’s reputation. Here are some ways you can maintain your percentage of kept appointments:
- Evaluate your cancellation policy: Take a look at your current cancellation policy. Do you require at least 24 hours’ notice for canceling an appointment? Do you have convenient methods for cancellation, like the ability to call, text or use an online portal? Convenient cancellation options can limit the number of no-call, no-shows your practice experiences.
- Clearly communicate with patients: Consider sending communications a week before a patient’s appointment, then the day before and the day of. Have an automated text or call service or send email reminders. Let patients choose what works best for them.
Number of Hygiene Visits
Check the effectiveness of your preventive care offerings with this useful KPI. If people believe your preventative care offerings are effective and valuable, you will see an increase in this metric.
Outside of judging the quality of your services, you can also gain insight into your patient engagement and practice productivity. These insights can lead to new ways of improving customer satisfaction, boosting revenue, offering better services and helping you market your practice and services better.
Collections keep your practice in operation and refer to the amount of money collected from your patients and insurance companies. This is the best metric for tracking your cash flow, ensuring all services are paid for and monitoring payment trends. By monitoring your collections, you can pinpoint any potential issues with your collection and billing processes, correct any mistakes and optimize how you operate. Consider integrating the following to maintain or boost your collections:
- Payment technology: Allow patients to make payments online for their convenience. You can also accept credit and debit card payments in-office to make paying more accessible.
- Communications: Remind patients about their bills via automated texts or emails to boost your collections rate.
- Financing and payment plans: Your collections may be lacking because patients can’t afford to make lump sum payments. Offer flexible financing or payment schedules that break up balances and make them manageable for patients to pay fully over time.
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