Dental Office Production Monitors Matter
Taking The Pulse Of Your Practice
Dental office production monitors are a fabulous way to check the health of your dental practice. Dentistry is a business. The business of caring for the oral health of people. But, it’s a business. And unless you work in a non-profit organization, then the idea is to turn a profit.
Dental teams with solid tracking systems thrive. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum and a few in between. One dental practice I worked in had a solid tracking system the entire team knew about. Every Thursday, the team met for one hour after lunch. One of the agenda items on the schedule every week was a review of the weekly numbers. And at the end of each month, we discussed the monthly totals. Everyone on the team knew where we were at all times.
Tracking numbers but never using them doesn’t count. Another dental practice I worked in had extensive daily monitors. I faithfully tracked and posted numbers that were given to the doc at the end of each month. This dentist never asked about numbers outside of those monthly reports. Sadly, I’m not sure the dentist knew what the practice numbers even were. I guess, he could have felt I had it under control. And perhaps he thought he didn’t need to worry about it. He honestly couldn’t answer any questions about his practice. And neither could the rest of the team.
The Numbers To Watch
This particular article’s focus is “Dental Office Production”. There are other equally important numbers to track and review. But those numbers and monitors are discussed in other articles. My focus is on the dental front office. Therefore, all monitors are truly more front office based. A dental practice should also track their costs and expenses. That’s another discussion altogether.
Total production numbers are posted daily. This is just for the dentist. This number does not include any hygiene production. Hopefully, your dental practice is using different provider numbers for each provider. And this should include individual numbers for different hygienists. If not, now is the time to make that change.
Then daily adjustments are posted. Once again, you want just the dentist’s adjustments each day. This would include any write-offs for insurance or any other adjustment that is made on a patient account. If you haven’t been adjusting correctly by provider number, make this change now too. When you make an adjustment on an account, it must be by provider. For example, you post a payment to a hygiene provider number. Later, you have to make an adjustment because an x-ray was billed out to the hygienist. But, the x-ray wasn’t taken. The hygienist posted this in error. So, now when you make the adjustment, it goes against the hygienist’s provider number too.
Collections And Refunds
Total office collections and refunds by provider are included on this monitor. It’s important to track these numbers by provider as well. (There is another monitor I use to track accounts receivable as a whole.) But this particular monitor is per provider. And it’s strictly for the dentist. Reports can be run at the end of each day that will break down everything that you need by provider.
Post these numbers once your day is balanced. You want to be sure you add the correct numbers. If a mistake is made in your day, you don’t want it to show up on your monitors. So, just wait until you’re sure that everything is correct in your day.
Refunds by provider are important. These numbers show if there is a trend. For example, if a team member is consistently posting something incorrectly. Or, if dentist is giving more away than he realizes! Another possibility is that insurance billing errors are happening. The total amount of refunds would actually need to come off the total collection numbers at the end of the month for your true collection numbers. This is something a lot of dentists miss!
Dental Office Production Monitors Help You Reach Goals
Treatment Presented Vs Treatment Scheduled
Dental office production monitors track these totals. But you will need an additional tool to track these numbers throughout the day. Treatment presented vs. treatment scheduled is an important statistic to monitor. You can only meet daily production goals if you are presenting the dollar amount each day that you need to schedule.
If patients aren’t scheduling treatment, find out why. This is vital information. So, when you’re tracking throughout the day, jot down why a patient didn’t schedule. Then, keep all of this information in a folder to provide to the dentist with the day end reports, weekly reports, or month end reports. Different docs manage differently.
New Patient Tracking
Include the total number of new patients seen each day. Be sure to enter the referral information in your software system. That’s where you can run additional reports on each new patient seen. This particular form does not require referral information.
Total active patients are recorded. This is the total number of patients you have seen in the last 18 months. Hopefully, your numbers are clean. However, if they are not, record the number you do have. Then begin work on cleaning this up. This is best done through a hygiene reactivation system.
Patients who were inactivated this month. Patients are inactivated when they haven’t been seen for 18 months. They are also inactivated if they transfer their care to another practice. Sometimes patients move. And there will be patients who pass away. Patients who pass should actually be archived, but count in this tracking. A report of all patients inactivated or archived should be printed each week or each month and given to the dentist as well.
Adjusted new patient totals is your final number. The dental practice could actually see a negative new patient number here. Especially if you are working on a clean up of inactive patients. In this spot, you want to subtract the number of patients were recently inactivated from the total new patient numbers.
Dental Office Production Monitors Download
Here is a production monitor template for you to download for free. Please feel free to make any changes to this monitor that you like. Or create something new of your own if you prefer. I have always liked writing out numbers for my monitors on a daily tally sheet first. Then, I put these final numbers in a spreadsheet on my computer when I feel I’ve got the final numbers and the time.
Please let me know if you have any problems or questions with this. I’m here for you. Remember, this is just one of the monitors I use in practice management.