Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2016 04 Choc Cake 1

Tuesday Tip from Pride Institute: First quarter review of your dental practice statistics

April 19, 2016
It's time to analyze the success (or not) of your first quarter. Together with your dental team, take a look at the first three months of the year, and see what you can do the same or better to help your dental practice run more smoothly.

It’s spring and time to “spring into action” to analyze your first quarter successes and areas of opportunity. How do you do that, you ask? It’s all in the numbers, and if you’ve been compiling your numbers from January through March, you should be all set to review them with your team.

Here are some suggestions regarding how to go about this important meeting and the important analysis questions you should ask.

First, I assume you have an Annual Plan that has set your goals in accordance with the necessary financial needs of the practice for the year. Start with the basics: Are we above or below goal in all of the categories, including production (both doctor and hygiene), adjusted production (UCR production – insurance adjustments), days worked, collections, AR ratio, new patient flow and case acceptance?

Involve your team in this analysis by highlighting all the numbers above goal in pink and any numbers below goal in yellow. Give the team a few minutes to think about what could be the reasons behind the pink and yellow marks. This is what I call your numbers chocolate cake. If it is a great chocolate cake, you’ll want to know the recipe so you can bake it again next month. If it doesn’t taste great, then you must analyze what ingredients are missing.

This analysis is often where dental practices fail. It is the old case of “not knowing what you don’t know,” and thus not coming up with potential solutions to fix your downward trends. Practices often just keep on doing the same things and expecting different results. (Isn’t that the classic definition of insanity?)

Here is a quick outline of what to look for in six systems. It is in no way an exhaustive list, but at least it will provoke some thought as to what you should investigate with your team.

Production—Scheduling (production blocks), delayed treatment, insurance write-offs, fees
Case acceptance—Amount diagnosed, new patient process, relationship building, verbal skills to influence
Collections—Financial guidelines and options, follow-up on Accounts Receivable
New patients—Phone inquiries to appointments made, internal plan (asking for referrals), external plan (website SEO and social media): the new patient experience, treatment conferences
Continuing care—Hygiene goals, cancellation and no show Issues, 40% to 60% of restorative diagnosis coming from periodic exams
Expenses (cash flow)—Spending in accordance to Annual Plan (budget), compensation of team within range norms, over-/understaffed, ROI on investments

This should get your analysis juices flowing and engage your team to seek solutions and take action. So remember, the reason you set goals is to be able to know if you’re on track. If you’re not on track, then reforcast. By the end of the next quarter in June, we want you to be ready to celebrate the 4th of July with an incredible chocolate cake!

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Tuesday Tips from Pride Institute are provided weekly on their Facebook page as well as in this column in DentistryIQ. To ensure you don’t miss any of Pride Institute’s proven methods to take your practice to the next level, visit, and like them on Facebook.