This successful dentist shares secrets to his thriving practice
Spodak Dental is a succesful practice by all measurements. But when it took a plateau in gross revenue, Dr. Spodak became proactive. He and the team took a new approach to a few things, and he wants to share what he learned with his peers.
Spodak Dental Group is a succesful practice by all measurements. But when it took a plateau in gross revenue, Dr. Spodak became proactive. He and the team took a new approach to a few things, and he wants to share what he learned with his peers.
This article originally appeared in the Principles of Practice Management e-newsletter. Subscribe to this informative twice monthly practice management ENL here.
Spodak Dental Group is a third-generation comprehensive dental practice in beautiful Delray Beach, Florida, with 10 doctors and a very engaged clinical and office support team. We’re a thriving, multidisciplinary practice housed in a 13,000-square foot, state-of-the-art, Gold LEED Certified, biophilic facility. Our team includes six general dentists, a periodontist, a prosthodontist, an endodontist, and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. And, with the help of our lab technicians and in-house dental lab, we’re able to provide all-inclusive care and same-day dentistry.
Dentistry has been my passion for as long as I can remember, and I can honestly say that I love what I do. The company has been growing since I took the reins in 2006, and I believe that’s because we’re constantly pushing the boundaries on ways to improve.
The dental practice is performing well by all the normal standards of success. We have lots of new patients every month, including many celebrity patients, and we have committed, capable team members who strive for daily improvement and manage themselves because they care about the practice and each other. We’re proud to have a great legacy of patient care and community service from my father, Dr. Myles Spodak, since the day he started the practice in 1976. Everything is clicking for Spodak Dental Group and every year is better, including better care for patients, better procedures and technologies, and better team culture. Even though the practice is performing well, I believe in pursuing never-ending improvement and growth.
By mid-2016, we had hit a 12% increase year-to-date in patient volume, which was great, but we unfortunately also saw a plateau in gross revenue. I decided to take a deep dive into our practice management system to find a solution.
I found that one of my main issues was my inability to gather relevant KPIs from my practice management software. Practice management software is designed to intake and account for patients, which it does very well, but it’s not intended to provide a dentist with a holistic view of how their business is doing. My practice was essentially flying blind and I knew there had to be a solution. I was prepared to hire a top consultant with the expertise to build a custom data extraction platform for our company so we could find the source of our issue. This changed when I was introduced to a dental metrics/business intelligence company called Dental Intelligence. Business intelligence is how a growing number of dental practices are using cloud-based software to measure and improve patient care and team performance through metric analysis and actionable insights. What Dental Intelligence did for us at Spodak Dental Group that was so significant was I was able to bring all those key metrics—the actionable data that mattered—into an intuitive, real-time dashboard that allowed me and my team to know exactly which “big rocks” we needed to move, and in what order.
With these powerful new insights, we changed our focus on our KPIs. We determined there was a decrease in average production revenue, and we used these discoveries to explore the reasons. We hadn’t lowered our fee schedule, or had a sudden influx of lower-fee PPO patients. So, we looked at four case-related metrics—diagnostic revenue, patient acceptance percentage, treatment acceptance percentage, and the impact team members were having on treatment acceptance.
As we reviewed these KPIs, one area we saw that was impacting our performance was same-day treatment acceptance. So, we took a deep dive in this area and focused on not only presenting treatment but also on related acceptance statistics. Then something amazing happened. Our case acceptance increased by 10%, but even more exciting, our average dollar amount of treatment presented per patient increased by 50%, leading to an all-time high month for the practiceSpodak Dental Group. Pearson’s Law states, “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.” This is what practice intelligence enabled us to do.
Dental Intelligence offers more than just data, and provides me and my team with insights that enable us to increase revenue by working smarter. Our dashboard provides us with live metrics that we can monitor throughout the day, which is much better than waiting until the end of the week or month to review how we did. This enhanced data provides the practice with an accurate view of our present and future opportunities, instead of just a summary of what’s already happened. We can now match our goals with our actions, and track the progress as often as we’d like.
Our goal with using practice intelligence is to increase revenue without always increasing time or work. It’s a great tool to empower team members to track their work, whether that is reactivating patients, increasing case acceptance, or minimizing cancellations.
All the metrics we track allow us to continue to take the very best care of our patients as well as readily measure our success. Dentistry is an art, and it takes time to diagnose and properly create a treatment plan for each patient. Our patients place their health in our hands, so we have a responsibility to provide them with the best care in a safe environment with undivided attention.
The best approach to having a successful practice is to create deeper relationships with new and existing patients so we can offer each patient personalized care. My team has a clear set of goals and core values, and knowing where we are, where we want to go, and most importantly, how we want to get there has been huge for us. Having 24/7 access to these insights helps us to better care for our patients while also improving our performance and profitability. TheDental Intelligen dashboard allows me to take the pulse of my practice anytime and anywhere, which empowers me and my team to make strategic adjustments and focus on the areas where we want to improve and grow. It’s readable, manageable and actionable, and continues to provide great insight into the future.
For the most current practice management headlines, click here.
For the most current dental headlines, click here.
Craig Spodak, DDS, is a third-generation dentist who joined his father in practice in Delray Beach, Florida, after graduating from Tufts University in 1998. His dream was to change the way patients experience dental care, and he developed a new vision for the modern dental practice with a goal to deliver comprehensive dental care in a singular, all inclusive, 13,000 square foot, internally managed group dental practice. He lectures nationally in an effort to grow and improve the field of dentistry.