Dental metrics, just like key performance indicators (KPIs), help dentists develop actionable plans that accomplish both short and long-term goals. In fact, tracking certain dental metrics can reveal the fundamental health of your business.
Truth is, without the right metrics, you have no real goals to strive for. To add to that, you have no clear strategy to assess performance.
So, to make it easy for you, listed are seven essential metrics every dental practice should record and pay close attention to.
7 dental metrics you should be tracking
1) Preappointment rate
This is an important metric that will tell you how many of your existing patients are scheduled for future appointments. A healthy rate for preappointments is between 30 and 40 percent. If your rate is below 30 percent, then it’s clear your practice isn’t influencing patients to revisit your facility.
Since patient acquisition is costlier than retention, you need to make sure that your front desk staff is focused on scheduling future appointments for existing patients — even if you’re getting a good amount of new patients every month.
2) Annual patient value
Another key dental metric is the annual patient value (APV), it’s the breakdown of yearly revenue per patient. If your APV is growing, then it means that your patients are spending more at your facility. This is an excellent tool to know whether you’re seeing your patients regularly and how accepting they are of your suggested treatment plans.
This metric will be helpful as your practice grows because it provides insight into whether you can bring on more help at a profit. Such as hiring an associate doctor, bringing on another hygienist, or adding another specialist to your front desk staff.
3) Production per visit
While APV combines all the visits a patient would have made to your practice, you also need to know how much you’re earning per visit. That’s where production per visit or PPV comes into play. It shows your revenue per patient per visit. This metric will reveal the acceptance level of your treatment suggestions.
Most practices focus on the annual revenue and forget this crucial metric. If your APV and patient visits are high, then it means you are not earning what you need to be earning per appointment.
4) Hygiene production
A healthy dental practice should generate close to 25 to 35 percent of its total production from hygiene. This metric is vital because it correlates to how your team is diagnosing hygiene patients and treating them.
Hence, ensuring you have a healthy hygiene mix is important since these patients typically make up 75 percent of restorative treatments. That’s why they say that the hygiene department is the backbone of every dental practice.
5) Hygiene reappointment rate
While this metric is one that most dentists are aware of, only some dental practices track it with precision. The hygiene reappointment rate tells you how many reappointments you’re able to make from patients who visit you for dental hygiene treatments.
Hygiene appointments provide a stable revenue stream for dental practices. More importantly, they also give you an opportunity to diagnose any problems and suggest treatments. If the patient’s satisfied with the hygiene procedure and your diagnosis, they’re more likely to commit to another treatment appointment.
6) Percentage of new patients
While patient retention is critical to the success of your business, no dental practice should neglect patient acquisition. Even when providing the best of service, there will still be some patient loss over time. For example, some patients might move away or find another dentist to go to (sorry to say).
Consequently, new patient acquisition is what will tilt the scales in your favor when there’s attrition. So, if you want your practice to grow and be successful, then it must have a steady amount of new patients bringing in sufficient cash flow to support the business.
7) Outstanding accounts receivable
It’s important you ensure that 80 percent of receivables fall within the 0 to 30 days range. Every time a patient account ages over 30 days, your practice loses money. Realistically, patients have the best intention of paying the dentist when they are in pain or want a beautiful smile.
However, once the patient leaves your practice and you have not secured payment, their level of priority to pay for services rendered takes a backseat to other issues.
Therefore, it’s extremely important to make payment arrangements at the time of visit, and with electronic claims, there really isn’t a reason for claims to age over 30 days (allowing for a few outlier claims that require resubmission).
Innovative solutions to help you track vital KPIs
A dental practice, like any other business, needs to regularly measure its performance, in real numbers, against predetermined goals. So, if you haven’t been tracking your practice’s KPIs, then it’s definitely time to start.
Remember, you can only manage what you repeatedly measure. Therefore, if you want your practice to get ahead and bring in more profits, then you need to implement a system to help you track vital metrics and KPIs.
The seven dental metrics listed above, which are key to understanding where you currently stand and what needs to be done to produce better numbers in the future, will reveal patient loyalty, operational efficiency, and conversion rates.
If you don’t have the time to set up a system or process to track your dental metrics or think it might be too difficult to do it yourself, then reach out to the experts at Dental Whale. They have been helping dental practices across the nation get more patients and increase production for several years now.
In fact, their use of innovative technology has helped dentists gauge the very metrics that contribute to month-over-month growth.
More importantly, begin by taking a free Practice Health Assessment offered by Breakaway Consulting to find out key insights about your practice’s dental metrics. Their team works with dentists one on one to grow practices based on verified data points and an impeccable business model!