In today’s world, all businesses need to evaluate how they can run more efficiently and effectively. One way to do this is by exploring your practice’s data. Through this analysis, you can look for deficiencies in the practice as well as look for areas that you are doing well. While its importance might not be lost on you, the priority of it is often pushed to the back as practices concentrate on the everyday items of keeping up and running.
Elm Hill Dentistry in Oakville has been taking a data-driven approach in running its practice, so we consulted with them to find out what the specific advantages are and how to achieve them.
Don’t Rely on Intuition
Intuition is often what makes a business a success. Yet, while when it works it can be amazing, running your practice off intuition alone will leave you with some natural blind spots, making it hard to see any shortages. When you analyze your practice’s data on a regular basis, you will be able to stay in touch with exactly how the practice is performing daily, instead of finding out how poorly it is doing much later. It is better to not assume that your practice is performing well without reviewing the evidence to back it up.
Trial and Error
When you review your analytics, you might feel discouraged to discover that something that you might have thought was working, actually wasn’t working at all. Instead of thinking of it as all of the things that might be wrong, you should see it as an opportunity. Now that you know that something isn’t working, you can stop doing it and put your time and money into something that will actually work for you. In some cases, this means that you have the opportunity to experiment with new ideas. If you are checking your analytics regularly, you should be able to identify what is or isn’t working in real-time. Be careful, however, because some new attempts at ideas might not come into fruition immediately and will need some time to grow before you will be able to determine whether it was a success or not.
Regardless, when you use your analytics routinely, it is easier to know how things are going. One example would be if you find that a lot of your hygiene patients are a no show or cancelling last minute, you could make sure that patients are receiving reminders plenty of time in advance. Since most hygiene appointments are scheduled six months ahead of time, giving patients a heads-up earlier than the day before might give you a higher appointment retention rate. To know that this is working, you will have to analyze whether more appointments were kept when patients were reminded earlier.
Setting Goals Yields Results
Another effective way to use analytics is to help boost your staff’s morale. If you give your staff an attainable goal and are able to record progress toward it, you might be able to reach your own goal. Giving the staff a reward once the goal has been obtained will help boost their morale and encourage them to continue to do well. Not every team member has the same position, naturally, so you might have more than one goal in place. For hygienists, it could be scheduling patients for their next appointments while the front office might be more focused on successfully scheduling treatment plans.
Once the team gets the hang of the goals and rewards system, they will be more invested in its success. You will be able to track the progress of these goals through your practice analytics.
Think about the Patients
Your patients are your number one concern. In some cases, looking at your analytics might reveal areas that you should adjust in order to supply your patients with the best care possible. You can do this by comparing your office statistics to local or national numbers. For example, if 34% of people need some kind of dental treatment, you should see if your diagnosis rates are in-line with that number. You might need to review your x-ray and diagnosis methods or confirm whether the area that you live in has access to fluoridated water to see why your rates might be lower. Either way, it is analytics that will be able to help you with that.
How to get started
You should be able to do your dental analytics through the dental software that you use in your practice. Most offices are on modern software that will calculate the amount of no-shows, missed appointments, incomplete treatment plans, and even outstanding balances. Consult with an IT consultant that works with your software to find out how to locate and uses these analytics. You will not be disappointed.