Welcome back to the Sikka Podcast! Here at Sikka we are passionate about bringing you tools and solutions that benefit your patients AND your practice. We have talked about some key metrics and features that you should pay extra attention to as a retail healthcare owner in the past few episodes. Today, we would like to focus on veterinary practices management specifically. We will walk you through 3 critical metrics or benchmarks for veterinarians, in order to help veterinary teams better monitor their practices and identify areas of strength and opportunities to grow.
Welcome back to the Sikka Podcast! Here at Sikka we are passionate about bringing you tools and solutions that benefit your patients AND your practice.
For a small healthcare business, a doctor may also be the business owner, which makes doctors’ daily work quite challenging. Recent surveys show that many doctors are complaining about the limited time spent with patients and the growing burden of busywork generated by their electronic medical record system or EMR. According to a survey of 142 family doctors, conducted by Annals of Family Medicine, doctors spent more than half of their work time on average dealing with administrative work. As the procedures costs and the amount of patient data constantly grow, many doctors find it really hard to properly manage their practices, which can be directly reflected in the rising dissatisfaction and complaints from patients.
In this webinar, Kevin Henry and Bryce Ebeling, CEO of Maestro, Inc, discuss an easy 5-step process to reduce your no show rate by 15% or more. They also discuss simple steps you and your team can take to significantly reduce no shows, helping to keep your dental practice healthy and busy. These small changes will help you build a successful process that you can easily follow.
Watch the webinar recording here.
You can read the full article here.
Sikka Software has just compiled data from more than 13,000 dental practices throughout the U.S. in more than 70 different categories within the practice. In this two-part series, I’ve looked at 10 key metrics and boiled down the nationwide averages for the last seven years. Part 1 examined aspects of hygiene, preventive, and doctor production along with the number of active patients.
Part 2 looks at the seven-year trends in assistant production, patient referrals, diagnostic services, and more. These numbers are for comparison only and are not meant to convey a recommendation of any particular procedure.
Production by your assistant
So often, we think of production in terms of the dentist and the hygienist, but assistants make a huge impact on the bottom line as well. Check with your state’s laws to see what assistants can legally do, then make sure you are equipping your assistants to do everything within their scope of practice. Depending on the state, this might include fabricating night guards and bite guards, CAD/CAM dentistry, and more.
|Gross production per assistant per hour|
It’s important to know where patients are finding you or which members of your referral network are sending patients to your practice. This also leads to an examination of how your marketing dollars are working.
Use your practice management software to track this, and make sure you’re sending appreciation gifts to those businesses who are sending customers to your business.
|Referral patients per practice per month|
Periodic exams and diagnostic services
How many checkups does your practice schedule and complete each month? If you’re like the U.S. average, you’re seeing more than ever, which is a good thing, as the hygiene department is often the lifeblood of a practice. If you’re not seeing an influx of six-month recall appointments right now, it’s a good time to figure out why not.
|No. of periodic exams per month|
We looked a comprehensive list of diagnostic codes ranging from bitewings to 3D cone-beam CT scans to determine diagnostic services performed per month. We saw a bit of a dip in 2017.
This was a bit of a surprise to see with all of the technology available to dental practices today. Some patients are still resistant to any kind of radiology, so how do you explain the benefits of imaging to them? Do you have a script ready when any resistance is thrown your way?
|Diagnostic services per month|
Thankfully, the numbers in this category went down last year. In fact, they’re at their lowest mark since 2011, which is excellent news.
Your practice was not created to be a business where patients owe you money for extended periods of time. If you’re finding yourself drowning in accounts receivable, make a change. That might include billing more frequently, offering different forms of financing, or asking for full payment when your patients checks out. (Note: The following table covers 2011 through 2017, while the rest of the tables cover 2010 through 2017.)
|Accounts receivable longer than 90 days|
Alitta Boechler is the director of digital marketing at Sikka Software. You can email her firstname.lastname@example.org. Get a head start on 2018 with a free 10-procedure fee survey for your ZIP code from the app Practice Mobilizer at www.practicemobilizer.com. The full fee survey with more than 600 procedures for three ZIP codes can be purchased at sikkasoft.com.
This article was originally published July 25, 2018, on DrBicuspid. You can view the original article here.
What was the average gross production for the dentist and hygienist? What were the average number of new patients per practice? How about the average AR carried before and after 90 days? These questions and more will be answered and dissected.
Join Kevin Henry and Dayna Johnson on July 17 as we unveil this critical information!
Watch the webinar here.
I visited a practice in Washington state recently, and it had been several years since I’d worked with them. The doctor had hired a couple of new team members and he thought it was a good time for me to do some team training. I started with the Practice Advisor Report in his Dentrix software to see where the training should take us. He had never looked at this report, so I gave him a rundown on what it would reveal. One of the numbers was his office’s patient retention.
“Do you know how wide open your back door is?” I asked him. He said, “No one leaves our office without scheduling their next recare visit. I can guarantee you that.” These were his exact words, so I was excited to see what the numbers would tell us. The mood went from excitement to horror in a matter of minutes when he realized the patient retention number was only 76%. Not only that, I had to break the news that only 66% of his hygiene patients were pre-scheduling their next visits.
This was a big eye-opener for him, and he knew we had a lot of work to do. Now you might be asking, “How does she know the numbers were right?” or “What is she using for measurement?” I define patient retention as what percentage of the active patient base is returning for their recare visits within a certain period of time (12 months, 18 months, etc.).
How do your numbers compare?
Do you know how your numbers stack up? Here are the average numbers for patient recall according to Sikka Software’s data collection from more than 13,000 dental practices across the US during a recent seven-year stretch.
2010 – 89.59%
2011 – 89.98%
2012 – 90%
2013 – 89.88%
2014 – 89.77%
2015 – 90.57%
2016 – 91.28%
In a perfect world we want to see patient retention at 100%, right? In reality, we have to account for patients moving out of state, patients dying, and patients who leave for other reasons. It is the “other reasons” that we want to reduce to a minimum. In a general practice, we want to see this percentage number in the high 80s. The highest I’ve seen patient retention is 96% and the lowest is 66%.
If your practice has a patient retention below 85%, I suggest you look at the systems regarding how your team follows up with patients who are not scheduled for their hygiene visits. What reports are you using to find patients who are not scheduled, and what is your protocol for checking in with them? Are you using software to reach out to patients via text message and email? It’s important to have a systematic approach to following up with unscheduled patients and to create a system that integrates both automated and manual reminders. The automated system will reach about 40%-60% of your patients, and many of those will delete the message. You’ll need to pick up the phone and make some calls if you want to see your patient retention percentage in the high 80s or low 90s.
It’s up to you if you want to run your business based on a gut feeling, or run it based on black and white numbers. The practice discussed in this article will never make assumptions about the health of the practice again. The doctor learned his lesson and is now including the entire team in monitoring the practice numbers.
Note: Now is a great time to connect with your patients and ask for referrals. Use the secure video communication and messaging capability of the app Practice Mobilizer at practicemobilizer.com. If you want a full-scale retention analysis and ROI calculation, visit Practice Optimizer, which works with more than 96% of practice management software, at sikkasoft.com/DentalPOPremium.
During her career managing a practice on Whidbey Island in Washington state, Dayna Johnson started training and consulting with other dental practices around the region and found it to be her life’s work. Now with more than 25 years of experience in the dental industry, Dayna helps clients develop standardized protocols for all practice management systems. She’s the founder of Novonee–the premier Dentrix online community, and she helps cultivate Dentrix superusers all over the country. Reach her at email@example.com.
This article was originally posted June 27, 2018, on DentistryIQ. You can view the original article here.
About an hour later, another call came in with the same answer. “I met your doctor at his ice cream social.” I asked the doctor again and he still didn’t have any idea what the patients were talking about. There was even a third person that called.
When the patients came in, I wanted to get to the bottom of this ice cream social. As it turns out, the doctor had taken his family out for frozen yogurt. He was feeling extra charitable that day, so while he was there, he told the lady at the counter, “Please allow me to pay for the families who are in the store right now. Here is my business card, and please call me with the total.”
The ice cream store told each family who treated them to ice cream and they all called and scheduled appointments. Of course, our next step was to plan a real ice cream social because the return on investment far exceeded the initial expense.
According to Sikka Software, patient referral numbers across the United States are going up. Take a look at the average number of patients in a practice each month who have been referred to that practice by someone else from more than 13,000 dental practices over a seven-year span.
Patient referrals sources on the rise
2010 – 40.75
2011 – 44.33
2012 – 46.58
2013 – 49.5
2014 – 50.92
2015 – 53.5
2016 – 54.17
Each dental software program has the capability to track your referral sources. If you run a new-patient report and it doesn’t include the referral source, you’ll need to run a couple of reports and compare them to determine if everyone has a referral source. When I say everyone, I mean everyone needs a referral source for your practice to move in a positive direction with its marketing.
There are 10 important steps to using your referral systems with your software that you need to understand.
=&2=& Your team needs to ask them! It may be another dental office, another patient, a marketing campaign, an event, or a family member.
=&3=& The internet is not a workable source. Ask again to determine the actual source. This may mean Google, your Facebook page, your website, or even the person’s insurance company’s website.
=&4=& your referral marketing out as well. You can enter into the software the amount spent on a practice and what it was. This is a valuable tool that is often underutilized.
=&5=&Make sure that if you had 11 new patients in a week that all 11 have a referral source.
=&6=& and be HIPAA-compliant with your patient thank you notes. Make sure to follow state laws for rewards for referring to your office.
=&7=& to thank those patients when they come in next for the referral. People who refer other patients want to know many times that you appreciate their referrals. The actions that get praised and rewarded get repeated.
=&8=& to make educated decisions with your marketing. It’s easy to determine your ROI if you can pinpoint where your patients are coming from.
=&9=& Most people must hear about your office, read about your office, or see your information many times before they decide to call your office. Set up a system for patients to mention multiple referral sources. If your software allows only one referral source, then decide which referrals take precedence over others. For instance, if a patient says he or she heard about your office from a children’s school presentation and his or her friend Jane Doe also said to come to your office, which one should the person mark down?
=&10=&You will want to list each specific school presentation by name. Don’t lump them all together. It would be beneficial to even have the year or month listed.