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3 Stats That Indicate a High Performing Dental Practice

Like any business, running a successful dental practice is a numbers game. And it’s not just dollars and cents, but, more importantly, statistical trends that bring to light why your bottom line moves one way or another every year.

Being aware of these important numbers will help everyone at your dental business understand the advantages of your practice, the effectiveness of programs you have implemented, as well as your general ability to execute on these practices on a daily basis. Your business will stay more successful if you are able to surpass these key number indicators.

Here are three stats that indicate whether your dental practice is getting ahead or treading water.

1. Average Recall Frequency:

The ideal patient at your dental practice would visit regularly twice a year. However, the average patient visits every 11 months. This means your practice might only be securing about half the appointments it could. If you could beat that statistic by just 30 days – keeping those patients coming in every 10 months or so – could result in significant revenue gains. . Doing your best to keep your patients coming in every 6 months could be the largest growth opportunity you experience this year.

Ways to Improve Patient Recall Rate

Look for trends in recall rate: Examine your records and determine your recall rate. Review the patients that have visited your office more recently and contact them to get them on the schedule. Organize it by patient demographics. For example, maybe older patients come more often than younger patients do. The more information you can access, the more targeted your approach and the better chance you have of increasing your recall rate.

Tools and tips: Make sure you have at least one or two office employees dedicated to confirming upcoming appointments by phone. Are you using an automated recall system? Many patients expect a reminder call from your dental office. You could also schedule next appointments at the end of current appointments.
Work as a team: Schedule your patient while they are in the chair waiting for their exam. Have the receptionist review the patient chart to make sure an appointment was made. if not, schedule the patient before they leave. The receptionist could thank a patient as they leave and ask about setting up their next appointment.
Remember to include marketing: Send to patients and residents of your community mass mailings outlining your dental services, special offers, and incentives. This may prompt people to pick up the phone and call your dentist office. You can also try emailing reminders as another effective method to remind patients and information about your practice.

Work as a team: Schedule your patient while they are in the chair waiting for their exam. Have the receptionist review the patient chart to make sure an appointment was made. if not, schedule the patient before they leave. The receptionist could thank a patient as they leave and ask about setting up their next appointment.

Remember to include marketing: Send to patients and residents of your community mass mailings outlining your dental services, special offers, and incentives. This may prompt people to pick up the phone and call your dentist office. You can also try emailing reminders as another effective method to remind patients and information about your practice.

2. Average New Patient Retention: 41 percent

The average general dentist retains just four out of 10 new patients beyond their first appointment, according to the Journal of the American Dental Association (ADA). So it requires your whole team working together and utilizing the best tools available to work against this trend. Consider what your dentist office does to deliver a superior patient experience. How do you generate ongoing engagement with every new patient? A 10-percent improvement in this key statistic could add thousands of dollars to your bottom line every year.

Strategies for Increasing Dental Patient Retention

Even if you are regularly filling your operatories with new patients, you need to also focus on retaining those patients. If retention is a challenge for your dental practice, then here are some practical ways to deal with that.

Make Your Dental Practice More Convenient

At least seven in 10 Americans believe they do not have adequate time for everything they need to do. This translates into many of your patients procrastinating to schedule their dentist appointments. Your best bet is to schedule your patient while they are still in the chair and begin by discussing a treatment plan. It’s also as simple as reminding your patient before they leave to schedule their next cleaning/procedure.

Show Patients You Care

Patients will form opinions of your dentist office in seconds, even before they reach the dental chair. Above all, you want to treat patients like they matter as individuals and aren’t considered numbers. So listen carefully to your patients as you prepare treatment plans. Let patients have some control over their oral health situations.

Stay in Touch with Your Patients

As we already know, communication is the foundation for a healthy, beneficial relationship. So as you attempt to build loyal friendships or business relationships, take steps to outreach to your patients.

Examples of patient outreach include making your website useful and intuitive to use. Provide educational articles, videos, and images so patients consider your website a trusted source.

Get active on social networks and encourage patients to follow your dental office Pages.
Create a newsletter that contains promotional materials, office updates, and educational information. And, finally, provide follow-up after treatment, such as a phone call to check in with a patient after a major procedure. That can go a long way toward creating loyalty with patients.

3. Average Pending Treatment Plans: $500,000

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the average dental practice sustains $500,000 to $1 million in unscheduled treatment plans. Why is that?

There are many factors working against you when it comes to this key statistic indicator. They include the economy, the scheduling, patients’ fears and reservations. It can also be challenging to create a meaningful follow-up process for patients who do not schedule at their current appointments, or delay scheduling.

This leaves the dilemma of how do you follow up on unscheduled treatment plans? How much dentistry goes uncompleted in your office? Having even a few more treatment plans scheduled every month can make a sizable positive impact on your bottom line.Providing effective payment/financial arrangements to your patients will allow them more opportunities to accept treatment.

How to Handle Patients with Unscheduled Treatment

As with all types of relationships, trust is the cornerstone that helps to engender loyalty and engagement. Every point of contact you have with patients is an opportunity to build trust. This will help make it possible for patients to be more proactive in scheduling appointments.

What’s more, dentists should emphasize the importance of what needs to be done with patients, why it needs to be done, and the importance of getting dental treatment completed in a timely fashion. Other dental practice employees should follow up with patients regarding these treatment plans from the dentist and reinforce the message.

It is best to approach patients with general information outlining their treatment plans and let them know that the doctor is concerned about them.

We also suggest you consider utilizing features such as the Treatment Manager or Unscheduled Treatment Plan Report within your software to help you identify unscheduled treatment.

Choose Drilldown Solution for Your Dental Practice Financial Management Needs!

At Drilldown Solution, we are your one-stop-shop for all financial management and business consulting for your dental practice. When you partner with Drilldown Solution, you gain access to the exceptional accountants and CPAs who can give you expert guidance and advice on all dental business consulting matters.

Drilldown Solution offers a full suite of financial services that include bookkeeping, accounting, tax preparation, and dental consulting. We have the expert team to help any dental practice thrive, even under the current COVID-19 pandemic circumstances. We accomplish this with a three-part system comprised of patient-experience excellence, financial focused operations, and accountability.

Our goal at Drilldown Solution is to put your dental practice in the best financial position possible, utilizing proactive processes and personal care!

Heather Porter

DrillDown Solution was founded in 2004 and has helped thousands of people save on taxes and achieve their best financial position possible.

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