Using report data to improve the dental practice

Reports are only as useful as the data contained in them. The data should, first and foremost, be accurate. This is true for reports used in any small business, including the dental office. Still, even a flawless, data-rich report will fall short of its potential when placed in the hands of someone who does not understand (1) what the report is communicating and (2) how to use the information in the report to serve a purpose or accomplish a goal.

Dental practice owners and office managers can feel overwhelmed by the number, purpose and complexity of reports that their practice management software generates or is capable of generating. CDA Practice Support has heard the calls from members and is responding by offering a free one-hour lecture at CDA Presents The Art of Science and Dentistry in Anaheim to help practice owners and office managers review reports to evaluate successes and identify inefficiencies within the practice.

In “Understanding Your Practice Data,” CDA Practice Advisor Lee Bentz will discuss eight key reports to review on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Highlighted here are three top reports, including one daily report (the day sheet) and two weekly or as-needed reports (the accounts receivable and patient retention reports).

“The day sheet is a catchall of sorts,” Bentz says. “It tells you what went on in your practice any given day or for a range of days.” Bentz will explain how to interpret and use the large amount of data — on financial transactions, completed procedures and more — contained in this report.

In the simplest terms, practice owners look to the accounts receivable report to communicate the money owed to the practice. However, Bentz will go into greater detail about how this report can more broadly diagnose the financial health of the practice. Bentz asks, “How many practice owners know where their A/R stands compared to where it should be?”

Finally, Bentz will explain how to use the patient retention, or recall, report to pinpoint missed opportunities to retain patients and meet their expectations. The recall report even produces a list of patients requiring follow-up, which the practice can use to fill open appointment slots. Relatedly, Bentz will discuss best practices for office staff when scheduling patient appointments.

“Consistent review of these reports, whether daily or once weekly, is key,” Bentz says. “You are looking at these reports to identify opportunities to improve the practice and make it a more profitable one. Spotting the trends revealed in these regular reports is the first step toward making sound business decisions.”

Catch “Understanding Your Practice Data” at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, at The Spot Educational Theater in Exhibit Hall D at CDA Presents Anaheim.

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Addressing patients’ clinical needs is what every dentist is taught in dental school. What a dentist is not taught is how to run a small business with employees and how to navigate patients’ benefit plans. CDA Practice Support experts will be on-site at CDA Presents Anaheim, at the Member Benefits Center, to answer members’ questions about dental benefits, employment and regulatory issues. Additionally, each expert will present a free one-hour lecture at The Spot Educational Theater. Topics include the dental benefits grievance process, HIPAA compliance essentials and lesser known employment laws.

At CDA Presents Anaheim, attendees will have an opportunity to take advantage of several offerings from The Dentists Insurance Company, including a TDIC Risk Management seminar on reducing employment liability. California dentists who attend the seminar will earn 3.0 Category II C.E. units and TDIC policyholders will receive a 5 percent discount* on their TDIC Professional Liability premium for two years.

A strong relationship between the front and back office is a great value to every practice, yet it is often difficult to cultivate. How staff interacts with the patients is just as important as how staff interacts with each other. Learn how to bridge the gap between the front and back office at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim. “The Winning Team — Front and Back Office” takes place Saturday, May 6, at The Spot on the exhibit hall floor.