Jaycee Brown

Jaycee Brown

Director of Communications

Why You Need to Know Your KPIs to Manage a Dental Practice

KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators are basically numbers and statistics that provide information about the profitability, and operational success of a dental practice.  KPI’s provide data about how well your practice is doing on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. One of the most common reasons for the failure of most dental practices is ignoring what your practice’s KPI’s are telling you.

Sophisticated software systems today such as Dentrix and Eaglesoft can provide you with the data to understand how your practice measures up.

  • Production – Know how much your practice is producing on an hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis. This KPI provides a larger picture about how your dental practice is or was performing at a chosen time during the year…compare with the previous year or years.  Managing the amount adjusted and written off is extremely important.
  • Collections – If your practice is not collecting more than 98% of the charged fees, then you need to analyze the current system of patient collections and insurance billing.
  • Profits – The profit of a dental practice refers to the total revenue earned by a practice, after the operating costs or overhead has been subtracted.  For growth make sure that your practice’s profits in the current year are greater than the previous year.
  • Overhead – In a thriving dental business, the overhead costs should be less than 55% of the total earnings. If that is not the case, you need to reduce your expenditure so that you can improve your profits.
  • Treatment Plan Acceptance – This KPI measures the percentage of patients who accept the treatment recommendations offered by the dentist. A practice where at least 85% of the patients accept dentist recommendations for treatment and is monitored by a person who is accountable for this goal.
  • New Patients – This is one of the most important KPI’s. If you receive 10-15% more new patients each year.  Measure referral sources such as social media to determine where referrals are generated.
  • Hygienist Production – If your practice also has a dental hygiene department, then you should also consider the productivity of both the dentist as well as the hygienist.  The hygienist produces about 30% of the total business earnings.
  • Retaining recall or recare patients – An essential performance indicator for a dental practice is the number of patients who have been scheduled for regular checkups and hygiene treatment. Even more important is the percentage of patients who show up for their appointment. Your practice manager should ensure that at least 98% of the scheduled patients turn up for their appointment, however, the national average is 74%.
  • Broken and cancelled appointments – Cancellations are never good for any type of business, especially dental practices. If the more than 1% of your patients are canceling or not coming for appointments each month, you need to seriously review your practice standards as well as the level of comfort provided to the patients.
  • Non insured Vs Insurance Production – There should be a carefully maintained balance between the ratio of production made through insurance covered patients, and the patients who do not have insurance. Don’t limit access to cash patients because the insured patients phone more often for appointments.


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