We have re-imagined business over the past two decades. What used to be human-centric has now become data driven. You will notice this difference when you walk into any bank.
But, why has this change happened in every industry across the world? Data driven decisions and analytics have produced results in increasing the efficiency of almost every industry it touched.
Are Dental Practices an exception?
Dental practices are no exception, but the industry has been facing problems so far due to lack of standardized systems and technology that are integrated enough to capture data from every point in the operating cycle. Most legacy systems are software installations at each workstation, that work independent of each other.
Parameters like check-in to check-out times, claims-to-payment time, collection efficiency and revenue from marketing campaigns help you improve gaps in practice efficiency, but analyzing this data becomes difficult with independent systems at each department. This is why practices who want these details need to make use of 3rd party analytics and data consolidation platforms.
There is vast room for improvement in the way data is handled in dental practices.
How can new generation practice management systems help?
New practice management systems are cloud based and work with every device, whether it is a pc, tablet or mobile device with the same functionality and convenience. This increases the number of points in your practice where the practice management system is implemented, exponentially increasing the amount of data collected and the inferences that can be drawn from them.
Always choose a cloud based practice management system that caters to all functions of your practice and has integrated customizable analytics, with features such as:
Data mining and extraction
Data is available at every point of your practice. It has always been there. However, it has never been utilized because of a lack of a system to collect, organize and report this information. Newer cloud based practice management systems running at every terminal in your office make this process simple. A regular tracking of data points and necessary feedback naturally brings efficiency.
Not all information is relevant to everyone. Displaying the right information to the right person at the right time goes a long way in achieving meaningful results. Custom reporting allows users to decide the parameters for generating custom reports that cover all the different and complex aspects of the practice. Such reports can also be automatically generated on a weekly or daily basis.
It is not only important that the right information is available to you and your team, but also equally important to ensure the information is presented in a simple manner that every member of your team can understand and track. With modern practice management systems, you can create personalized data-rich visual dashboards to keep users focused on their goals and metrics.
KPIs and drill downs
So, what do you do when some metric you are following is not performing as expected? The first step, just like with a dental patient is to understand the problem and its etiology. Drilling down into the components of these metrics allow you to understand the root cause of the problem and know where to look to find a solution. Practice management systems with advanced analytics capabilities allow users to drill down to multiple levels of granularity to enable them to better understand their KPIs.
If you follow the number of patients visiting your practice daily, it shows you how you are performing now. But, how will you know what to expect going ahead? To predict the potential gains and losses in the future, it is necessary to track how these metrics are changing over time. You should identify trends and patterns influencing patient behavior at multiple locations over a period, and fine-tune practice workflows accordingly.
Goal setting and tracking
Finally, every operation in your practice is run by people and not numbers. Human beings need motivation and aim to work tirelessly. Create goals and accurately measure employee and provider performance against the set goals to improve actual performance and convert your number based predictions into real results.
For strategic decisions on where to invest extra cash you have in hand, you may want to look at how improving one function will affect bottom line or patient satisfaction. These high level decisions require insight into how each metric is co-related and how they work together. Use advanced analytics integrated practice management systems to gain insight by understanding the correlation between the data related to financials, patient demographics, scheduling and treatments.
Business Intelligence and data analytics are known to provide a boost to any business. The dental industry is no different. In fact, research has indicated that these adopted measures can increase revenue significantly.