Thorough reports help dental practices thrive. However, they are just one step in maintaining a successful practice. For instance, you must know what types of data you’re collecting and why and how everyone, including you, can keep track of what’s important to them without becoming overwhelmed or mired in meetings.
What Things Should Your Practice Keep Track Of?
Daily reports from your dental office should consist of essentials such as deposit slips, procedures not on a claim and day sheets. Most software programs include these reports. Other good reports to include are needed patient contact (for patients who should be followed up with for a variety of reasons), procedure reports and adjustments reports.
On a weekly basis, things to be reported include patient aging and primary insurance aging. In case you’re new to the dental world of reporting, “aging” doesn’t have to do with going from 33 years old to 34 years old. Rather, aging metrics help with money collection.
Monthly reports should include net new patients, unscheduled time units, accounts receivable and accumulative totals. Yearly, you could look at reports such as production totals per dentist and insurance utilization, which helps as you renegotiate contracts with insurance providers.
How to Keep Up With Reports
Whew! That seems like a lot of reports to keep up with, especially if you’re a dentist and not an accounting or software whiz. A common solution is to have an office manager who is capable of producing the reports and summarizing the highlights for you.
Of course, many small practices do not have this luxury. You can still keep on top of things. Have your receptionist generate and print the reports at the end of the day or at the end of the specified time period. Set aside at least a few minutes each day to go over the reports. Look for larger trends at time intervals as well.
How Important Is It to Go Over Daily and Monthly Reports With Your Staff?
Let’s face it — unnecessary meetings and emails can be a drain on time and efficiency. Not everyone in your office needs to know every single thing about the reports that are generated.
That said, it can be important for everyone to know if there are issues with collecting co-payments or with getting new patients in the door. You want all of your staff to be on the same page as far as office policies and goals go.
Otherwise, it’s usually sufficient for staffers who work in a certain area to meet with you every two weeks or once a month. For instance, your insurance coordinator but not your receptionist would need to meet with you to discusses any issues with primary insurance aging.