Metrics of Success…

Of the five key elements of every successful dental practice – team,
revenue, patients, expenses and capacity — the last one is by far the least
understood.Capacity is all about numbers: what combination of dental providers,patients, operatories and scheduled hours is optimal to generate production, billing . . . and, of course, great dental health for everyone who
walks through your door. Let’s examine them one by one.

PROVIDERS: When does it make sense for solo practitioners to consider bringing in additional help? Is the workload sufficient to justify one, two or more hires? Crucial questions, obviously, whose answers will exert great influence on the financial health of your practice.

So let’s apply some precision. For consistency across each category, we’ll assume a four-day-a-week,
48-workweek year.

PATIENTS: An “active patient” is anyone who has had an appointment with you in the last two years. It’s critical to know this figure, as it drives every other decision you make.

The benchmark to keep in mind: 1,600 to 1,800 active patients per DDS and a minimum of one day a week of hygiene for every 250 patients. How does that affect dollars and cents?

OPERATORIES: Unsurprisingly, the dental operatory offers the largest return on investment of any aspect of your practice — provided, of course, that your patient numbers are hitting their mark. Where else can you spend $50,000 to $60,000 and realize an immediate one-year gross return in the neighborhood of $200,000?

For a restorative operatory, figure two operatories, 32 hours a week (1,536 hours/ year), per DDS. Your minimum hourly revenue goal: $250, which is almost $192,000 per operatory per year.

For hygiene, assuming one operatory per RDH and a revenue goal of $125 an hour, we’re again at roughly
$192,000 per operatory per year. Beginning to add up, isn’t it?

HOURS: This gets a little tricky. Hours offered for hygiene services need to match your active-patient count. Plan conservatively on seeing 80 percent of patients every six months. Your practice should be able to support two full-time hygienists, and while we all know that many patients won’t stick to a semi-annual appointment schedule, such delinquency will typically be offset by perio patients who require more frequent appointments.

Here’s the formula:
(# of active patients x 80 percent) x2 visits per year x length of average appointment
/ # weeks practice is open annually= minimum demand for hygiene hours.

For example: 1,800 active patientsx 80 percent = 1,440 x 2 visits per year= 2,880 x 60 minutes for an average appointment/ 48 weeks = a minimum of 60 hours a week for 48 weeks a year.

Metrics like these don’t alwaysalign precisely with how things work day-to-day in your practice. But using them to establish guideposts can help give you a daily idea of how close your practice is to optimal performance —and which areas are likely to require your attention to improve.

Uncover Potential, Experience Results  ​http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/07e88128#/07e88128/27

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