Data collection and analysis is becoming the new gold rush. The more data an organization can mine, the better it can understand its customers, thereby gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
As the dental industry dives headlong into this data rush, practitioners are uncovering vital insights into patients and practice operations alike. But why is this information important, and how can you harness it to boost the patient experience and optimize your business?
Why is it Important to Monitor Dental Practice Data?
Without visibility into metrics like patient flow or the percentage of late and missed appointments, practice owners are often left in the dark when it comes to making business decisions. By tracking your data and analytics, you can discover actionable insights that can help you improve both revenue and patient care.
Many dental offices already gather data, but it’s often stored in disparate systems that are difficult to access. Data-driven dentistry uses digital solutions like Software-as-a-Service solutions to consolidate all this information on a single platform, enabling seamless transfers and access. Plus, analysis and reporting tools provide automated reports with easy-to-understand charts and graphs.
The Benefits of Data-Driven Dentistry
When your practice leverages data-driven solutions to monitor practice operations, you can quickly uncover revenue gaps, streamline workflows and enhance patient interactions—all using just a single software that connects your other systems. That’s the power of a connected practice.
You get a centralized platform with comprehensive management capabilities, allowing you to:
Gain comprehensive visibility: With a digital practice management tool, you can consolidate and monitor data streams from all sources, including:
- Patient health records
- Appointment schedules
- Late or canceled appointments
- New patients per month
- Net production
- Sales and marketing data
- Net collections
- Financial information
- Insurance claims
- Streamline administrative workflows: You can also unify your data on a single platform, with multitasking and automation tools to boost practice efficiency and productivity.
- Improve the patient experience: Faster service combined with convenient tools like online booking and appointment reminders enhance the overall patient experience.
- Make informed business decisions: With all this information in one place, dashboards provide direct access to automated reports, enabling your practice to act or pivot as needed.
What Data Should You Monitor?
While you can mine data all day, it won’t necessarily be useful to your organization. Just like a prospector, you need to be strategic in the information you gather. In data terms, this means tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), or “the critical (key) quantifiable indicators of progress toward an intended result.”
For the dental industry, these KPIs can include metrics such as:
Practice and Patient Information
In addition to keeping track of electronic health records (EHRs) and personally identifiable information (PII), dental practices can also gather demographic data on patients. For instance, performing an age analysis can provide valuable information that helps you better target your marketing, communication and outreach efforts. This data might also include practice production metrics, such as total patients seen per month, number of new patients and active patient count.
By analyzing these datasets and comparing them against profitability drivers, you can identify ways to boost your marketing efforts to generate more leads in specific demographics. This, in turn, drives greater revenue, enabling you to grow your practice and patient base.
Late arrivals, reschedules, cancellations and no-shows are, unfortunately, a common reality in the dental industry. They’re unavoidable, and they cost your practice time and money, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. Rather than being reactive to these disruptions, analyzing data on the who, when and why behind appointment mishaps can help you discover proactive steps toward minimizing them in the future.
Documenting and reporting relevant patient communications can allow you to track trends that appear and keep them in the patient file. Plus, some digital solutions offer automated alerts and reminders to help your patients arrive on time.
Insurance and Collections
Monitoring the financial health of your dental practice is essential as any delays could create gaps in your revenue stream. From the first exam to the final payment, you need a system that can track the revenue from your patients, expedite the billing process and incorporate insurance claims.
By connecting your system to your patient and financial systems, you get seamless electronic collections and claims processes to streamline traditionally complicated and time-consuming dental billing. With integrated revenue cycle management capabilities, your practice can speed up back-office billing and insurance reimbursement operations—all while staying up to date on the latest codes.
Referral and Marketing Data
Referrals are a crucial aspect of any healthcare organization. You need to know who is referring patients to your dental practice, how new patients are finding you and which areas are your strongest market. This information will allow you to uncover potential gaps and prioritize specific methods for generating new leads.
Additionally, you’ll want to monitor your practice’s performance when it comes to reaching referral and patient retention goals. Track your marketing campaigns and analyze the specific strategies that achieved the best returns. You can also monitor your follow-up methods to ensure you’re maintaining a high level of patient retention and loyalty.
Harness Your Data to Optimize Practice Operations
Sensei Cloud is a platform like no other. Designed by and for dental professionals, this all-in-one platform allows practices of all sizes and specialties to streamline complicated administrative workflows, boosting productivity and efficiency across the board with features, including:
- Workflow tools that help you optimize everything from appointment scheduling to billing.
- Built-in dashboards that provide detailed reports on critical KPIs.
- Analysis tools to break down your data into easy-to-understand charts and graphs.
- Revenue cycle management that makes it easy to balance your books.
Ready to start mining for hidden gold in your dental practice? Request a demo today.