As we approach the end of 2023, it’s the perfect time to take a step back and reflect on our practice’s financial performance, clinical effectiveness, and operational improvements over the past year. This will allow us to identify areas where we can do more to streamline, optimize, and improve our practice’s performance – and be even more successful in 2024.
Let’s dive right in.
One crucial aspect of reflecting on the past year is evaluating the financial success of our dental practice. We need to analyze our revenue, track our overhead costs, and ensure we’re making a profit. By reviewing our financial statements and our key performance indicators, such as production vs. collection and accounts receivable aging, as practice owners and managers, we can identify areas for improvement. Moreover, advanced dental practice management software can automate our bookkeeping, billing, and collections, enabling us to do a lot more with a lot less effort – and get financial data that are a lot more accurate to boot. If our current practice management software does not have these integrated features, perhaps now is a good time to explore switching to a more modern practice management software with integrated accounting, KPIs, and financial reporting features.
Another crucial aspect of reflection is assessing the clinical effectiveness of our dental practice. After all, happy patients lead to a flourishing practice. So how do we enhance clinical effectiveness? The best way is to conduct patient satisfaction surveys and analyze the feedback to identify operational areas needing improvement and/or opportunities to enhance the overall patient experience. To make things even easier, advanced dental practice management software can include features like automated patient satisfaction surveys triggered from the completion of specific procedures and automatic integration with social media platforms. By leveraging these tools, we can gauge patient happiness, analyze and filter social media reviews, and make adjustments to our practices accordingly.
Social Media Reviews
Social media has become a powerful platform for patients to share their experiences with dental practices such as ours and can carry a lot of weight these days – both positive and negative. This is why it is essential to continuously track our online reputation. Positive reviews are a testament to the success of the practice, while negative reviews provide valuable feedback for improvement. Advanced dental practice management solutions that have integration capabilities with social media help us easily monitor and respond to online reviews, address concerns promptly, and maintain a positive online reputation.
We’ve all had our fair share of operational bottlenecks at some time or another. For example, double data entry of patient demographics in multiple software systems, patients who are hopelessly behind with their payments, denied insurance claims, and many other operational inefficiencies can greatly affect our productivity and our practice’s overall performance. Double data entry can be eliminated or minimized through bridges, adapters, and integrations between the many separate systems – which can add even more complexity when things do not work as expected – or by switching to a fully integrated dental practice management platform with all the features that you need to run your practice. Switching to a more advanced practice management system with automated coding, pre-submission claim validation, and one-step electronic submission of all required attachments with the claim will significantly reduce the likelihood of denied claims. Staying on top of accounts receivable via an automated tool, preferably with drill-in capabilities integrated within the patient’s file which can flag late accounts with the ability to block scheduling, rescheduling, and check-ins until all financial obligations are met, can go a long way towards maximizing our collections and improving our cash flow.
As the year comes to a close, we have a valuable opportunity to reflect on our operations and make improvements for the year ahead. Evaluating financial success, clinical effectiveness, social media reviews, and addressing operational frustrations are key aspects of this reflection. If we have the right dental practice management software to support us, we can further improve our operations and set ourselves up for an even more successful and fulfilling 2024.