Tracking and Measuring for a Successful Dental Practice

If It Isn’t Measured…It Doesn’t Exist

The world is full of information.  Any given day, one can simply type a question into Google and get the answer.  Questions like: “What is the highest dollar-yielding crop per acre in California” or “How many pulses will this diode laser provide before it needs to be refurbished”.  This information is imperative to the important decisions which stem from these measurements.  Without consistent measurement and tracking of information, hit-and-miss decisions can cause dire results.

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”

— H. James Harrington

As dental consultants, when meeting with clients and evaluating practice needs, most of us have a series of questions we pose to help develop a plan of action.  It brings such satisfaction to watch a business discover the layers of information available to them that begins the path to success.  And it is also quite enlightening to those who have no measuring metrics in place to discover that “What they don’t know can hurt them”.

For example, we may ask a client how many new patients they see per month.  This information is readily available on most practice management software platforms and we can quickly derive the number.  But are the referral sources being tracked?  How many calls are making it onto the schedule?  And once they’ve made it to the schedule is treatment being accepted, and if not, why?  Once we know that it wasn’t accepted, is there a protocol in place for follow-up?  Who is responsible for the follow up?  Is the follow-up being tracked and measured, and is the individual responsible receiving the acknowledgement?

You see, we have just dissected only one small segment of the dental business that requires diligent measurement and tracking to define success.  The opportunities to glean important statistical information which will have a profound effect on the success of your business are at our fingertips all day every day, yet we often miss them by focusing exclusively on the big picture.  This may sound like a logical approach, but the really essential components are in the individual pixels of the photograph–the very small detail creating the beauty or success of the finished product.  It is the clinical pixels, the administrative pixels, the marketing pixels, the architectural pixels, and so on that comprise the “picture” of your practice.  Is the finished product what you want it to be? 

Let’s talk about our hiring rubric.  It’s important to understand the intricate process of choosing the members of your team.  So often in the dental profession we simply hire to fill an opening rather than taking the time to ask the right questions through the proper interview processes in order to find the perfect  team member for the position.  I can share with certainty that one’s character and values matter most.  We can teach a skill or a process to the right person.  But now that we have put together the perfect team, how are we tracking and measuring each of them as individuals?

Until now, the process of measuring individual successes in the dental profession has been clumsy at best.  Well thought out bonus systems can be put into place, but as we all know there are always the few who carry the weight of those who slack.  Most team members know who these people are, and as consultants, we can usually single them out within the first few minutes. So why then are these non-performers still hanging around?  Or why are we losing valuable team members who feel unappreciated for carrying more than their share of the load? Because we haven’t taken the time to measure the individual accountability and successes of our team!

I have recently been introduced to a comprehensive measuring instrument which should be a part of every office. is a cloud-based tool that allows each team member to log in at their convenience from just about anywhere at any time of day and record these extremely important pieces of information that equal five-star comprehensive dental care:

Who is rescuing the most last-minute cancellations in your office?

Who is selling the most treatment?

Who is reactivating the most patients?

Who is late to work and why?

Who is due for CE units for licensure and by when?

And the list goes on and on!  It’s very intuitive and easy to use.  I have been so impressed by this system that I purchased a subscription myself to take advantage of its power.  What the practice management software platforms miss, this picks up and takes to a new level of intricacy. 

As an employer or an administrator, being able to accurately track and measure the successes or your individual team members gives us the ability to make necessary changes within our teams to achieve excellence.  If we are hiring for excellence, and for the perfect person for the office and task, this tool is an administrator’s dream.  No more paper tracking lists, no more spreadsheets, and most importantly no more decisions based on incomplete information or worse yet, no decision at all.

In dentistry, tracking and measuring determines the difference between those struggling blindly to make ends meet and those who know true success. 

If it isn’t measured…it doesn’t exist!

Cyndee Johnson is a world expert in hygiene production and delivering value proposition in dentistry. Her unique programs and collaborative team of experts bring success to those who call upon their services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *