Managing your dental practice is full of “can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees” moments. Preoccupation with the daily minutiae can be overcome with insight-driven business management for your practice.
Performance measurement, tracking essential KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and strategic data analysis is vital to dental practice management.
Decisions aren’t what they used to be
Decision making once relied on experience and good old-fashioned intuition. Both still have value, but more is required these days if you want to keep your competitive edge.
For example, your intuition can be skewed by personal bias or the hard data you’re most comfortable trusting. Worse, you could overestimate yourself in the process.
”There's a well-known concept in psychology, known as illusory superiority, which describes our natural tendency to overestimate our own performance and capabilities relative to others. This suggests that if you're not analyzing your practice's data on a regular basis, you'll have a natural tendency to overestimate your dental practice's KPIs, and can develop major blind spots regarding your practice's performance.”
A clearer perspective on your dental practice’s performance factors is better achieved by:
- Collecting data
- Measuring data
- Analyzing data
Objectivity with your practice’s data helps you more accurately identify improvement potential. It also allows you to test the waters and see if you can achieve the desired outcomes (before making too bold an investment).
It’s essentially the difference between a mere decision (based on experience or intuition) and an informed decision (aligned with available data).
How to use insight-driven business management (aka data analytics) to improve your dental practice or DSO performance
Educate your leadership at all levels
You’ve probably experienced the downside of initiating a new idea, process, or workflow only to have it derailed because those with a leadership investment were left out of the loop.
Case in point—a dental office manager’s experience or drive is a good thing. But without supportive data (and the opportunity to educate team leads) their initiative(s) might fail before they’re launched.
- Seek and nurture team leads around the data-based details of your initiative(s)
- Clearly define and map out objectives and desired outcomes based on data analysis
These data-friendly steps (among others) can help create or renew your team’s appreciation for data analytics.
Be prepared to integrate your data
Scalable data will be applicable and tailored to each practice or internal department. The insights you use to guide goals, workflows, and systems must be useful to all—according to their tasks.
This makes it essential to have a designated group who serves as somewhat of a data custodian. They’re tasked with first level data analysis and data verification.
Data integration that follows this path will more likely be trusted and perceived to be of higher quality.
Work to align data-based insights with your goals
Data alone isn’t a reliable compass. Sure, it can help steer you in a certain direction, but the insights gained require some prioritization— especially as they align with your practice or DSO goals.
Choose quarterly or annual report gathering. You might even consider stretching your trends analysis further (as in a two-to-three-year cycle of success measurement).
Much can change—including technology—within an analysis timeframe. Goals will require being adjusted accordingly.
Deploy your team energies more accurately
Data analysis can provide key insights into where certain staff members will excel or fail. Staffing around analytics can help you match the right person/persons with the best position (clinical or administrative…whichever applies).
Think of it as more informed talent/HR management. You’re providing team members opportunities to excel, improve, and enhance their contribution to the larger organization. This instead of a haphazard deployment of “bodies” to merely get the job done.
Data can help you truly empower employees. It’s a good way to test and promote faster orientation also.
Leverage available technology
No doubt the growth of your practice or organization relies on the technology you utilize. It streamlines your team’s workflows, enhances patient care and engagement, and helps you access, analyze, and leverage data.
That said, the insights you gain can improve your use of technology. Most often the functions you perform with a given tech choice will stop there.
Data-based insights such as industry or consumer case studies can help you maximize your current technology even more. Or it can give you insight into where your next investment should be made.
Either way, data is driver of tech usage and a means to determine tech-spend that will serve your team(s) and organization.
And speaking of staying technology savvy:
Check-out the following resources to help you leverage it:
Consider a cloud-based solution and improve your reporting processes and data analysis
You might find the cloud solution like Denticon to be a more efficient report gathering platform to monitor and drive your overall dental practice or dental organization’s performance.
Aside from its under-the-hood reporting horsepower, the Denticon platform also provides:
- A predictable, monthly subscription rate
- Data hosted in the cloud that’s remotely and securely accessible
- Savings that compared with a “legacy” system can total an average of 40%
It makes sense to look below the surface and see the massive potential of upgrading to a cloud-based dental practice management solution with a more advanced reporting and KPI module.