Get insights into which reports you should run when and what you should be monitoring daily, weekly, and monthly.
Dentrix has many reports you can run, and it can be confusing to keep track of all the different reports you should be looking at and the different statistics that are important to keep your eye on. But what is the “best practice” for these reports? Who should be looking at them and when? I want to give a guideline for these questions. I will be breaking it down into a daily, weekly, and monthly format and dividing the reports up by which person/department should be running them.
First, we’ll start with the reports you need to be looking at on a daily basis.
Front Office or Back Office: Someone on the team needs to be looking at the Daysheet and matching it up to what was scheduled for the day. This can be the office manager looking at the whole day or break it up with the dental assistant and hygienists looking at their own column of patients. You are looking to make sure that every patient who came in had the correct procedures posted and that nothing else was accidently set as complete.
Back Office: The clinical team needs to make sure that there was a clinical note written for every patient you saw in your chair that day. If you are chartless, the easiest way to do this is to filter the clinical note view with completed work and clinical notes. To do this, in the Patient Chart on the Progress Notes tab, make sure only the Clinical Notes and Completed Work buttons are selected.
Office Manager: There are a couple of management statistics I would check on a daily basis because it will make reviewing the monthly numbers a whole lot easier if you have monitored it throughout the month. All these numbers can be found on the Daily Huddle Report.
- New Patients – Make sure every new patient who is entered has a referral source so your doctor knows how the patients are finding his or her office. Also, this is a good time to write out your thank you notes to referral sources and your new patients.
- Case Acceptance – How much was diagnosed vs. how much was scheduled? If this is low, check to see if the treatment plan was scheduled and not marked as completed.
- Collections – If collections for the day were low, why?
- Production – Are you on track for the month?
If you look at these numbers on a daily basis, then you will have a much better chance for success of meeting your monthly goals. You also have time to make adjustments in your schedule and systems if you don’t wait to the last minute.
Next, we’ll look at reports you should run weekly. I teach my offices about practicing on the business side of dentistry the same things you preach to your patients in the clinical side of dentistry… “prevention will help keep you out of emergency situations.”
Living in a preventative rather than reactive frame of mind will reap tremendous benefits to your practice. What I mean by that is putting systems in place and carving out time in your busy schedule to work your reports, follow up with patients and communicating with your specialists on a weekly basis.
Treatment Coordinator – Your main focus is case management and following up with patients who have unscheduled treatment. When patients walk out of the office without scheduling the crown on #30, you can’t expect them to call; you need to follow up. The treatment coordinator should be working three reports every week. You will need to carve out at least 2-3 hours a week of uninterrupted time for this.
- Treatment Manager Report – This is your chart audit. The Treatment Manager is your go-to report for managing unscheduled treatment and one of the reports for keeping your schedule full.
- Referred TO Report – When your clinical team is treatment planning and attaching the referral to a procedure code, that patient is automatically added to this report. Any time your patient must complete a procedure (i.e. implant placement, root canal, perio surgery), before they can return to your office for the restorative treatment someone must be making a follow-up call to make sure that treatment is getting completed so you can move forward with that patient care. To generate this report, go to Office Manager > Reports > Management > Referred To Report.
- Unscheduled List – This list should be worked by the hygiene coordinator and the treatment manager. Follow up with these patients and get them rescheduled. Don’t let them sit on this report for more than six weeks.
Hygiene Coordinator – Your main focus is following up with patients who are past due for their recare visit. Yes, you should have some kind of automated system for sending email, text messaging, and postcards. However, you will still need to pick up the phone and make some calls. Also, you might want to consider having a patient reactivation system for those patients who are severely overdue. So how do you keep tight reins on your recare patients?
- Continuing Care List – This is your go-to list for finding patients who are overdue. To make this task more streamlined, create yourself some custom lists so you can filter down your lists and it is easier to delegate.
- Unscheduled List – Just like the Treatment Manager, you must work this list on a weekly basis and keep it current. Don’t let your recare patients sit on this list forever. Follow up with them and delete them off the list if they are not returning your call.
Financial Coordinator – You have a big job…collecting the money. Your team depends on you for results. If you are not collecting 100% on the day of service, then your accounts receivable needs attention. There are two reports you must manage on a weekly basis.
- Insurance Aging Report – Insurance companies should pay you within 30 days. . .period! This will require you to follow up on unpaid claims.
- Collection Manager Report – Contrary to what you might hear, the Aging Report is NOT your best report for managing patient accounts receivable. The Collections Manager is much more interactive and will give you more up to date results of your true A/R.
Clinical Team – There are definitely things in the clinical area that need attention on a weekly basis, such as ordering of supplies, stocking rooms, maintenance of equipment and managing your in-house lab. However, you can definitely help with some of the reports I shared above.
- Continuing Care – The hygienists can assist with calling patients who are past due if you have an opening in your schedule.
- Referred TO Report – The dental assistants can help follow up on patients who have been referred to specialists, especially if it requires ordering parts or scheduling lab time.
- Lab Case Manager – If you are using the Lab Case Manager, you could make sure cases are set to come in on time or use it to track lab fees.
If you put these suggestions together with the daily report suggestions I can almost guarantee your monthly reports will be right on target. This is how you manage a practice—by having systems in place for your daily and weekly tasks then you can celebrate when you review your monthly reports.
Finally, let’s talk about monthly reports you should be running. If you are following a guideline, carving out time in your schedule to work the reports, and documenting your communication, you are on the right track for success. Like I mentioned before, get into preventative mode and out of reaction mode. This is what we preach to our patients and you can treat the business side of dentistry exactly the same way.
The goal for your end of the month is to celebrate your success, review with your team, and report to the powers at be. Numbers tell a story and help you create, change or eliminate systems. Here is my recommendations for monthly reports and who on the team needs to review them.
All Team Members: The overall health of the practice falls on everyone. Of course there are team members who are accountable for different areas of the practice. However, every team member contributes to the success and demise of the practice.
- Practice Advisor Report: This report is my favorite report for your team meeting. It brings together multiple areas of the practice on one report and is laid out in a way that is easy to read and gives recommendations on how to improve the numbers if they are below your benchmarks.
Doctor/Practice Owner/CPA: There are certain reports that need to be forwarded to the office bookkeeper, CPA or banker. Also, there is one report that is reserved for the practice owner’s eyes only.
- Audit Trail: The Audit Trail report is a back-end report that can be password protected so the practice owner can see accounting edits, prescription deletions and login history.
- Analysis Summary: This has been a popular report to give to practice owners who have a business loan. I have been asked “What is the best report to show production, collection, adjustments, new patients and A/R?” Here it is.
- Adjustment Summary: There are many summary reports you can generate as part of your month end protocol. However, I think this one in particular is important because it will break down the write-offs into categories. For example, if your office is using fee schedules in Dentrix because you are contracted with PPO dental plans, your practice would not have very many adjustments in the PPO adjustment category. If there was a lot of write-offs in this category, I would be a little concerned.
Office Manager: In addition to the Practice Advisor Report, I would go through a couple of other reports in the marketing and customer service side of the practice.
- New Patient List: This report can help you identify that all your new patients have a referral source attached to them and a thank you/welcome letter was sent out. Remember that the new patients on this list are counted by first visit date, not comp exam.
- Referred By Doctor/Other/Patient: These reports help you decide where your marketing efforts are paying off and gives you an opportunity to thank those patients or other business owners who are referring to your practice.
- Referral Analysis: You may know that you can attach a referral source to each patient, but did you know you can track gratuities? If you are using this feature in Dentrix, there is an analysis list that you can view by going to the Office Manager > Analysis > Referrals Doctor/Other and see the list in different date ranges.
I hope that these best practices for your daily, weekly, and monthly systems have stirred up some interest in using Dentrix to completely manage the business and marketing side of your practice. Use these reports to keep your finger on the pulse of your practice.
By Dayna Johnson, Certified Dentrix Trainer
Dayna loves her work. She has over 25 years of experience in the dental industry, and she’s passionate about building efficient, consistent, and secure practice management systems. Dayna knows that your entire day revolves around your practice management software—the better you learn to use it, the more productive and stress-free your office will be. In 2016, Dayna founded Novonee ™, The Premier Dentrix Community, to help cultivate Dentrix super-users all over the country. Learn more from Dayna at www.novonee.com and contact Dayna at firstname.lastname@example.org.