Managing by the Numbers

Discover the five basic elements needed to run a successful practice.

Updated 6/30/20

Managing your practice by the numbers means using your reports and statistics to lead your team to new levels of success. The Dentrix Practice Advisor Report gives you the numbers for your statistical analysis, but just knowing your numbers won’t change anything. You need to take action.

  • Create a vision that supports your values
  • Set smart goals that support and promote your vision
  • Analyze by statistics (not judgment) to prioritize success and challenges to your vision
  • Upgrade your practice systems to achieve your goals
  • Hire, train, and reward the “KSAs” (knowledge, skills and abilities/attitudes) needed to run your systems and achieve your vision

Here are five principles to follow as you manage by the numbers:

  1. To be successful in a small business, it is essential that the owner must be comfortable wearing three hats — Clinician (“do-er”), Leader (visionary), and Manager (organizer/ implementer). Read Know Your Numbers, Know Your Practice for more information.
  2. The active patient base number (any patient seen for anything in the practice in the last 18 months) is an essential statistic that tells the leadership team everything from production potential to when to bring in associates and how many hygiene days are needed per week to support the base. Read Clean Up Your Active Patient Base for more information.
  3. There are four stages of team development: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. Each stage requires a different mix of leadership and management to successfully coach continuous growth and improvement. Read Building that Illusive Winning Team for more information.
  4. Looking at office expenses through the lens of total office production is essential for cash flow management, as production generates the expense—not collections. Read What to do When Production is Down for more information.
  5. Any team compensation and reward models must be competitive with what the market will bear, affordable for the practice to pay, and be based on individual merit. Read Managing Employee Performance in a More Effective and Contemporary Way for more information.

Learn More

To learn more about the Practice Advisor, read Master the Metrics that Matter or see the Practice Advisor Report topic in Dentrix Help.

Get a free 30-minute Practice Advisor assessment to learn the next steps to increase your profitability. Visit

By Amy Morgan, CEO, Pride Instittue

Amy Morgan is a renowned dental consultant and the chief executive officer of Pride Institute. Since joining the institute as a consultant in 1993, she has refined and enhanced its time-proven management systems, which have revitalized thousands of general and specialty dental practices–helping them become more secure, efficient, and profitable. Amy is a highly sought-after educator throughout North America and Europe who has been a featured speaker at major dental meetings and has been published. To find out more about Pride Institute and how we can help you lead/manage your practice to new levels of success, visit the website and “Like us” on Facebook.

Published as part of a collection of key takeaways from the 2014 Business of Dentistry Conference, along with:

Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Winter 2014