Measuring your Practice’s Financial Health

The Practice Advisor report can save you time, keep you in touch with your practice’s financial health, and provide recommendations on how to improve your business.

Updated 6/30/20

It is more important than ever for you to keep in touch with your practice’s financial health. The Practice Advisor Report can help your practice thrive.

Amy Morgan, CEO of the Pride Institute, says a dentist has only two choices on how to run the practice: manage the practice by judgment (which has a very high probability of being wrong) or manage by statistics (which tells the whole truth and nothing but the truth). Should a dentist provide a treatment option without first making a full diagnosis? Using similar thinking, would you want to suggest a treatment plan for your practice without first reviewing the relevant information available to you?

By reviewing all of your key performance indicators (KPIs) on a single report, you will save time and gain a good understanding of how your practice is performing. Also, the Practice Advisor identifies opportunities that can help you increase your bottom line, as illustrated in the following examples:

  • Your hygiene department is hitting a home run, but when you review the amount of treatment diagnosed versus accepted, you see that there is opportunity to improve.
  • Your practice is meeting its overall production goals, but maybe the doctor or hygiene department is under-producing compared to normal benchmarks.

The Dentrix Practice Advisor offers the following benefits:

  • It saves you time.
  • It compares your practice data to industry benchmarks.
  • It provides recommendations with built-in intelligence.
  • It helps keep you in touch with the health of your practice.
  • It offers flexibility for customization based on your unique practice.

Saving You Time

It seems nobody these days has enough time. Instead of working harder, the Practice Advisor helps you work smarter, thus saving you time. You will no longer need to run multiple reports to track all of your key performance indicators (KPIs). The Practice Advisor tracks all of your KPIs in a single, consolidated report.

Sometimes doctors want to review the health of their business when they are away from the practice and have time to digest the data; the Practice Advisor easily accommodates this need. The Practice Advisor can automatically generate a report of your practice’s data in PDF format, and then send it as an e-mail attachment to multiple recipients, such as your consultant, your accountant, or your trainer.

To generate the Practice Advisor Report, in the Office Manager module, from the Analysis menu, click Practice Advisor to open the Practice Advisor window, click Practice Advisor Report to open the Practice Advisor Report dialog box and set up the report options, and then click Preview.

Comparing Data with Industry Benchmarks

Unless you have a background in statistics or finance, when you look at report data, you might ask yourself, “Is this good news or bad?” The Practice Advisor takes all of the guesswork out of the equation. It compares your practice data to benchmarks so you can easily identify your practice’s strengths and opportunities. The benchmarks default to range norms based on an average, solo, general practice.  However, all of the benchmarks can be customized if your practice has multiple providers, is a specialty practice, or if you are working with a practice management consultant who would like you to have different benchmarks. Some practices may also choose to customize their benchmarks based upon their own unique practice goals.

To view or set up the benchmarks for the Practice Advisor Report, from the Practice Advisor window, click Practice Advisor Setup to open the Practice Advisor Setup dialog box, and then click Benchmarks Setup to open the Benchmarks Setup dialog box.

Providing Intelligent Recommendations

When designing the Practice Advisor, Henry Schein Practice Solutions worked with some of the best practice management consultants in the industry, including the Pride Institute and Jameson Management Consulting, with the goal of helping your practice review potential options that could have a positive impact on your practice. The Practice Advisor takes reporting to a new level by not only helping you track how your practice is currently performing compared to benchmarks, but also by providing recommendations for you to consider. Instead of reviewing a typical report that only includes data from your practice, the Practice Advisor’s built-in intelligence provides recommendations if your practice numbers are less than the benchmarks.

These recommendations are designed to help you brainstorm with your team, focusing on specific areas of improvement.

For example, if total office or doctor production is down, you may see the following recommendations on the report:

  • Are there patients with significant treatment that can be moved up in the schedule?
  • Are there patients on the Unscheduled Treatment Plans or ASAP lists you can contact to schedule treatment?
  • Are there new patients already scheduled who have concerns that can be addressed right away?
  • Are there patients of record already scheduled that have more treatment already planned that can be done at the same time? Can you recommend additional cosmetic needs like whitening?

Keeping in Touch

If you take your car in for an oil change, you might receive a 19-point inspection. Similarly, if you have a goal to maintain good health, you might track your cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, and body mass index, just to name a few. These inspections and baseline numbers help you understand how your car and physical body are performing. In essence, the Practice Advisor works the same way by providing you with an inspection report of the KPIs that are tracked in Dentrix to help you see how your practice is performing in important areas, identify your strengths, and understand what opportunities you can take advantage of to improve.

Gary Kadi, founder and CEO of Next Level Practice says, “The first step in any journey is to be aware.”

One of the ways The Practice Advisor helps you take awareness to a whole new level is by keeping a close tab on your active patient base. Cathy Jameson, founder and CEO of Jameson Management Consulting says, “Most dental practices can double the amount of dentistry presently being provided by nurturing that which they already have: their existing patient family.” One of the first questions most practice management consultants ask is, “How many active patients do you have?” Oftentimes, practices mistakenly assume they have more active patients than they really do.

Another important KPI that the Practice Advisor tracks is the “Value of Dentist Unfilled Hours” and “Value of Hygienist Unfilled Hours”.

By associating a dollar value for these unfilled hours, or lost opportunities, your practice will view these unfilled hours as more than just empty time units. Some practices have taken this information to their daily huddles or team meetings to brainstorm ways everyone on the team can help reduce the amount of unfilled hours.

Allowing Flexibility for Your Practice

Henry Schein Practice Solutions knows that one size does not fit all, and the Practice Advisor was built with the understanding that each practice has unique needs. The Practice Advisor offers flexibility not only to customize benchmarks but also to define how the active patient base is determined and to indicate the time span to use to determine your active continuing care patients.

Dr. Fred Peck, DDS, AAACD, and a dental practice owner using Dentrix in Cincinnati, OH, says, “Practice Advisor is very flexible and customizable. We can easily adjust benchmarks and choose what information appears on the report based on our unique needs and goals. Practice Advisor is also the only report we’ve found that brings all the key performance information we need together in one place, makes it relevant and easy to understand, and even provides practical recommendations for refining our business and taking advantage of new opportunities.”

More Than a Report

The Practice Advisor is so much more than a report; it is a valuable tool that will help you keep in touch with your practice’s KPIs and save you time by using benchmark comparisons and built-in intelligence. The Practice Advisor will help your practice thrive in today’s economy by bringing your awareness to a whole new level. Henry Schein Practice Solutions is a committed business partner and continues to develop Dentrix in an effort to help your practice increase efficiencies and profitability.

Learn More

To learn more about the Practice Advisor, read Understanding Your Practice’s Financial Health and 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 Tammy McHood, Senior Product Manager

Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Summer 2010