It's time to spring clean your practice management systems

Spring is here, and the cold and snow will soon be history. Before the year moves into summer and vacation time, now is the time to clean up your practice management systems.   I encourage practices to schedule regular and ongoing maintenance of their systems, remembering that patient retention is important.   Existing patients accept more dentistry and, therefore, are valuable to your bottom line. There are several systems that warrant regular review; the problem is many practices do not schedule time to do this which costs thousands of lost dollars every month to most practices. Here are three systems that should be reviewed on a regular basis.
I recommend that your entire team be involved in this process. Divide and conquer, as it were. Start by pulling your uncompleted treatment report from your practice management software. This report should list all pre-treatment estimates sent as all treatment plans presented. Clean out all duplicate, old or unaccepted work. Check with your practice management support team to make sure you are removing treatment from the report and not the patient record. Most offices are surprised by the size of this report as it usually is not on the practice radar for regular review and clean up.

Have a team meeting to train everyone on how to edit/clean up this report. Then, divide the report up by number of pages or letters of the alphabet. Request at least a page a day to be cleaned up by each team member and set a goal date to complete the process. Once cleanup is underway, contact can be made to those patients who have fallen through the cracks. This should be completed quarterly as each day you will be adding to this report with new treatment plans and/or pre-treatment estimates.

So many times I help my practices improve their hygiene and perio programs only to watch it fall apart with lack of reactivation. If you have sought the use of programs that remind your patients via social media or other forms of technology, you still need to follow up. Run reports showing how many patients are overdue. Don't forget those 3- and 4-month periodontal patients. How much effort was put forth getting those patients to follow through with quadrant scaling? Don't let these patients fall away from your practice due to lack of follow up.

Last is your Aged Receivable report. It is important that the Dentists and Administrative team meet monthly to review this report. It is important for the running of a healthy business that patient balances not exceed more than 100 days on your books.  Run the entire report A-Z and filter out credit balances. Collecting co-payments or receiving pre-payment is great but can mask the true amount of outstanding monies. Focus on balances 60 days or more overdue. Discuss with your team the plan to follow up with the patient and request feedback on those balances in the next 10 days. This report should be reviewed monthly.

Move forward this year with an effective and profitable practice. For more information or help, please contact