Dr. Devin Giron loves looking at numbers. Important metrics like production, hygiene, new patients, case acceptance, and much more. As the owner of a new dental practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Devin certainly had lots to think about as he tried building his practice. With the dual (and sometimes competing) roles of doctor and practice owner, he needed to be able to quickly see the information that told him what was happening each day in his practice. But he also needed to understand what that data meant, and what he could do to fix things that weren’t working.
“If you're not measuring anything,” he said, “you are kind of trying to hit a target blindfolded.” One of Dr. Giron’s frustrations was having to be reactive to key performance metrics because he usually couldn’t see something until it had already happened, making it hard to respond proactively. “There are always a lot of things to think about and pay attention to in a dental practice,” Dr. Giron shared. “Although I wanted to know about everything that was happening, or at least the most important ones, I couldn’t do that without some help.”
To address these and other challenges, Dr. Giron began working with Productive Dentist Academy, a consulting firm with decades of proven success helping dental practices to improve and grow. One of the first solutions PDA introduced him to was from their partner Dental Intelligence, the leader in actionable growth metrics. Dental Intelligence works with thousands of practices to see and understand what is happening and, when needed, to change what is happening. Devin quickly began to see an impact on his practice’s growth as he implemented the systems and processes introduced by PDA and DI.
For Dr. Giron, one of the most important areas he is now able to track in great detail is his production. According to DI, there are only two ways that a dental practice can increase the amount of production: More visits or more Production Per Visit (PPV). In other words, you can add more patients to your schedule, or you can increase the amount of dentistry you provide to patients already scheduled…or both! But without knowing what your practice is currently doing, it’s hard to know which of these two levers to pull, and in which order.
Devin was able to use the insights provided by DI to see both current and scheduled appointments, so that he and his team could make adjustments to the schedule in order to still reach their goals. For example, Dr. Giron was able to look at his November schedule and see that since he would be going hunting later that month, meaning he wouldn’t be producing during those two weeks, he would need to try and make up for that by increasing the number of visits and the amount of production per visit to his schedule in the weeks before his hunting trip. This insight gave him power to act proactively.
One of Dr. Giron’s favorite metrics from DI is average Production Per Hour. This is determined by taking the provider’s Gross Production and dividing it by their Clinical Hours (the actual hours they are chair side treating patients). The impact of tracking clinical hours comes in being able to measure the type and amount of dentistry you are providing vs. just keeping track of the total hours a clinician is in the practice.
In other words, even though the doctor might be in the practice from 8am-5pm on a Tuesday, three of his nine hours are spent in meetings, taking lunch, visiting with the office manager, etc. and not in treating patients. Dr. Giron found that tracking production per hour revealed blocks in his schedule he could adjust in order to spend more time caring for patients and less time in other, lower-value activities.
Another area Dr. Giron wanted to improve was his case acceptance, especially his restorative elective acceptance percentage. DI provides several robust measurements for a practice to see both clinical and hygiene acceptance, which has already made an impact on this practice. “I wanted to know what our production per hour was, but I also wanted to know what the treatment acceptance was as well as knowing what percentage of periodontal disease Dental Intelligence was saying my patient population has.”
Getting people back onto the schedule has also been a priority. “I'm always making sure our reappointment rate is getting measured not only for hygiene, but also for any patients,” Dr. Giron said. His team is now using DI to find people with unscheduled treatment, and they are then calling those patients and capturing those calls in the software.
They also use DI to run their Morning Huddle, but in a much more effective way. Before working with DI they would just review the daily schedule during their huddle. Now they are using the huddle to find opportunities to schedule or reschedule patients and also to discuss their performance as a team.
What about new patients? Every practice, especially a new one, needs new patients to grow. Dr. Giron’s practice has loved having a way to keep track of the journey of each new patient through the practice and critically, has been able to convert most of those new patients into returning ones. According to Devin, “Our new patient flow was great because we could see how many patients came in, how many patients would be lost due to inactivity or also just then leaving the practice. So, we could kind of figure out why they left the practice."
"Being able to find holes in the schedule and discover opportunities with patients coming in who may have unscheduled treatment has also been a big plus. Trying to find all of this info without Dental Intelligence would be either very difficult if not impossible. Now it’s just a click of a button away.” This new practice now has over 900 active patients – their greatest number of active patients ever. Incredibly, they added 270 new patients in the last year in spite of only beginning to use marketing just four months ago."
Another exciting development for this practice from implementing DI has been the impact doing so has had on their goals. When Dr. Giron’s team hits their goal for each day, they have a bag of chips with different value amounts ($25-$100) which they get to take from the bag 1, 2, 3, or 4 times a week depending the number of days in a row they hit their goal.
At first, they were a little scared when the goals would go up, but now they are encouraging each other and pushing each other. When Dr. Giron started with Productive Dentist Academy his practice was averaging just over $300 per hour in production. Now they are currently at $600 per hour. That’s incredible growth!
“What gets measured gets done,” Devin added. “If you’re not paying attention to the big things, you will probably not be paying attention to the ‘small’ things that can become big things over time. DI lets you see everything at a glance.”
When asked why he would suggest that every dentist should be using DI in their practice, he didn’t hesitate to respond. “Dental Intelligence just allows you to operate much quicker, faster and to be able to adapt. If you're noticing that you’re not going to be productive next week, it allows us to ask, ‘What do we need to do to get patients in?’ It's just more of a real-time pulse of what's really going on in our practice. Numbers don't lie, so you’ve got to pay attention to them.”