A Guest blog from Denise Ciardello. The opinions expressed are from Denise not Dr. Larry Emmott. However I believe it is valuable for dentists to get various takes on technology issues in order to make good technology choices.
“What reports should I be looking at daily, weekly and monthly?” I wish I had a nickel for every time I have been asked this—my Starbucks habit would be covered for life.
Unfortunately, this question often doesn’t get asked until after fraudulent activity has already occurred in a practice. The fact is that there are just a few reports that, when run and used regularly, could have spared the frustration.
Now I know there are a few people that drool with excitement over the idea of cranking through reports and numbers; however, since many of us are not quite as thrilled with reports, I will keep the list short and sweet.
Daily Reports You Should Be Running
- Day sheet. It should only take the doctor 10 minutes to review this report every day, which lists all activity in the office for that day, including procedures completed and monies collected. The doctor looking through this report each day ensures that all procedures are recorded accurately—because I have yet to meet a doctor that remembers a month later that Mrs. Jones had a DO on #19, not an MO.
- Adjustments only day sheet. There are so many reasons for adjustments, insurance being the main culprit. Because adjustments are inevitable, I recommend a cursory review of all the money that is being removed from the practice’s bank account on a daily basis to identify issues. Then if something seems out of line, you can ask timely questions.
- Deposit slip. The numbers on this report should balance with all money that was collected for the day—credit card slips, checks, cash and electronic transfers. Keeping this balanced can help you stay on top of your finances before they become an issue.
Weekly Reports You Should Be Running
Depending on the length of these reports, they can be delayed to run biweekly or even monthly. However, the longer the report, the more often it should be run and reviewed.
- Insurance aging. With the invention of the Internet, eClaims and electronic payments, it is no longer normal to wait 30 days for claims to be paid. Claims can be tracked online, and reports with the status of outstanding claims appear with each claim submission. Insurance companies are even oftentimes emailing the office that a payment is in the bank. This report should never be more than a few pages long.
- Aging report and/or billing statemen It is normal in the dental field to send out statements once a month. However, if you send out 300 statements on Thursday your phone will be ringing off the hook come Monday. Running this report every other week will ensure that you will never have to worry about not having the staffing power to keep up with calls or patients who are calling to schedule an appointment having trouble getting through.Consider splitting up your statements before sending them out, like in alphabetical order. Send A-G one week, then H-M, and so forth. This will keep the calls manageable. As a bonus, this will allow revenue to come in all month long.
Monthly Reports You Should Be Running
These are great reports to review with your team at monthly meetings.
- Practice analysis. Have you ever wondered what procedure(s) account for the majority of your production? This report will tell you what was done each month. It can also be used to compare to the year over year in the number of procedures. This is valuable information that will truly allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of the practice and see opportunities to grow.
- New patient report. This will allow you to know who came in and how they were referred, as well as the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing efforts. You can know which of your patients are talking about you because as a rule of thumb, your current patients should refer 70% of your new patients.
There are so many reports that can be run if you have the time and desire. I encourage you to explore some of those reports also, but if you don’t have the time and simply want the basic reports for a successful practice, these are key to keeping an eye on your business and avoiding headaches down the road.
To learn more read my new eBook “5 Ways to Increase Your Practice Productivity”.