A major topic in the dental industry today is Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are reportable data or numbers that provide keen insight into the health of your dental practice. Example KPIs include production totals, collection totals, accounts receivable as a percentage of production, accounts receivable aging, insurance receivable aging, patient attrition, new patient counts, scheduling statistics, and more. The list of potential KPIs for any dental practice can vary depending on present goals and the atmosphere of the dental office.
One particular KPI that is standard for nearly every dental office is Active Patient Count. Active patient count is defined as the number of patients with at least one visit to your dental practice in a specified time frame, typically 18 months. The active patient count is a valuable number which can be used to calculate practice staffing needs in addition to prospective annual production totals. A recent article published by HSPS (https://www.henryschein.com/us-en/images/dental/activepatientcount.pdf) presented two examples of how to use active patient count to help your practice. It suggested that, since the average active patient worth is $450 per year, an “…active base of 1000 patients grosses receipts of about $450,000.” It also suggested using the active patient count to determine hygiene staffing needs. By knowing the active patient count and the number of patients your hygiene team can see per day, you can predictably set your hygiene schedule to comfortably see your active patient base.
Tracking your Active Patient Count in Easy Dental using Reports
The patient counts provided in reports can be classified a few different ways in Easy Dental, so it is important to understand what data you are seeking and what data you are actually receiving. Here is a breakdown for several Easy Dental reports and the patient count information that each report provides:
- Practice Demographics Report – The Practice Demographics Report provides a comprehensive look at your patient base, including a breakdown of patient statistics by age, recall, family status, provider and zip code. The active patient count provided by the Practice Demographics Report is determined by the number of patients listed in Easy Dental with a “Patient” status.
- Patient Summary (via Practice Analysis) – The Patient Summary report provides a condensed version of the Practice Demographics data. The active patient count provided by the Patient Summary is also determined by the number of patients listed in Easy Dental with a “Patient” status.
- Day Sheet Report – The Day Sheet Report provides a count of “patients seen” during the specified time period. A patient seen is defined as a unique patient visit per date of service. This means that patients seen more than once per reporting period would be counted multiple times. The number of “patients seen” on this report is a great tool for determining the average production per visit.
Tracking your Active Patient Count in Easy Dental using Letters/Lists
Reports are great, but as you read above, there is data entry involved with the Practice Demographics and Patient Summary reports. If your team is not actively changing patient status from “Patient” to “Inactive”, these reports prove to be a little challenging. I propose one more option for receiving your active patient count from Easy Dental:
- Patient Letters (AKA Patient Lists) – You may be most familiar with this Reports module tool for its capabilities with producing recall postcards, birthday postcards or other event-type letters. This tool is by far one of my favorite tools in Easy Dental for its ability to generate a list of patients based on the criteria I am seeking. Today, I will show you a sneak peek of how to use this tool to generate a list of patients with a last visit date within the past 18 months (AKA your active patient count without the need for a data entry project of changing patient status from “Patient” to “Inactive”!).
Simple Steps to Producing an Active Patient List
- Access the Patient Report (by filters) from the Letters feature.
- Using Patient Filters, determine your search/filters.
- Finally, select your Data Filters – this is the data output you will receive for each qualifying person. Select OK.
- From the Misc. Reports list, choose Create/Merge. Selecting Create Data File ONLY provides the option to open your patient list in Microsoft Excel. Voila! Instant Active Patient Count based on a last visit date within the past 18 months.
Opening Doors to New Possibilities
What is your count of active patients telling you? Maybe there is a need to increase your staff size, develop a plan for achieving practice growth or possibly implement a plan of action to reactivate patients who have not been in during the past 18 months. The next step is yours to take. Best of luck!
David Broom is Senior Director of Product and Business Development. David has a master’s degree in Information Technology (IT) from the University of Texas in Dallas and has more than 35 years of experience from many global companies such as Hitachi Vantara, Methode Electronics, and Keane, Inc. In his current role, he is responsible for all aspects of the product management and field service teams at Henry Schein TechCentral, which identifies the ideal advanced technologies to meet the unique needs of the dental market and ensure that dental offices are using the right IT to be more efficient and effective.