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664: Winning with Data - 7 Practice KPIs to Illuminate Practice Health - Robyn Theisen

It’s not just about tracking any numbers. You have to know which numbers are the best to make a real impact. When you track these 7 KPIs you can make a treatment plan to illuminate your practice health. Learn more in Episode 664 of The Best Practices Show!

Episode Resources:

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

To the Top Session: Data to Dollars 

Contact Gina:

Main Takeaways:

Numbers don’t lie and it gives us a place to look to either celebrate our wins or look for opportunities.

Tracking makes you accountable. 

Never charge $0.

Knowing the numbers tells you so much. And you can improve them. 

7 KPIs to know: gross production, write off percentage, net production, collection percentage, new patient re-appointment percentage, diagnostic percentage, treatment acceptance percentage


“We need to know what our goals are. It gives us an idea of the standard of care, the things that we have in place, the beliefs that we have about who we say we are and are we doing them. And the way that we know is through numbers. Numbers don’t lie and it gives us a place to look to either celebrate our wins or look for opportunities.” - Robyn (2:33—3:01)

“Numbers are not emotional and team members often associate them with a negative or a positive and I really view them as they are. This is where we are starting and we have an opportunity to change that. If we think it’s a negative then what are we going to do to make it different? So that we look at it and we are happy about what the number shows us.” - Robyn (3:34—4:03)

“The first one is gross production…So the production is measuring your output potential or it is looking at everything that is posted to your ledger. What did we actually produce in a day. And so that is the first number to look at. And when I say charge the full fee, the other option would be to charge what your insurance…put on the ledger what your insurance fee is. And I think we miss a lot of information by not charging the full fee to really give us an idea of what our gross production or what our output potential is” - Robyn (4:55—5:26)

“There are inherent challenges with gross production. #1 not charging your master fee. A lot of people don’t know that means. Even if you’re 100% PPO and you’re listening to this podcast right now, you should be billing out your full master fee. Which in some cases might be twice what the PPO will allow and that’s ok because there may be a day where you’re not on the PPO and you don’t want your patients to say ‘Wow your fee when up 100% and now you don’t take my insurance.’ You don’t want that to be the narrative. The other inherent challenge with gross production…is you’re a dentist who is a really nice person and you don’t charge any fee at all because you have your sister in and she’s in for 2 days while you prep the uppers. Well she’s my sister. I’m not gonna bill that hour and charge that out. And at the end of the month you’re like we didn’t make any money…When you put it in the computer it shows you how you utilize your time. It shows us how you utilize your time and you can start to be elective with your write offs” - Kirk (5:30—6:45)

“Never charge $0. What you have to do from this point forward is do it very intentionally.” - Kirk (7:45—7:49)

“The second one is your write off percentage. For this one particularly, I think being the most specific you can be about your write off categories the better. So just to your point of the different insurance companies, I see a lot of offices that will have insurance company write offs. What I recommend is to have a Delta write off, a MetLife write off, a Cigna write off. It gives us information about what fees you’re receiving from our insurance. What the write offs are. And as you’re making decisions about whether you’re in or out of what network, how you want to have that relationship with PPOs going forward, knowing specifics about each insurance company is really important. In addition you’re going to have different write off categories. The elective write offs, it’s important to know what percentage that is. If you’re having to do warranty work, what percentage is that for the year. So being specific and really knowing where those write-offs come in is important to make some decisions around.” - Robyn (7:54—8:53)

“If you’re at 42% write-offs or you’re at 33% write offs that means you’re working 1 out of every 3 days for free for sure. Possibly more.” - Kirk (10:59—11:09)

“KPI #3 is your net production. So your gross production minus your write-off equals the net production and that is your revenue potential. So that is what you’d base the collections off of, is your net production. It’s the revenue potential you have within the practice. That’s important number. I know there are some that would say the only number. Gross production isn’t as important as net production. I disagree. Gross production is where you start. You need to know what the potential is and be able to evaluate the write-offs. Know where we want to continue to do that. Where we need to make some tweaks to get to the net production or what we can collect on.” - Robyn (12:20—12:56)

“[KPI #4 is] your collection percentage. So that’s looking at the percentage in your practice of your net production that you actually collect. And this is a number I see often that when I’m initially talking with teams or doctors, that they say we collect 100%. And this is one that is lower than they expect it to be, which makes it a really great reason to have it as one of the KPIs that you’re looking at to make sure you’re collecting 100% of what your potential is.” - Robyn (14:50—15:25)

“[Collections] is a team one. It’s a team opportunity. So if there is not a proper hand off at the front desk or you’re not having the PIT conversation, the PIT stop, those all impact our collection percentage. So it’s not just the responsibility of the business team or a reflection on them or what they are or are not doing. It’s really an opportunity to look at our whole system.” - Robyn (16:53—17:15)

“[KPI #5] is the new patient re-appoint percentage…We’re not tracking how many people we are re-appointing. So we talk about that number [of new patients] and that number means not a whole lot unless you know how many people are coming back. And so looking at the re-appoint percentage. And I like to be more specific and know how many patients are coming back into hygiene. The hygiene is where we are not going to lose them. They’re going to be part of our re-care process. We know they’re going to be coming back in. And it is an opportunity with a new patient to talk about how important hygiene is and build that value in hygiene so that they know when they come back how important that is within our practice.” - Robyn (18:50—19:46)

“Where is see the most new patients leave is through the Doctor’s schedule. And I get assistants and Doctors that say they’re here for an emergency. Those are the people who need you as a hygienist. They need your hygiene team to not have those emergencies. It’s that opportunity. It’s something that they don’t always think about. Those emergency patients are opportunities to get them into your hygiene program…We talk a lot about value and I believe with cancellations and no shows that it’s a value problem. Not a cancellation problem. And so if a new patient comes in and we don’t talk them at all about hygiene at that first appointment, how important is that appointment. So now when we’re trying to talk you 2 or 3 appointments later about hygiene you’ve lost an opportunity to really talk about the value.” - Robyn (22:05—22:57)

“You as a dentist don’t need every patient. You don’t want to be a dentist for every patient. All you need is the right number of patients to build your practice. And depending on practice style, a hygienist that works full time only needs 750 patients if they’re seeing them twice a year. If your team is locked in on making sure the right new patients are calling and they’re going through hygiene, over time, two decades, I could filter this process so we’re inviting back the right people and in no time…you’ve got..If you’re a one doctor practice and two hygienists, you’ve got 1300 of the right type of patients, where you’re annual patient value is north of $1000 and now you’re killing it…instead of trying to capture everything because if your new patient numbers are through the roof and your new patient re-appointment are below the floor, you’re filing the practice with terrible patients and wondering when can I sell?” - Kirk (23:10—24:24)

“KPI #6 is the diagnostic percentage and I’m speaking in dental intel. So the way that dental intel measures that is it takes the number exams a doctor does in a month and of those exams how many are something new diagnosed at. So the patient could have an existing treatment plan and this is looking at what new is diagnosed. So that diagnostic percentage is really important to take a look at to have a good barometer of how many of your patients are leaving with good treatment plans and how many are you diagnosing on. One thing I’m seeing with this diagnostic percentage is how busy our hygiene programs are the need for that mix of patients within program to keep the doctors busy.” - Robyn (24:41—25:44)

“[Number 7] is treatment acceptance percentage. In dental intel it measures it in 2 ways. One of them is measuring the people. It’s looking at the number of treatment plans that were presented and then how treatment plans something was accepted. So it’s looking at people. And the other one is looking at treatment dollars. So of those treatment plans there were X amount of dollars and this was the dollar amount that was accepted. So it’s a way to look at both of those numbers and determine are there areas of opportunity there? Is the treatment getting accepted to the percentage that we want it to be?”  - Robyn (27:35—28:09)

“I hope you’re seeing through this, when you use these 7 KPIs to illuminate your practice health what you can do is diagnose your business. It’s not just about tracking random numbers or seeing how much money we can make. But when you start with gross production, write off percentage, net production, collection percentage, new patient re-appointment percentage, diagnostic percentage, treatment acceptance percentage, you can literally say this quarter let’s work on this number…and by doing that you create compound effects on the overall health and result of the business.”  - Kirk (29:17—29:57)

“These are 7 great KPIs to really take a look at, that gives you a bird’s eye view to what’s going on in the practice and areas of opportunity. And I think numbers too are a great way to celebrate with your team. When you get the numbers to where they are, it’s an awesome place to celebrate and look back on where you were and where you are today and the efficiencies you’ve created through it.”  - Robyn (31:20—31:41)


0:00 Introduction.

2:30 Why are KPIs important?

4:42 How to start.

7:54 Writing Off.

12:20 Calculating the business potential. 

14:50 Your collection percentage. 

18:50 It’s not just about the new patient percentage. 

24:41 The diagnostic percentage. 

27:35 Treatment percentages accepted. 

31:15 Final thoughts. 

Robyn Theisen Bio:

Robyn Theisen brings an entire life and legacy of dental experience to the team and every team with which she works as the daughter and sister of dentists. With almost 20 years of experience in dentistry, her roles ranged from practice management to operations at Patterson Dental to coaching teams. Robyn’s passion is empowering teams to realize that they can dramatically impact the lives of the people they serve by implementing skills and systems to remove barriers to life-changing dental treatment. She has done it for decades and does it every day with dental teams.

Outside of coaching, she enjoys time with her husband, Rob, and two daughters, Emerson and Ruby. She loves traveling, music, fitness, and cheering on the Michigan State Spartans.  

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Kirk Behrendt

Kirk Behrendt is a renowned consultant and speaker in the dental industry, known for his expertise in helping dentists create better practices and better lives. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Kirk has dedicated his professional life to optimizing the best systems and practices in dentistry. Kirk has been a featured speaker at every major dental meeting in the United States. His company, ACT Dental, has consistently been ranked as one of the top dental consultants in Dentistry Today's annual rankings for the past 10 years. In addition, ACT Dental was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc Magazine, appearing on their Inc 5000 list. Kirk's motivational skills are widely recognized in the dental industry. Dr. Peter Dawson of The Dawson Academy has referred to Kirk as "THE best motivator I have ever heard." Kirk has also assembled a trusted team of advisor experts who work with dentists to customize individual solutions that meet their unique needs. When he's not motivating dentists and their teams, Kirk enjoys coaching his children's sports teams and spending time with his amazing wife, Sarah, and their four children, Kinzie, Lily, Zoe, and Bo.