Any business needs to measure and control its performance. Dental practices are not an exception. For one of our projects I’m helping business owners to find correct KPIs for their business. Many specialists from a dental niche asked their questions there.
Introduction to the measurement and management problem
The two typical problems that I normally face with KPIs for a dental practice are the problem of balance and the problem of alignment of the KPIs to strategic goals.
- Talking about the alignment, dental practice managers don’t always understand what they need to measure as strategic objectives are not properly specified before they started with KPIs. As a result, KPIs are focused on something, not necessary relevant to practice’s business objectives.
- The second problem is the balance. People tend to measure what they can, and as a result a dashboard is overloaded with KPIs relevant to finance, with less KPIs helping to focus on something important and relevant to the patients, and even less focus on mastering new skills and fine-tuning internal business processes.
I could say that the KPIs that most dental practices use are focused on the current day, not on the future, e.g. they miss the strategic planning aspect. Moreover, the KPIs that are used by most dental practices today are not aligned with what the practice actually wants to achieve.
- Find here the full list of KPIs for a Dental Practice
Using the Balanced Scorecard approach
A good approach is to use the Balanced Scorecard framework. It is important to understand that the Balanced Scorecard is not only about KPIs, it starts with strategic objectives which then are translated into initiatives and KPIs.
- During my research the most popular KPIs were published in the BSC Designer Online project dedicated to dental practices.
Using BSC Designer Online a Balanced Scorecard for Dental Practice was created. It includes Strategy Map, Business Objectives and KPIs. For the benchmark values I have used benchmarks from US dental industry, it is recommended to update the Balanced Scorecard with benchmarks specific for your region.
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The Dental Practice Balanced Scorecard
Here is the Dental Practice Balanced Scorecard created with BSC Designer Online. Follow this link to view the project online.
On the “KPIs” tab related measures are listed. Select a specific KPI to modify its details or to introduce more data:
On the “Strategy Map” tab you will find the Balanced Scorecard strategy map represented across four BSC perspectives:
Customize BSC for your needs
To customize the Dental Practice project according to the needs of a specific dental practice you have two options:
Once you have the project in your account in the BSC Designer Online or in the BSC Designer PRO you can add specific values for the indicators. You have two options:
- Manual entry. Select KPI, then select appropriate date in the calendar and enter the KPI’s value for this date.
- Access data source. If you have your KPIs in Excel or in a database then you can manage automatic access to this data. In BSC Designer Online: select KPI and click “Import indicator values” (in online version) button to import from Excel or another data source. In BSC Designer PRO, follow the instructions in this video.
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“The Reduction of Broken Appointments in General Dental Practice: An Audit and Intervention Approach”. Patel, Piyush; Forbes, Michael; Gibson, John. Primary Dental Care, Volume 7, Number 4, 1 October 2000, pp. 141-144(4)
“7 Most Important Things to Measure in Your Dental Practice“, Gary Takacs
“Financial Health of Your Practice“, Satish Patel, Gerry J Casazza
“Monitoring your practice’s vital signs“, Dr Michael Sernik, July 2005
“Key Performance Indicators“, Roger P. Levin, DDS, dentaleconomics.com