Monthly Dentrix Reports and Workflow Best Practices

In my final article of a three-part series, we are going to talk about your monthly Dentrix reports and workflow routine. Until now, we have focused on your daily and weekly workflow to help you fill your schedule, improve your cash flow, and monitor your practice goals. Now, let’s see how you finished the race.

I am all about being open, honest, and transparent about the practice numbers and providing my team with the information they need to manage and grow the practice. The month end reports give your doctor and your team a place to celebrate the successes and re-examine the systems. I have worked in two dental practices over my 25-year career. One was very open about goal-setting, reviewing practice KPIs, and learning how to forecast the future. The other one? Not so much. When I brought my enthusiasm of understanding the practice numbers to my second practice, it was a game-changer . . . in a good way!

Why is it important to be open, honest, and transparent about your practice numbers?

  • You can’t do it alone. Your team is your greatest asset, and your team will help the practice be successful if you give them the tools they need.
  • Your team will feel like stakeholders and not just employees of a dental practice.

Okay, now let’s get into the weeds and look at what monthly reports and monthly systems need to be managed in your practice and how your Dentrix software can help provide you with the information you need. There are two main points in this article that I want you to take back to your practice: Goal vs. actual and practice security.

First, let’s look at goal vs. actual. Throughout the month, we are working the daily and weekly systems to reach our goals. There are five key performance indicators that every office should be monitoring, and all of these numbers can be discussed with the team at the monthly numbers meeting using the Practice Advisor Report.

  1. Net production per day. I realize you might have a monthly production goal. However, the net production per day is a better indicator if you are working harder or smarter. If your Dentrix appointment book is set up correctly, the Practice Advisor will break this down for you for the practice, doctors, and hygienists.
  2. Case acceptance for your patients of record and your new patients is a key indicator of the amount of presented treatment your patients are accepting. In the Dentrix world, the case acceptance is calculated by the treatment being diagnosed and completed in the same month or if you mark the case as accepted.
  3. Accounts receivable ratio is the total accounts receivable and the monthly production. This calculation is important because it shows you how much money you have on the books compared to what you are producing. This can quickly show you if you are collecting what you are producing.
  4. Accounts receivable over 90 days past due. If you have more than 10-15% of your accounts receivable over 90 days past due, I would recommend re-examining your system for collecting money. You are allowing way too much money to walk out the door and affect the practice overhead.
  5. The patient retention number is located on the Continuing Care page of the Practice Advisor report and is one of the most important indicators of the healthy practice. This number is calculated based on the number of your active patients who are returning for their hygiene visit within a date span that you choose. If your patient retention is below 85%, I would highly recommend reading back through my articles on being proactive with your schedule or the weekly reports. If you need more than an article to help, please reach out.

I realize there are other key performance indicators that the dental practice should be monitoring and will save those for another article.

The second part of your monthly workflow is making sure your month end is running … and running properly. Several upgrades ago, Dentrix changed the month end process and I am noticing that many practices have still not set up the Month End Task Scheduler. Not only do you need to make sure it is running, but you need to make sure it is tackling the important things.

Here is a list of the important things that the Month End Task Scheduler should be running . . .

  1. Close Transactions – This is what ages your accounts, moves the ending balance from the closed month into the beginning balance of the new month, and locks the ledger transactions into history.
  2. Move clinical notes to history – This will lock up your clinical notes and then the only way you can edit a note would be with an addendum.
  3. Move perio exams to history – I would prefer this to be set at a daily task.
  4. Reset Insurance Benefits – This will reset the benefits used back to zero if the insurance plan renewal month is this month.
  5. Recalculate totals should be set as a daily task — This makes sure your practice totals stay accurate in case of a system glitch or power surge in the practice.

I do not recommend that the management reports be tied to the month end process just because you can generate reports in Dentrix whenever you want. Other things you can run in the Month End Task Scheduler would be Finance Charges, Late Charges, and Future Due Payment Plans. The most important thing with the month end process is securing your system and protecting your license.