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PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Executive Dashboard – 
Keeping Stats & Monitoring your Business

Stop for a moment if you will and imagine you’re in the driver’s seat of your favorite rig. Now imagine to your surprise a dashboard without any functioning gauges or monitors. No fuel, temperature or battery status, not even a speedometer or tachometer. Could you drive? Of course you could. Now, how far down the road you’d get without a challenge would be, well, a challenge.

Now stop for a moment and think about your business and its gauges. How do you know if your practice is functioning on all cylinders? Are you maximizing production and increasing revenues? As we address part three of this series on practice management, we will look at how practice statistics and figures play a vital role in building and maintaining a successful business.

Like most people who drive a car or truck I’d venture to say the two most observed gauges are the speedometer and the gas gauge. Now take a look at the business of eyecare. I’m certain the two most observed stats are the revenues in and revenues out. But there is much more data available just waiting to be accumulated, analyzed and affected. Keep in mind that these “three A’s” of statistical management don’t necessarily have dollars signs in front of them.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Keeping track of a business statistics is nothing new. However, an interesting trend has taken place over the past decade or so - sharing your stats with your team. Indeed it’s not the accountant who is going to come up with new ideas to increase patient flow or fill the appointment book. Heck, the accountant might have trouble advising you how to increase revenue. As a business owner getting the staff involved can really pay dividends. We will explore the staff issue later on but for now pull out your number 2 pencil and let’s take a look at which statistics to track and how to evaluate them.

As you might imagine, there are many numbers that can be collected, so it’s important to keep the number of stats limited in order to not overwhelm yourself or your team.

I recommend the following stats be kept on a regular and consistent basis.

  1. Adjusted Gross Sales

  2. Patient Volume (New & Established)

  3. Revenue Per Patient

  4. Appointments or Production Booked

  5. Accounts Receivable

One of the key elements to keeping stats is consistency over a period of time. There are two factors to consider here. First, a stat keeper must be diligent over an extended period of time. Second, each stat kept should not be changed. In other words, keep your formula the same. For example, we’ll use income that’s collected vs. revenue billed. Either number is fine to stat, pick one and just be sure to not switch midstream from one to the other. Keep it consistent. It’s also important to remember that the benefits may not show themselves in the short term, but over time, say six months or more, the ability to compare and contrast will become invaluable as a management tool.

The Benchmarks

Stat management wouldn’t have the impact it does if you didn’t have targets to shoot for. A great place to find production targets is to review last year’s production. Today’s practice management software typically has the capability of tracking the aforementioned stats and more. Over-the-counter financial software is another source for stat information. Once you have established your stats they become the baseline and provide the best resource for strategic management and marketing decisions.

The following numbers are made available as ball park numbers and fluctuate according to the demographics and/or geographic traits across the country.

Adjusted Gross Sales 90-95% (revenue generated)
New patients 25-33% (of total patients)
Production booked 90-95% (of available slots)
Revenue per patient $250-$350 (service & product fees)

"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence." Vince Lombardi

Stat Management & Team Participation

It has been my experience that getting your eyecare team to participate not only in patient care but in the operations of the business brings tremendous value. By sharing the numbers we’ve been discussing today, your staff has a better understanding of how the practice operates and functions on a day to day basis. Your front line reception team can now take ownership and manage a stat like production booked. Your dispensing team can take pride in knowing that they influence revenue per patient. The entire team can now track and improve an essential statistic like new patients. The following graphic illustrates how the entire practice team can track and stat the practice’s progress. I encourage you to use this tool. It is quite simple and straightforward.

Hitting on All Cylinders

Unfortunately, the winds of change are blowing harder than ever. It takes more than just providing good services and good products. All too often we can become complacent with our actions and become comfortable with the established environment. Successful ECP’s are embracing the concept of working smarter, not harder. As they reach for the next level of success, they understand where to apply the right resources using the right people using the right strategies. Taking the time to manage by statistics can truly take your practice to the next level.

And Finally . . .

An old and dear colleague of mine, who is an excellent industry speaker by the way, often quoted a great truism from his college days as it relates to today’s topic. “There are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics.”

If you are looking for a effective online resource to track optometric statistics, you might check out www.ODStats.com. They have taken stat management to the web with some great features that allow you to compare and contrast your own eyecare business with similar practices across the country.

Thomas Breen
Principal, Breen & Associates

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