By Roger P. Levin, DDS

Data is one of the most important factors in building a business model for orthodontic practices. When practices keep tabs on statistics about the profession at-large, it allows for their continual improvement and ability to compete effectively in a challenging orthodontic environment. You should always consider the following two industry-wide statistics when evaluating your practice and your team.

Statistic #1: 96% of orthodontic office managers have no management background.

Many have come up through the ranks and were able to operate certain aspects of an orthodontic practice successfully, but they tend to be weaker in the traditional managerial areas of recruiting, hiring, training, conflict resolution, customer service systems implementation, mentoring, and coaching. Training orthodontic office managers to a higher level will take significant pressure and stress off of the orthodontist, allowing them to focus completely on patient care.

Statistic #2: 98% of orthodontic treatment coordinators have no sales background.

The sales process in the orthodontic practice is most critical. Sales is a science that should be applied repeatedly to each potential new patient, so the orthodontic treatment coordinator must be knowledgeable in far more than just basic orthodontics. This person needs to have a basic understanding of human psychology, human nature, sales psychology, sales follow-up systems, and goal setting.

Please remember that it is also critical for orthodontic treatment coordinators to track practice statistics. There should be a daily report from the treatment coordinator that includes patients seen, patients who accepted treatment, patients requiring follow-up, patients added to observation, total observation number of patients, and any unusual things that may have occurred. It might also be important to look at how many patients are fee-for-service, how many patients are included in each insurance plan, and what the discounts are on their fees if the practice is participating.

Data is powerful and needs to be used to the best practice advantage. With that in mind, it’s critical that you understand the two statistics listed above. If your practice can be on the right side of these stats, odds are it will be stress-free and successful. OP

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO and founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world. To contact Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit levingroup.com or email rlevin@levingroup.com