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  • Denise Ciardello

How Important are Numbers?

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

KPIs Worth Tracking

There are statistics kept for nearly every aspect of life. Have you listened to any sports reporting lately, they keep track of how many times a player sneezes on the field? When you think about the purpose of this, it does make sense, although it also is a bit mind boggling. Numbers track where you’ve been, where you’re heading, trends from previous periods of time and determining the productivity of your efforts on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

The downside of tracking statistics is knowing what to track. In a dental office, our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can define how many patients are seen to the number of crowns prepped; the number of outstanding claims to the percentage of retained patients. A business owner can spend more time looking at numbers than actually completing treatment and still not know what the right answer is for his/her particular practice.

The question is: what do YOU want to track? Then find out what the industry standards are for your specific practice and needs. If you are a fee-for-service (FFS) practice - you do not need to look at the insurance statistics within your software or if you are contracted with most insurance companies - the Over-the-counter (OTC) collection rate is of no concern to you. Of course, a pedo office is not going to track perio numbers, and a perio office will not track crown preps.

Some of the numbers that we track with our clients include:

  • A/R greater than 1% of your Monthly Production?

  • Hygiene Production less than 33% of your Total Production?

  • Collection ratio less than 98% of Total Production?

  • Hygiene Periodontal Therapy less than 33% of Hygiene Production?

  • More than 5% of A/R 90 days or more past due?

  • Retaining less than 85% of your patients?

  • A/R greater than 1% of your Monthly Production?

  • Insurance production adjustment – 3% or less?

  • Patient pre-payments – < 2%?

  • Scheduled vs Net Production - +/= 5% total?

  • Claim rejection - < 1%?

  • Insurance Pending Ratio - <2% Net Pt Production monthly?

  • Treatment acceptance < 80%?

  • Lab costs comprise between 8-10% of practice’s overhead?

  • Insurance collection ratio – 95%?

  • Pt collection ratio – 95%?

  • OTC rate – 95%?

When you add a new procedure or technology, it is always important to keep track of the number of times this has been completed. This helps to follow the trend, especially since as humans, we will revert back to old ways and forget to mention the new whitening system we implemented.

The most important thing to remember is that numbers are great to track, however, they are not the end of the story. Quite frankly, this is where the story begins. If the trend shows that claim rejection is increased, it leads to the question - Why? Has the clearing house faltered a bit? Have we failed to include x-rays/narratives as we should? Are we verifying the insurance properly?

As consultants, this is where we begin since it allows us to put our thumb on the pulse of your practice - statistically speaking. We love the bird’s eye view; this is what allows our teams to continue to flourish through their day.

If you find that you could use some assistance with tracking your KPIs, give us a call. We would love to help.


Denise Ciardello, Consultant

Denise is co-founder of Global Team Solutions. A professional speaker and published author, her enthusiasm and knowledge about the dental profession has helped many dental teams. She brings experience, insight, and creativity into her management style, along with a sense of humor. In a profession that can cause anxiety in some dental employees.

Denise’s consulting approach is to partner with doctors and team members to help them realize the dream of creating a thriving, successful practice.

Denise can be reached at:

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