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On Star Trek, Dr. McCoy would take his trusted tricorder and quick as you can say Captain Kirk, we had a diagnosis, or solution to the problem. The tricorder is a multifunction hand-held device used for sensor (environment) scanning, data analysis and recording data. It was issued by the fictional organization Starfleet. The standard tricorder is a general-purpose device used primarily to scout unfamiliar areas, make detailed examinations of living things, and record and review technical data. I have something similar: The Summit Practice Solutions Growth Analysis Spreadsheet. Just click this link to download the spreadsheet then save it. Here is the hard part. I need you to fill it out because we are going to take the next few weeks and help you analyze your own practice. The first page is just general information that should take about ten minutes to fill in. It is important that you fill in all of the areas we are asking for. I realize you are not sending this to me, but what you place in the spaces provided will generate conclusions at the end of the spreadsheet. This is a “garbage in, garbage out” sort of thing. The conclusions and results depend entirely on how correctly and completely you fill in this spreadsheet. On page two of the spreadsheet we are looking for information from each month of the most recent 12 months. Don’t skip a month and don’t leave any of the boxes (cells) empty. This could take your front desk person about 45 to 60 minutes to fill in. Don’t forget to fill it in completely. Once you are done with the first two pages, you are done. The third page will be automatically populated with the information and conclusions from the first two pages. So, your homework this week is to finish filling this out completely before you read the additional information over the next few weeks.

Why would I ask you to do this? Most doctors, when asked how many new patients they get a month, what insurance companies they are in network with, what their production per new patient is, etc., just glaze over and either admit to not knowing or pull something out of the air that is always incorrect. Doesn’t it make sense to actually understand where you are, before you decide what you are going to do about your practice? Sure, anyone would have to answer yes. I am asking you, for your own sake, to take a little time and compile these numbers so as we discuss each category in the spreadsheet, you can self-diagnose your own practice. I guarantee that you will know more about your practice as well as the practice of dentistry after you have analyzed your data, allowed me to explain the impact of what these numbers mean, while sitting at home, with no one looking over your shoulder. You will be the only one that sees this, but you are the only one who needs to understand what we will discuss about your practice during the following weeks.

This spreadsheet will unveil everything about your practice’s outflow, systems, and current standing as a practice. There are going to be two other things I am going to ask you to track down while you are having someone at the front desk fill out the spreadsheet.

  1. A year-to-date Profit and Loss Statement. (If today is within the first 2-3 months of the year, this will be your final accounting report from last year – sometimes referred to as the “year-end” P&L. If it is later in the year, then you will need your most current year-to-date statement.)
  2. A copy of one week’s schedule.

We will be explaining the spreadsheet but you will also need to know data from the Profit and Loss Statement. The P&L Statement will give you out-flow or your burn rate and overhead. The week of the practice schedule will allow me to illustrate blockages in your daily routine as well as your front desk level of understanding of scheduling, production, and the range of clinical services and speed.

The next few weeks can be the most important step you have ever taken in changing your practice for a better future. The neat thing is that no one will see the numbers but you. The biggest mistake would be to follow this blog without having concrete absolute numbers to look at as we discuss what each number means and how to fix the challenges that this study will reveal. This is how you Summit.
Michael Abernathy, DDS
972.523.4660 cell
[email protected]
PS – Just call with any questions or if you have difficulty filling out the spreadsheet.