316195270 © Andrey Popov | Dreamstime.com
664631b757bcc8e9ae0105ce Dreamstime Xxl 316195270

Can workflow technology increase production?

May 16, 2024
Workflow technology is great, but it's crucial that practice owners take time to evaluate current systems before investing.

I recently gave a lecture at a high-tech dental conference on how to increase practice production with workflow technology. This would indicate that the answer to the title is affirmative. However, simply adding workflow technology alone does not necessarily increase practice production and can have a dramatic impact on overhead and profit (and not in the right direction).

Coping with a new economic era

Before investing in workflow technology—which is relatively costly but definitely worth it—the practice needs to review its own foundational operating systems. Workflow technology does not compensate for bad systems, and bad systems restrict any chance of increasing production. We have entered a new era in dentistry where growth every year is no longer automatic.

In 2022 and 2023 we saw an economic scenario for dental practices where overhead rose more than in any two-year period in the last 40 years, and practice production remained relatively flat, or only grew slightly. For practices, and there were many that experienced this syndrome, overall practice profitability dropped anywhere from 6%–8%. The key to bouncing back from this economic scenario is increasing practice production, and the first step is implementing excellent systems and then workflow technology.

Evaluate current systems before you upgrade

I am a big fan of investing in technology for dental practices. It should be done as a plan—well thought-out and economically viable. But it will not matter how large an investment is made in workflow technology unless the day-to-day operating systems are in place. I believe that most practices are 30%–50% below their true capacity for production. Most dentists do not recognize this because they believe that busyness equals productivity, when in fact, busyness simply equals busyness.

So, take the time to audit, your practice operating systems such as scheduling, hygiene productivity, new-patient experience, practice production, daily production, production per hour, production per day, production per new patient, production per provider, and other key metrics, and make sure they are all operating at the highest efficiency. Then, and only then, can workflow technology take your practice to an entirely new level.

Editor's note: This article originally appeared in DE Weekend, the newsletter that will elevate your Sunday mornings with practical and innovative practice management and clinical content from experts across the field. Subscribe here.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and founder of Levin Group, has worked with more than 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and more than 4,000 articles, and regularly presents seminars in the US and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit levingroup.com or email [email protected].

About the Author

Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and founder of Levin Group

Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and founder of Levin Group, has worked with more than 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and more than 4,000 articles, and regularly presents seminars in the US and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit levingroup.com or email [email protected].

Updated January 23, 2024

Sponsored Recommendations

Clinical Study: OraCare Reduced Probing Depths 4450% Better than Brushing Alone

Good oral hygiene is essential to preserving gum health. In this study the improvements seen were statistically superior at reducing pocket depth than brushing alone (control ...

Clincial Study: OraCare Proven to Improve Gingival Health by 604% in just a 6 Week Period

A new clinical study reveals how OraCare showed improvement in the whole mouth as bleeding, plaque reduction, interproximal sites, and probing depths were all evaluated. All areas...

Chlorine Dioxide Efficacy Against Pathogens and How it Compares to Chlorhexidine

Explore our library of studies to learn about the historical application of chlorine dioxide, efficacy against pathogens, how it compares to chlorhexidine and more.

Enhancing Your Practice Growth with Chairside Milling

When practice growth and predictability matter...Get more output with less input discover chairside milling.