With so much on our plates, it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day details of running a practice. We have patients to care for. We have team members to lead. We have tasks to manage. We have KPIs to measure.
All those things are important. That's why we spend so much time teaching about those topics in Dental Profit Academy and in my Inner Circle Mastermind.
But we cannot lose sight of the big picture in our practices if we want to grow. That's where scorecards come in.
How to Create a Scorecard
We have talked a lot about how a simple whiteboard can help you increase profits. Your whiteboard gives you real-time information on your production and day-to-day activities.
We have talked about how creating accountability systems and KPIs can make make your team more accountable. KPIs are individual metrics that each team member uses to measure progress. KPIs tell you what tasks each person is accountable for on a day-to-day basis.
While your whiteboard and KPIs help you stay on track with achieving your practice vision, a scorecard is different. Imagine you are on a much-needed vacation. Maybe you have always dreamed of spending a month on a remote island. Maybe you are mountain climbing on the other side of the world. You have no way to reach your practice. You can't talk with your team members. You can't talk with patients. You can't access your server. All you can access are a few pieces of key data. What are the things you would want to know so you could understand if your practice is doing well? Those big-picture metrics are what go on a dental practice scorecard.
Two Types of Metrics to Include on Your Scorecard
Less is more with a scorecard. We only want to include the most important metrics. We suggest including between five and fifteen key metrics.
When you look at your scorecard you should be able to know two things. First, you should know the current health of your practice. Second, you should be able to predict the future health of your practice based on the information on your scorecard.
One metric every practice should include is profitability. That gives you the ultimate snapshot of the current health of your practice.
But profitability doesn't help much when it comes to looking forward. It is a lagging indicator. Thus, profitability is useful and important but it only scores the past. It doesn't score things that will impact your future.
To get a complete pulse of your practice, you must also measure key leading indicators. Leading indicators are things we can measure now that help us predict future results.
Filling Out Your Scorecard
Leading indicators can be tough to identify, however the more we measure things in our practices the better we get at identifying them.
It takes a few tries to get the numbers right. You'll track something that you thought was important but ultimately is not. That's okay. It usually takes practices about three months to feel comfortable with their scorecards.
Every practice's scorecard will include different leading indicators, depending on your practice goals and vision.
For example, if you are looking to fill your schedule with more patients, you would measure the activities that attract new patients. So, if I know my outbound call conversion rate is 25% and I need to schedule ten people, a key leading indicator for my practice would be the number of calls made. If I wanted to schedule ten patients, and my call conversion is 25%, I know my team needs to call forty people. I would add the number of calls to my scorecard. If my scorecard showed we were not calling enough people, a quick look at my scorecard would tell me we need to pick up the pace.
If you are getting predictable patients using our Facebook for dentists training, you might measure active Facebook campaigns. If you know the number of ads you need to attract the right number of patients, you could include that on your scorecard.
Using Your Scorecard
Once you have your key metrics, create a spreadsheet using Google Sheets shared among key practices leaders. Google Sheets is Google's version of Microsoft Excel that makes collaboration easy.
Make sure each person is responsible for measuring and reporting back on at least one metric.
For example, Delivering WOW team member Josey works as Director of Operations at her practice. She is responsible for six metrics, gross production, scheduled dentistry for the week, how much dentistry on the books, hygiene revenue, cancellations, and no shows. She gets help from her team to do the work to impact those numbers. But she is responsible for reporting the numbers and driving improvement in those categories.
Once everyone has their metrics, ask them to update the scorecard once a week and schedule a weekly meeting to review the scorecard with your whole leadership team.
Do You Monitor Your Most Important Metrics?
If you do not monitor your most important metrics, your team might be so focused on the details of their days that they lose sight of the big picture of your practice. That's why we recommend scorecards for every practice.
Creating a scorecard and reviewing it regularly will help you better plan for and predict the future in your practice. It will help you adjust faster. It will help you stop negative momentum and start building positive momentum.
Additionally, as time goes on, you will be able to compare your most important metrics to historical periods to diagnose problems and predict the future even more accurately.
To learn more about using scorecards to lead your practice, check out the leadership track in Dental Profit Academy. There, you will find my best strategies for leading your practice well.
You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.