The Financial Death Trap That’s Killing Your Dental Group Practice

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We see it over and over again. Dentists often get caught up in the various tasks and roles of providing high-quality dental services and neglect to collect data about their devices. The end result? Costly mistakes that are taking away money from their practice every day.

What’s the financial death trap that’s killing your dental practice?

Data. Or rather, the lack thereof. Not using data to inform your decisions can create massive inefficiencies that exponentially grow as you get bigger.

You’ve likely heard that dental practices need to embrace the digital world, which is true. However, it’s simply not enough to buy practice management software and call it a day. You need to arm yourself with the right information, otherwise, you’re just implementing change without a purpose. You need to create a plan and understand what tools and metrics will help you scale.

One of the most overlooked areas for improvement is related to equipment and facility management. Most owners today don’t even know what medical equipment they have in their practices. They make their dental equipment purchase decisions based on gut instinct and allocate dollars based on arbitrary percentages of revenue. If this sounds like you please – for the sake of your practice, employees, and patients – read this article. It’s time for you to get serious about data and start making informed equipment decisions so that you can spend more time helping patients and less time on financial planning.

Why Are You Making Equipment Purchase Decisions Without Quality Data?

You can be the world’s greatest dentist, but without working dental equipment, you can only do so much. With dental equipment playing such a large role in patient care, why do most practices overlook the importance of sound equipment management tools and practices?

When you don’t have data available to support critical business decisions, you might lean on your gut feeling and previous experiences. Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and make the right choice, but most of the time you’ll spend inefficiently and end up losing money. However, why take this approach if you don’t have to?

A loss of production due to faulty equipment leads to stress, hinders your business, or even affects your ability to retain employees and attract top-quality staff to your practice because they want to work in a place that is properly managed.

How Much Can Missing Data Cost?

Think about one of the most important pieces of equipment in your dental office? Your compressor. Without it, your practice shuts down. With better equipment maintenance and data tracking, you can easily keep an eye on how your compressor is doing. You can detect when it’s starting to struggle, and can anticipate the need for a repair or replacement. With early warnings, you can appropriately plan and budget before the event becomes a critically disruptive issue.

Compare that with the alternative – the status quo. You buy the compressor and put it in the mechanical room. You don’t have great maintenance or management policies. Furthermore, you’re not collecting any data that can tell you the general health of the device. Randomly, on a busy day, the compressor fails. You shut down your whole practice. You have to reschedule patients, and if they go somewhere else for their needs that day, they may never come back. Even worse, for every hour that your compressor is down, you’re losing revenue, and your staff is growing more annoyed.

Although the compressor is an easy example, imagine the costs of smaller failures. Without maintenance programs, smaller devices can be difficult to maintain, resulting in equipment malfunctions. These micro issues make a routine procedure take slightly longer than it should. Every day those inefficiencies add up. How many more procedures could you have done? How many headaches could you have saved? How much are those kinds of problems costing your dental practice every year?

When you don’t have a good system in place to track equipment issues and ensure the team is doing their maintenance, that’s the cost of not having high-quality data.

Excel Can Work – But No One Keeps Up With Data

If you were able to track:

  • Location
  • Failure rates
  • Cost of ownership
  • Age of equipment
  • Purchase cost
  • Depreciation value
  • Service and maintenance history

for every device, you could decide whether it’s more cost-effective to repair or replace a problematic device. Moreover, you can forecast for new equipment refreshes and gain control over cost management.

But how do we get started? When it comes to collecting data, a lot of dental offices will default to simple programs like Excel to track the information they need.

In all honesty, that’s not a bad thing if you can keep up with it. Excel is affordable and relatively easy to use. There are just a few problems:

  1. Excel can be time consuming
  2. It requires someone to input and collect data
  3. It requires someone to manage the data
  4. It doesn’t proactively alert you when an issue arises

It makes sense, right? Excel takes a lot of time that many dental offices just can’t afford to give. So the result is incomplete data sets, or not having any data at all once people stop using their spreadsheets.

Without data, you’re making blind decisions about your equipment, staffing, and all the other aspects that involve the business side of your dental practice.

Instead of using a program like Excel, consider UptimeHealth or another dental practice software that makes task management, data collection, and other necessary tasks faster and easier for everyone.

The Power Of Data Across Multiple Locations

One of the main reasons to expand the number of dental practices under management is to take advantage of economies of scale to help reduce costs.

Without the right data (sensing a theme?), you limit your ability to realize your full potential.

Going back to the theme of equipment management, having a singular platform to aggregate all the device information across your entire ecosystem can be powerful. Using a data-driven platform to tell you what types of equipment are ripe for replacement will help you create more accurate budgets. It will also allow you to focus on purchases that are deemed necessary based on metrics and not feelings or opinions.

Leveraging this type of information to effectively and preemptively replace older and/or potentially problematic devices can create massive savings. Buying equipment in bulk can help leverage discounts while reducing the number of ad-hoc purchases with premiums and overnight delivery charges. It’s easy to see why the investment in the right tools, like UptimeHealth, to track information across multiple locations, can create substantial efficiencies.

The UptimeHealth Difference

In order to offer you a better kind of equipment, facilities, and maintenance management software, we’re always thinking about how our program can make your life easier without distracting you from your patients. That’s also why UptimeHealth offers a full turn-key onboarding and account build-out with ongoing platform management and support.

That way you can focus on the things that make you a great dentist, and our software can make taking care of your business a lot easier.

By helping you manage necessary maintenance tasks, when your equipment needs a tune-up and providing easy data management tools for all aspects of your office, UptimeHealth will help you reclaim your time and lower your costs.

Learn more about UptimeHealth today or check out our blog for more information and resources to help make running your practice easier and more efficient.

Learn more about UptimeHealth today or check out
the blog for more information
and resources to help
make running your practice easier and more efficient.


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