How to set and track your practice performance goals

When you’re watching the season finale of your favorite show, there’s a good chance the writers and producers already had the outcome(s) in mind before they started writing the season. The team behind the show carefully crafted every episode to lead to the outcome so the finale feels satisfying to the viewers (even if it ends up being a cliffhanger).  

It’s important for you and your entire team to know your practice outcomes. What are the goals you want to accomplish at year’s end? December is your ‘finale.’ Each month’s campaigns and tasks should lead you to it. Not knowing your goals means you’re operating in the dark and won’t know what your ‘finale’ will end up being.  

In this post, you’ll learn 4 steps to set and track goals which will result in effective team planning, stronger team alignment, and higher levels of patient satisfaction.

Step 1: Meet with the doctors early.

As a busy practice, it can be challenging to set aside time to meet with the doctors, particularly to talk about practice goals. But setting clear practice goals and expectations will help you be the practice patients want to visit.  

Start by initiating that meeting. Come prepared with an agenda so the time is utilized well. You should leave that meeting knowing what your ‘finale’ looks like so you and your team can plan your tasks around it.  

Here are some talking points for the conversation:  

  • Do you want to grow or retain patients? Or both?​ By how much?  
  • Where are the opportunities to grow? ​
  • Where can you accommodate more patients?  ​
  • What promotions do you have?  
  • What procedures should you focus on?
  • Do you need to add team members to reach our goals?  
  • How has the practice performed in the past in terms of collections, new patients, reappointments, etc.?

The more specific you are about what success looks like at your practice, the easier it will be to determine how to get there.

Tip: Set an annual planning meeting with the doctor(s) in December or early in January. Allocate 2-3 hours depending on your team size. Make sure you and the doctor(s) have ample time to talk through your goals and expectations in detail.

Set realistic goals.

When it comes to goal setting, your patients are the center of it. Every goal is a measure of patient satisfaction. Keep that in mind if you get any awkward feelings when discussing goals. You’re in healthcare because you want to deliver the best and right care to all patients. And you can’t do that if you don’t have metrics in place.  

As you’re creating goals, they need to be relevant for your practice, not necessarily the industry standard. You can determine this by looking at past performance using your PMS or PRM. Historical data gives you a foundation to set your goals. It helps you make more confident decisions.  

For example, if your practice case acceptance rate is around 45%, then your next goal shouldn’t be 85%. It’s unreasonable and doesn’t set your team up for success. Instead, it can demoralize them and potentially lead to burnout.  

Start with 50% as a case acceptance goal. Then in 6 months, bump it up to 55%. And build it incrementally. This is how you create momentum.  

Tip: Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins along the way. Acknowledging wins builds team morale and ensures all the hard work is seen and valued.

Check out this webinar to learn how Spodak Dental Group does their goal setting. See specific goal examples and their strategy to reach them. You can use it as a blueprint to develop your own goals and campaigns.

Step 2: Share and collaborate with the rest of the team.

Once you’ve met with the doctors and aligned on the goals, next you meet with the rest of the team to get everyone on the same page.  

Schedule a meeting to review the goals and allow the team to weigh in. Ask some of the following:

  • What’s working well?
  • Where can the practice improve?
  • What are the pain points the team is experiencing?
  • What solutions do they have?
  • What campaigns can be created?  

Creating a space for them to offer their input gets them actively involved and engaged with the business side of the practice. It also gives them a sense of ownership and gets them excited about hitting the goals. This is one the ways to make work more fun and meaningful.  

Additionally, if the goals that you discussed with the doctors match with what your team thinks are priorities, then you know everyone is aligned. That makes it easier to all go after the same goal.  

Once you get a clear understanding of your ‘finale’ or goals, you need to reverse engineer how you’ll get there.

Step 3: Create relevant campaigns to meet goals.

Keep this mindset as you’re brainstorming campaign ideas.  

Think like a consumer.  

Ask yourself what type of content and messaging is relevant to them. How do they want to be communicated with? What are they curious about?  

You need to tailor your communications around what people care about using the channels they’re active on. It’s easier to make business decisions when you approach it from a patient perspective.  

Here’s an example of how to do a treatment follow-up campaign.

  • Day 1 Email -> Here are some tips about the treatment we discussed
  • Day 7 Text -> Delaying a treatment is never a good idea.
  • Day 10 Social media –> We have some great finance options for treatments
  • Day 14 Video -> Benefits of restoration
  • Day 18 Newsletter -> Give your smile a fresh start with a dental implant  
  • Day 21 Mail -> Important notice about your pending treatment  

Patients need to hear a message several times for it to sink in and for them to ‘purchase’ or accept a treatment recommendation. Use a combination of different channels and content to educate and advocate for them.  

Don’t forget this piece for campaign building – automate what you can to cut down on the busy work. Lean into technology where you can. RevenueWell’s Marketing Platform has customizable campaigns, which include prebuilt templates, advanced triggers and filtering, and reports to help you stay engaged with patients.

Tip: Be aware of how much dental jargon you use and choose words that would resonate with your patients. Chances are many of your patients don’t have a dental background so using mostly clinical terms could cause their eyes to glaze over.

Step 4: Track your goals regularly

Monitoring your goals is key if you want to reach them. You probably have a process for keeping up with them, but it might not be ideal. Track your goals with your PMS or PRM if it has an analytics feature. Avoid doing it on a spreadsheet or Word document. Using your existing tech stack makes it easier to keep up with your goals and not lose sight of the diligent work your team is doing.  

Also, regular communication is critical for meeting your goals. Schedule a weekly team check in to discuss how you’re doing. It helps everyone stay accountable and focused on the tasks that matter most. You can also discuss what’s not working and adjust expectations.

Tip: Schedule a team meeting halfway through the year to evaluate how you’ve been tracking. Like in your weekly team meetings, if something isn’t working, then don’t hesitate to reassess your goals. There’s nothing wrong with going back to the drawing board.

RevenueWell’s Marketing Platform contains a wide range of tools that help you boost patient satisfaction and team productivity. Gain visibility into your practice’s performance with analytics that help with goal setting and tracking. Reach patients with targeted and relevant messaging using automated campaigns. Cut down on the repetitive tasks you don’t need to be spending time on like appointment confirmations and reminders. And that’s just a glimpse of what’s in the Marketing Platform – schedule a demo to see how RevenueWell can help your practice.