Terms That Are Vital To Your Financial Health
In this issue: Section 179, Be Mobile Friendly, Electronic Health Records and Dental Dashboards
Be Mobile Friendly
Can you view and navigate your web site from a smart phone? Do you get your Dentrix appointment schedule on your phone? Are you comfortable with your visibility and search engine optimization?
I’ve heard various estimates, but most experts agree that 50% or more of internet activity (commerce) is done on a mobile device. This trend will continue, so it is critical that you make investments in your web footprint, social media engagement and marketing efforts. While a significant amount of smart phone activity is texting and scanning social media sites, it is quickly becoming our device of choice – “Siri, where’s a good dentist?” Evaluate your web, media and marketing efforts. Make sure your messaging is effective and that your web design and graphics are fully functional on mobile devices.
This IRS stimulus encouraged small businesses to computerize or upgrade before Y2K and during Silicon Valley’s renaissance. Section 179 was also important during the rush to comply with certain ADA (Americans with Disability Act) initiatives. Today, Section 179 will help America digitize and modernize its infrastructure.
I truly believe the section 179 deduction is underutilized by dentists because they are unaware of its benefits. Many accountants who work with small businesses fail to discuss section 179 and its benefits because they are contracted for bookkeeping and tax preparation. Change the dialogue – discuss business development,branding and growth strategies with your CPA.
The obvious advantage to leasing or financing equipment and/or software and then taking the Section 179 deduction is that you can deduct the full amount of the equipment and/or software, without paying the full amount this year. The amount you save in taxes can actually exceed the payments, making this a very bottom-line friendly deduction -http://www.section179.org/
Our digital highway must meet or exceed the efficiencies of our competitors and neighbors. The stakes are high and they spread beyond the obvious small business applications. Neighboring cities and competing countries can have a strategic advantage if their super highways are more efficient and faster! Always seek out the advice of your Dental CPA to determine the best tax strategy for your business.
Electronic Health Records [EHR] – As healthcare digitizes we need a way to share data and prevent abuse while protecting our patients privacy.
An electronic health record (EHR), or electronic medical record (EMR), is a systematic collection of electronic health information about an individual patient or population. It is a record in digital format that is theoretically capable of being shared across different health care settings. In some cases this sharing can occur by way of network-connected, enterprise-wide information systems and other information networks or exchanges.
EHRs may include a range of data, including demographics, medical history, medication and allergies, immunization status, laboratory test results, radiology images, vital signs, personal statistics like age and weight, and billing information.
The system is designed to represent data that accurately captures the state of the patient at all times. It allows for an entire patient history to be viewed without the need to track down the patient’s previous medical record volume and assists in ensuring data is accurate, appropriate and legible. It reduces the chances of data replication as there is only one modifiable file, this means the file is constantly up to date when viewed at a later date and eliminates the issue of lost forms or paperwork. Due to all the information being in a single file, it makes it much more effective when extracting medical data for the examination of possible trends and long term changes in the patient. Don’t wait. Don’t delay. The process towards E H R and paper-less dentistry is an arduous task but the benefits are worthy.
Dashboard – Summary of your data on one screen shot.
A dashboard is a visual aid that pulls specific data (key performance indicators) from your practice management system. This eliminates hours of collation, calculation and organization and can be viewed off site. Here is a screen shot from thrivembi which is entirely mobile friendly.
There are many dental dashboards on the market today and some are customizable. Dentrix customers have access to an ever evolving dashboard of business analytics on version G5. Here is a brief explanation from Chris Lloyd of Dentrix;
The Dentrix Practice Advisor gives your practice a monthly financial-health checkup and recommends improvements. It quickly compiles your production and collections data into a concise, easy-to-read report that gives you a better understanding of your practice’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
How is your practice performing? The Practice Advisor gathers business intelligence from the five most important areas of your practice:
- Production and Case Acceptance
- Schedule Management
- Continuing Care
- New Patient Analysis
This comprehensive report instantly shows whether your practice is achieving your monthly performance goals. It lets you measure your progress over time and keep your entire team focused on the same long-term goals.
What do you need to improve? Practice Advisor gives you a single report that collects and analyzes key performance indicators (KPIs) from every part of your practice. The KPIs measured by Practice Advisor can be customized to fit your practice. You can compare your KPIs with standard industry benchmarks so you can easily identify potential problems each month. Practice Advisor also offers practical suggestions for improving your financial performance, based on advice from industry experts.
To learn more contact Dentrix at 1-800-336-8749 or visit
To calculate the hourly wage for a salary employee:
- Salary amount x pay frequency = annual salary
(e.g., $1200 x 26 pay periods = $31200)
- Annual salary/2080 (hours available annually) = Hourly rate
(e.g., $31200 / 2080 = $15.00 hourly rate)
Ex: 2080 is the total available hours for a full-time (40 hours/week). If the employee does not work 40 hours/week, calculate the number of hours the employee works per week, and multiply by 52. i.e., # of hours/week x 52 = total available annually
*This info is courtesy of Intuit Quickbooks Payroll web page
Knowledge of hourly production numbers are resonating with doctors and healthcare groups today. Pressure from reduced insurance reimbursement, dental school debt and the increase in competition has led to a genuine movement towards hourly production analysis. Offices that do not have congruency in task, performance and cost will experience lower profits. Doctors and hygienists that perform tasks that can be done by an hourly employee who makes a fraction of their pay are upside down on R.O.I.
Would you hire an accountant to work as a cashier? If the GAP hired accountants as checkout clerks, their overhead would sky rocket and they would kill their profitability. The average cashier makes $12-$18 an hour and accountants make over $100+ an hour.
Not all technology or industry movements are for everyone but we owe it to ourselves to vet these ideas and opportunities. We need true partners that are worthy of our loyalty and understand our business and personal goals. We need people to inspire us, motivate us and hold us accountable to our dreams and aspirations.