Purchasing your own dental practice may just be the largest professional decision you’ll ever make. Obviously, making sure you’ve done the correct research and analysis of the practice is incredibly important. One aspect of this due diligence is a chart audit, which will provide important information about the success and viability of the practice.
You may want to focus the first part of the chart audit on finding out what percentage of dental patients are coming back in as recommended for preventive care and have scheduled with the practice for something on their treatment plan. The more you see of these established patients, the better. Once this is done, compare the number of returning patients with the number of patients who haven’t been back in for over a year and those who only make appointment for dental emergencies. It would clearly be too difficult to review every single chart, so just choose a sample of 100-150 patients. This number should provide you with a decent representation of the practice as a whole.
The next place you’ll want to focus the chart audit is on how much further dental treatment the new owner will have to perform. Going along with this, consider if you agree with the diagnosis that has already been made. If most of the practice’s established patients have already finished their treatment plans, and if the practice is not still averaging at least 25 – 30 new patients who still have further treatment needs, then you’ll probably have trouble filling your schedule.
Lastly, the chart audit also allows you to closely analyze the schedule. Ask yourself if you’ll be able to keep up with the seller’s current pace. Make sure there aren’t too many appointments left unfilled. The schedule is a good indicator of trends within the practice and how they’ll fit into your goals for it.
For help with analyzing the chart audits of a practice you’re considering purchasing, or for any other information on your dental transition, please contact CTC Associates!