You undoubtedly spend a majority of your time concerned about the health of your patients—and that’s the way it should be. But how often do you think about the health of your practice? After all, a strong, healthy practice is the vehicle in which you treat those very same patients. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to care for them in the same way.

Keeping your practice healthy is dependent on many factors that may seem obvious—the number of clients you have, your staff’s expertise and customer service levels, the services you offer, and the products you sell. But your practice’s health is also directly tied to something many people may overlook—the health of your data. Your practice management software can help maintain healthy data by detecting gaps or holes that need to be filled.

Here are three areas that demonstrate how healthy data can make a healthy difference.

1. Gaps in Your Client Data

We did some quick, informal polling with our NaVetor users. Seventy-five percent of respondents said they ask clients for missing data during the visit.

Asking clients for missing addresses, phone numbers, emails, or billing information when they come in is one of the most efficient (and one of the easiest) ways to ensure you have up-to-date, complete client information. While some staff members may think this is a task that doesn’t need prioritization, having correct client information for mailing, emailing, or texting reminders is critical for practice health.

For example, reminders increase appointment retention by an average of 26 percent. With 30 more wellness visits per month at an average of $160 each, that’s an extra $4,800 monthly or $57,600 annually. Simply put, not having the ability to communicate effectively with clients may result in less visits and less revenue overall.

If you’re not sure if you’re missing client data, your practice management software should be able to help with reports that flag it. For example, NaVetor’s Client Missing Data report identifies gaps in addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers. This report, which can be filtered by registration date, clearly shows which clients are missing information.

2. Correct Billing Categories

In the same poll of NaVetor users, 100 percent used the billing categories recommended by their accountants verses the AAHA chart of accounts. We love the consensus, but regardless of the answer, having correct billing categories ensures that your Profit and Loss (P&L) reports are accurate in measuring costs and profits in each category.

NaVetor allows you to do both— either use the AAHA chart of accounts or use whatever your accountant recommends. When you go to NaVetor’s Master Billing, you can manually change, add, or remove billing categories. Input from your accountant can also help guide the setup of master billing categories, helping to ensure consistency of financial information going forward. Then, once it is set up how you want, you can select the billing category from the drop down whenever you invoice future items. Additionally, all future P&L reports will pull from these billing categories.

NaVetor’s Profit Analysis Report can also help you run reports by specific billing categories, including “all” categories. This report shows costs, sales, profits, and profit percentages, making it easier to see profitability throughout the year and at year end.

3. Covering Inventory Costs

Another practice poll question focused on inventory. “How often do practices review their pricing? Annually? When you think about it? Only when you think you may be losing money?” Fifty percent of respondents review pricing annually, while 25 percent said when they think about it.

Whether annually, quarterly, or monthly, it’s critical to review pricing on a regular basis. You want to make sure your margins are high enough, your shipping costs are covered in your price-setting equation, and you are selling products for more than what you paid for them. Surprisingly, selling a product for less than it costs really does occur in some practices that don’t regularly review pricing. Vendors and manufacturing companies raise prices periodically to cover their costs, and if you aren’t on top of it, you could accidentally sell a product for less than what you paid for it.

Software platforms have various ways to manage costs and selling prices. For example, with NaVetor, the eShelf configuration makes it easy to ensure your costs are always accurate when ordering products from Patterson Veterinary. You can send orders in and receive them electronically, simultaneously updating your costs and your quantity on hand. If your inventory is set up properly, when those costs increase, your selling price will also automatically increase.

By focusing just on these three instances alone, you could significantly increase the health of your practice. When all of this important information is consolidated into a single-view, easy-to-use dashboard, it helps you evaluate success (i.e., health) with key performance indicators.

NaVetor simply makes practice life easier so that your data and practice are as healthy as your patients. Need a practice health check? Maybe it’s time to check out NaVetor!