How Truthful Is Your Data?

How often do you audit your patient records? If this is not a regular task in your office, you may want to consider making it one. In order for us to make the most of our software we need to make sure our data is accurate. If it isn’t, our reports will be inconsistent and misleading.

A clean database is an efficient one. For example, one of the indicators calculated by the Patient Analysis Report (Reports/Patients/Patient Analysis) is how many active patients have a future appointment. This is an important number to track; every office should be aware of their patient retention rate and one should be able to look at this report and trust that the percentage calculated is correct. However, Eaglesoft calculates this percentage based on the number of active patients Eaglesoft thinks you have, not how many you truly have.

Take a look at the ‘Active’ and ‘Inactive’ patients in the middle of the page on this report. A patient is considered active in Eaglesoft if the Active box is checked in their preferences. However, most practice management consultants only consider a patient ‘active’ if they have been seen in the last 18-24 months. So what is your data telling you? Is your number accurate?

You can use this same report to determine how accurate or inaccurate this count is in your office. Take a look at the top right-hand side of this report. You will see a count of how many patients were seen in the last 12 months, 24 months, 36 months, etc. If you add the ‘seen in the last 12 months’ number to the ‘seen in the last 24 months’ number, this will give you a more realistic active patient count because these are the patients who have been seen in the last 2 years. How close is this number to the ‘active’ patient count listed in the middle of the report? If it’s off, the information on this report can be incredibly misleading.

If this number is way off, there are a few things I recommend you review. First, do a chart audit and determine who hasn’t been seen in over 2 years and reach out to those patients. Consider running a reactivation campaign to get them back in. If you determine a patient isn’t likely to come back, consider marking them inactive in Eaglesoft. To do this, open the edit patient window and click on the ‘Preferences’ button. Simply uncheck the ‘Active’ box and this patient will no longer be counted as active on your reports.

Another thing to look at is parents or policy holders who are not and never will be a patient in your practice. Are these people marked as patients? In Eaglesoft a person can be marked as ‘patient’, ‘responsible party’ or ‘policy holder’. They can be one or all three. A mistake many team members make is not unchecking the ‘Patient’ box when they enter a policy holder or responsible party who is not a patient of the practice.

I encourage you to take a deeper dive into your data to determine how accurate it is. As you can see, one little check box can have a significant impact on your Eaglesoft reports. You should be able to quickly glance at a report and know the information it’s giving you is correct.

If you have any questions or need assistance with your Eaglesoft data, please reach out to our support team or call your local branch and schedule an in-office visit with your local Patterson Technology Advisor. We are here to help you get the most out of your data!