Ampthill Dental Practice

Family owned and family run, Ampthill Dental Practice is located in Georgian Market town of Ampthill, and owned by Miss K Saxby whilst being run by daughter Laura Doherty. Established for over 35 years, the practice has been using Software of Excellence for 10 years, but with a recent change of structure are looking to invest their time in the Challenge in order to get to know their business better and grow performance. Priding themselves on their core values of delivering dental care in a relaxed environment for the whole family, follow Laura and her team’s journey as they go from good to great.


Chair-time utilisation

uplift in average hourly earning



Recall Effectiveness

Un-booked time

reduction in FTAs


reduction in SNCs

new patients

increase in chair-time utilisation

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Month 4 - Making sure we achieve our UDA target


Being able to track our KPIs has allowed us to quantify our vital statistics rather than relying on our gut instincts, which was one of the reasons we took on the Good to Great Challenge and this month it has only reinforced the knowledge that it’s been a busy and productive month.

Over the next months as we approach the end of the financial year, making sure we achieve our UDA target will be essential. Going forward we are going to be using the new Care Manager feature in EXACT to ensure that all outstanding treatment is completed in a timely manner. 


Month 4 - Over the past few months the practice has achieved a great deal


Our focus over the past months has been to reduce our FTAs and short notice cancellations by sending automated reminders. Our short notice cancellations have improved by 8% and there has been 16% increase in our chair-time utilisation compared to the same time last year. Our constant focus on reducing our FTAs using automated text and e-mail reminders are slowly but surely having a positive impact as can be seen by a reduction in our FTA rate. 

Over the past few months the practice has achieved a great deal. We’ve welcomed three new members of staff including a new dentist. 


Month 3 - Focusing on reducing our FTAs and short notice cancellations


Our focus over the past months has been to reduce our FTAs and short notice cancellations and it seems to be working. Our short notice cancellations have decreased by 15% which in part has been due to sending automated e-mails to our patients a week before their appointments, reminding them that if they need to reschedule their appointment they need to contact the practice with 48 hours’ notice. This e-mail has also allowed us to remind our patients to arrive a few minutes earlier than their appointment to complete any necessary paperwork. Thanks to the automated function of SOE there isn’t any extra pressure on reception to send these e-mails and by giving the practice extra notice that there will be available time in the diary, the reception team has the opportunity to fill the time resulting in an increase of 2.4% in chair utilisation time. These two things, combined with an increase in new patients this month, has led to a very busy month. 


Month 2 - Working on our FTA rates


One of the first things that we wanted to address during our challenge, was our rise in FTA rates, which has been slowly but steadily rising over the past few months.

As any one knows one of the most frustrating things is when a patient doesn't arrive for an appointment and you're left desperately trying to get reception to ring the missing patient to locate them, kicking yourself for letting the previous patient who needed a filling, go without offering to do it for them there and then and also thinking of the thousand and one other useful things you could be doing with the wasted time.

Some of the things we have put into practice to help reduce the FTA rate are emailing the patients a week before their appointment and following this up with a text reminder 48 hours before the appointment. In our practice EXACT does this automatically so there is no extra burden on reception.

The increase in FTAs has also had a knock-on effect of increasing our forward booking, as patients who fail to attend have to be rebooked taking up a time in the appointment book, which means that patients who need to return for treatment are having to wait longer. One of solutions that Sean, my Challenge consultant has suggested is "zoning" the diary to allow us to accommodate these patients that need treatment. We're just starting with this so I'll let you know it goes. 


Month 1 - What are we hoping to achieve in the next 12 months?


SOE asked what we are hoping to achieve over the next 12 months and like any dentist I like lists so here is mine:

a)  More automated system which will enable us to reduce FTA’s and maximise surgery time allowing us to keep to our UDA target while expanding our private revenue without adding more burden to reception.  We want to free up reception time to be able to us to continue to give excellent quality customer service to all our valued patients. Everyone knows a practice without patients is just a building.

b)  Use the KPIs to become more aware of the vital statistics of the practice rather than just relying on gut instincts.

c)  Empowering all the members of the team to maximise the practice potential to grow from a good practice to a great practice!


Month 1 - Starting our journey!


We are a long standing, family run, mixed dental practice, established in Ampthill over 35 years ago. My mother has owned the practice for over 30 years and I have been a dentist here for 12 years. When I joined the team, one of the first things I did was computerise the practice choosing SOE, having used it as a VT. We already use many of the features of SOE including automated recalls and text reminders but there are always areas to improve on.

Dentistry is constantly changing and evolving and a dental practice business is no different. Over the past 6 months we’ve had a new associate join us, some members of staff retire and new team members join us and all these little changes have resulted in a slight downturn such as an increase in our FTA rates and decrease in our UDA productivity.


Are you ready to
take the challenge?