Smile Manchester

Smile Manchester are a mixed practice in the heart of Manchester. Practice Manager Michaela joined the practice in January 2017 along with three new partners to the business. Previously working on R4, Michaela and her team are keen to delve deeper into the practice data and are looking forward to finding out more about Software of Excellence's performance management capabilities.


chair-time utilisation

workflow compliance


reduction in un-booked time

FTA rate

Recall effectiveness


reduction in FTAs

Recall Effectiveness

workflow compliance


Chair-time utilisation

new patients

workflow compliance


increase in private revenue

chair-time utilisation

un-booked time

short notice cancellations


increase in private revenue

short notice cancellations

recall effectiveness


predicted year end UDA

chair-time utilisation

GDPR consent collection

Month 7 - Getting ready for the new GDPR regulations


The practice has started to prepare for the new GDPR regulations coming into force in May 2018, we have incorporated this by using our medical history forms and verbally at reception, we have collected 89.7% of data which I think is a massive achievement to be able to complete so early, the forth surgery is still underway and the predicated finish date is beginning of February 2018.

We are also welcoming a dentist back form maternity leave and hoping to introduce the Clinipad into surgeries. As the manager I am now using MPC more freely and hoping I can finally use MPC independently.


Month 6 - Keeping the cancellation rates low


The practice has managed to keep cancellation rates low 2 consecutive months in a row which has been an ongoing problem, we have just started the work to incorporate a forth surgery as there is a high demand for private treatment at the practice.

Going forward the aim is to reduce the FTA rate at the practice.


Month 5 - Setting goals moving forward


The practice is expected to reach 96% of the UDA target and an 85% increase in private revenue since October 2016. This has enabled us to build an extra surgery at the practice and building work commences this month. Going forward I am going to start working with Yasmin to capture my own KPIs and workflow compliance using MPC.


Month 5 - Focussing on FTA rates


Failed to attend appointments are an ongoing struggle and as a practice manager it is helpful to gain ideas from an outside source being our consultant. The practice has implemented email, text and even telephone call reminders and yet the failed to attend appointments are still on the increase. Yasmin had some suggestions which we have implemented and hopefully next month we will see some further results.


Month 5 - Reducing our short notice cancellation rate from 7.5% last month to 1.9% this month


Following our last blog at the practice, we have been working closely with Yasmin to ensure the practice improves month by month. Firstly Yasmin provided training to my reception team using the follow up tab to enable the practice to increase chair-time and reduce short notice cancellation, such a small task and effort proved to work as the practice decreased its short notice cancellation by 5.6% which put us in the top 5% of EXACT users (sigh of relief from the management).


Month 4 - Hitting 88% workflow compliance, but now drilling down into more specific targets


In the last few months the practice has achieved a great deal, from increasing our workflow compliance, chair-time utilisation, and UDA predictions. We have welcomed a new member of staff to our very busy practice.

The KPI reports that we go through with our consultant help the management team highlight areas which require attention and following each KPI report we set new targets for the month ahead. The targets are discussed with the team using a flip chart and brain storming sessions, I also find that this boosts staff moral as they have more of an input into the practice progression.
Although we are now at 88% workflow compliance(!!), our FTA rate is still a bit of struggle to combat therefore we have implemented telephone calls for patients who do not have an email address or mobile contact number.


We are welcoming a clinician back to the practice in February 2018 following her maternity leave and I have started the planning and preparation of this by ensuring she is fully trained and up to speed with the practice’s progression and new procedures. My Customer Success Consultant has talked me through the SOE Customer Portal which has hundreds of blogs and videos to help us utilise different features within EXACT, so I will be setting time out of my diary to go through this both for myself, and the team. We also talked about the Academy Online for more in depth training so that’s something we’ll look into if needed.


Month 3 - Making little tweaks that make a big difference


I have been working closely with my success manager and we have also made some further tweaks which have seen massive changes resulting in boosted private income, and also managed to increase our UDA activity by 20% - meaning we are now on track to hit target! 

FTA appointments also started to become an issue, therefore we created some FTA letters in Campaign+ which are now automatically sent to patients meaning our FTA rate has reduced from 11.6% to 5.8% - a massive 50% reduction!! Our email address collection from the workflow has jumped from 37% to 62% which we have been advised is also key in keeping the FTA rate to continue to come down, and gives us a free method of contacting patients!

Using our MPC dashboard I can see the practices success and failings on a daily basis and I am now looking forward to having full access to MPC.


Month 3 - Achieving 650% ROI with our new marketing campaign!


Three months into the Good to Great Challenge with Software of Excellence and we couldn't be happier with the software and the support which have received. In the past month we have gone ahead and started some promotional campaigns such as tooth whitening and implants. It was a slow start as the practice wasn't fulfilling their side of the job to capture the information such as selecting incorrect service items. SOE helped me get this back on track by offering support and highlighting where the practice was going wrong. After now making these changes, the success of the campaign was checked and highlighted a 650% profit!


Month 2 – Understanding our KPIs


We have now sent out our first campaign, which was a great success! We had over 50 replies for the tooth whitening promotion and we have also recently introduced ZOOM whitening to the practice.

Unfortunately some elements of our KPI report wasn't as good as we had hoped, and in the last 30 days we had 156.2 hours of failed appointment (a month’s work!). Work flow compliance is also poor and this has highlighted us to the fact the practice is not taking mobile numbers and emails, therefore we have agreed with our consultant that further training will be given.

The good news I received is we are now estimated to achieve 80% of our UDA target - this is an increase of 8% within one month!

I look forward to my next KPI report, as a new practice manger it’s difficult to know if you are running the practice correctly but when you can visually see improvements it highlights the fact that the practice is improving.


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Month 2 – Getting into the swing of things, despite the glitch!


Now a few month’s into using EXACT and I couldn't be happier, the help desk go above and beyond to help all member in staff in need.

At the start of our journey with EXACT, a computer technician came to the practice to help with the installation of the software, as like any dental practice we got chatting and he asked who my IT company was I explained unfortunately the practice never had an IT technician prior to takeover and I'm not sure which company to contact.

The gentleman advised me to speak with a company called Microminder and discuss a possible contract with them, and I have to say, this advice was worth its weight in gold, as just a few days later we suffered a ransomware attack on our computer.

The practice was very lucky and thankfully it did not affect our EXACT software. Microminder worked on our systems from 8.00 AM into the evening daily for a week to get us back to normal and despite the problem not being software related, we had a call from our Good to Great Consultant to ensure everything was OK.


Month 1 – already a lot has changed!


Since my last blog a lot has changed at the practice… Our first KPI report with our consultant has flagged a lot of improvement, as well as some areas in which the practice still needs to improve on.

Since my first blog the practice has improved its décor and fully transitioned to ‘Smile Manchester’, including a brand new sign that has now gone up outside the practice. Since this has gone up we have really seen an increase in enquiries and had a significant uplift in private treatment.

The major improvement we have seen this month is the increase of booked appointment (we have reduced this by 48% compared to this time last year!) as well as managed to get our chair utilisation time up to 77%. We are also now using Mypractice Cloud to help with the management side. Our practice manager can access the MPC daily / weekly/ monthly which also gives the practice figures on failed appointments, income related and workflow compliance statistics.

At the present time the biggest shock to the practice is that from our tracker we look like we are going to only meet 72% of our NHS target which is a daily worry, but having this information to hand means I can act quickly and not have the January - March rush.

I am looking forward to the future with EXACT and also we are now getting ready to send our first promotional campaign to all patients so I will keep you updated!


Pre go-live - our practice goals


We are looking to improve our recalls - before taking over the practice, there was no recall system in place, I worked at getting one set up which I did and it worked for a week then stopped working. I now cannot send letter recalls and my current software helpdesk will no longer help me in trying to fix this.

We want to reduce the amount of gaps in the book and hope the recall system will help us to do so. We are also going to start offering more private work at the practice and the owners specialise in something different so we would like to target those patients.

We have made some small steps to try and achieve this and I'm hoping SOE will help with this also as I'm only one person I rely greatly on my computer software so am looking forward to the go-live with EXACT.


Why did we switch?


We made the switch to EXACT for a few reasons, one being the fact you do not have to fill any spaces in the book, the short notice system will automatically do this for you. The system is also able to inform you that you have fallen below target NHS or private and it grows as your practice grows there is no limit to it. Almost all dental software companies charge the practice to upgrade your system to its newer version, but SOE offer this to all its customers for free and is almost as easy to upgrade as your software on your iPhone with no bugs or hacks.

I encourage dental practices to bite the bullet and transfer to SOE, especially if they have outgrown their current software or like myself are constantly on the phone to them trying to correct errors, with anything in life of course there will be teething problems (pardon the pun) change is inevitable in dental so why not make your life harder for 2 months but have years of satisfaction. Practice managers have a lot of stress to deal with daily, take the worry of computer software and performance of the list.


Let me introduce myself...


My name is Michaela and I am the Practice Manager at Smile Manchester. I have been a dental nurse for 10 years in that time I have used various dental software from tab dental to Arthur then R4 plus.

I spent the last 6 years of my dental nursing career using R4 plus, I recently took a position as a dental manager at a different location, my heart sank when I realised it was the basic R4 and very difficult to navigate compared to its predecessor, the plus version. I was still coming to terms with my new position as well as basic R4 when the partners were thinking of changing the thought at the time was very much NO NO NO.

Alistair (Henry Schein) and Natasha (Software of Excellence) met with myself and the partners to discuss Software of Excellence and EXACT further and during this meeting I started to think YES YES YES.

Software of Excellence have already gone above and beyond and we have not yet had our software transferred. I can ring a number of people who are accessible and always willing to help, I also have my own transition personnel in the form of a Customer Success Consultant who I can contact at any time of the day.

I am very much looking forward to our transition to SOE...


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