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Article: Volume 45 Number 3 Page 236 - March 2018

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  Dent Update 2018; 45: 236-246

Patient Management:  Understanding Our Patient Base: An Introduction to Data Analytics in Dental Practice

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Abstract: Dental practices are continually collecting patient data but it is often an underutilized resource. There is a growing trend towards use of data analytics within companies to guide business decisions. For dental practices which use digital systems, a large reserve of patient information is readily available. Simple data analytic techniques are presented which can be used to extract substantial insight into patient demographics, DNA (did not attend) rates and many other areas of practical relevance to clinical service delivery and business management.

Clinical relevance: Data analytics is well established in many industries and has the potential for encouraging colleagues to look at their data and understand their patient base and changes over time; practice owners can gain insight into patient demographics to guide business decisions and improve patient care.

Author notes: Rosie Pritchett, BDS(Hons), BSc(Hons), General Professional Trainee within Newcastle Dental Hospital, NE2 4AZ; InDental Practice Ltd, Newcastle, Shirley Coleman, PhD, CStat, Principal Statistician, ISRU, School of Maths and Stats, Newcastle University, NE1 7RU and James Campbell, BDS(Hons), MA(Cantab), General Professional Trainee within Newcastle Dental Hospital, NE2 4AZ; InDental Practice Ltd, Newcastle and Shiv Pabary, MBE, BDS(Hons), MFGDP (UK), DipConsSed, Practice Owner, InDental Practice Ltd, Fewster Square, NE10 8XQ, UK.

Objective: To describe simple techniques to use data from practice management software and provide a step-by-step guide to basic statistical analysis using Microsoft Excel. Enhanced CPD DO C & DO A

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