How to set practice goals using metrics

Running a practice is a lot like being lost in the woods sometimes – and as an avid hiker, I know how that can feel. To figure out where you need to go, you first need to figure out where you are, where you came from and then develop a plan to get you from being lost in the trees back to civilization.

How do you do that?  For a practice owner, metrics are your map out of the woods.  We’ll go over the basic metrics that you need to track, and how to use that information to meet your practice goals.

What does your “better” look like?

Everyone wants to do better, but it’s not always easy to determine what “better” is.  Do I want to make more money?  Do I want my patients to have better outcomes?  Do I want to improve workflows so that my team can work smarter, not harder?  Deciding which goal you want to meet helps you determine the domains of data that you will need to pay attention to, and the kinds of drill down metrics and drill through details that will be important to your forward progress.

Where are you on the map to success?

Let’s say that you want to grow your practice enough to add three new therapists this year so that you can open a new location next year.  When you distill it down to the very basics, you need two things to hire more therapists: the patients to fill their schedules, and the money to pay the new therapists. Once we have the lowest common denominator determined, you have the map to find your way out of the woods – or to hire more therapists. Determining where you are on that map is how you define your domains of data.

If I need to increase my number of patients so that I can fill the schedules of my new therapists, I first need to know how many patients I’m currently seeing.  I need to view my “visits” data domain.  I need to understand how my visits data has been tracking over the last few years so that I can determine my trends.  I also need to see the averages of each of my therapists so that I can develop a goal for them.

If I need to increase revenue to pay my new therapists, I first need to know how much I’m charging per visit, how much I’m getting paid per visit, and how quickly I am collecting the money due for each visit.  I need to view my “charges per visit,” “payment per visit,” and “accounts receivable” domains of data.  Once again, you need to see trends over time to project future growth.

Determining your path to success

When you have your domains of data mapped and trended, you know where you are.  But how do you impact those numbers?  You need additional drill down metrics to determine your path out of the woods. For example, you need visibility into your referrals – what’s coming in, and how well is your team converting those referrals into patients? Where are your referrals coming from, and what can you do to increase the number of people being sent to you?  What sort of additional marketing or outreach can you do to build brand new referral sources?

Once you have your drill down metrics determined and tracked, you can set goals and view the drill through data, drawing your path out of the woods. For example, when you’re reviewing your conversion rate data, you need to review the list of people who did not convert from a referral to a patient and see if you can determine a pattern – is a particular therapist not selling the value of care, does a particular day of the week decrease referral retention, or perhaps a particular clinic location is underperforming.  Then you take steps to mitigate that pattern, therefore converting more patients and increasing your visits.

Setting your goals, determining your domains of data and understanding their trends draws your map of the woods.  Drill down metrics show you where you are on that map.  Drill through data draws your path out of the woods – to your “better”.  Acting on those things is walking your way out of the woods and to your definition of clinic success. If you take things one step at a time and in the right order, you’ll find yourself exactly where you want to be next year.

Curious to learn more about reporting and how Clinicient can help? Learn more here.

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