“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” It’s an age-old adage, exhausted by so many businesspeople that it’s teetering on the verge of cliché for some and triteness for others. In my book, the saying is oversimplified. After all, there’s plenty that we manage—both personally and professionally—that we don’t appraise according to any type of equation. So, I prefer my modified version of the adage: You can’t determine the efficacy of your work if you don’t measure your efforts. Furthermore, you can’t properly target, modify, or improve upon those efforts if you’re not tracking the data. Curious as to where you can find this data? Why, your EMR, of course. That’s right; your EMR software should be collecting all this data for you and then presenting it in easy-to-read reports. (If it isn’t, then I suggest your reassess your software choice.)
With that, here are 15 clinic metrics you should definitely be tracking within your PT practice.
4 Referral Metrics
Referrals make up a huge portion of physical therapists’ business. You depend on them, so it only makes sense to track the sources that send the most new patients your way. This isn’t relegated to physicians only. You should always ask how patients heard about you—through an online review, an advertisement, a patient referral, etc.—and track those responses as referral sources. In addition to tracking referral source, I recommend monitoring:
- Total referrals (that way you can compare time periods in relation to your marketing efforts)
- Top referrer
- Referrals by insurance type
6 Productivity Metrics
Productivity can make or break a business, especially a service-based business like yours. Fortunately, you can monitor the performance of your staff—and your entire practice—using these two metrics:
- Total number of patients seen by clinic location
- Total number of patients seen per therapist
But these two metrics only tell half the productivity story. You also can learn a lot from your patients:
- Track your patient arrival rate to determine the efficacy your patient reminder efforts.
- Monitor total number of new patients over certain time periods to pinpoint traffic fluxes and determine whether they align with any particular marketing or sales campaigns.
- Follow average visits per case to gain insight into your patient experience process.
- Examine average new patients per therapist to 1.) see which therapist is pulling in the most traffic and hypothesize why, and 2.) compare with referral metrics to see if a particular referral type is driving these new patients to a particular therapist.
5 Billing Metrics
Before the reimbursements roll in—and before there’s revenue to manage—there are charges billed and visits completed. Metrics associated with these factors are often overshadowed by the dazzling dollar symbols of payments, but don’t fall into that trap. The following metrics provide crucial insight into the beginning stages of the revenue cycle:
- Total charges billed shows you how much your clinic is billing, which comes in handy for forecasting.
- Average charges per visit and average charges per therapist—especially when aligned with performance metrics—can provide key insight into your clinic’s moneymakers.
- Average visits per patient and average visits per therapist—especially when layered with average charges data—can help you forecast and budget.
Okay, step one: complete. You now know about 15 crucial clinic metrics, and—bonus! Your EMR is already tracking them; the data is there. But, it’s what you learn from, and do with, that data that truly matters. Go into your EMR, dig around in all the reporting tools, identify the metrics you want to monitor, and then let your findings enlighten you, help you make better business decisions, and achieve success.
About the Author
Charlotte Bohnett is the Content Manager for WebPT, the ultimate electronic medical record solution for PTs, OTs, and SLPs. She has nearly a decade of experience in marketing and sales with specialized knowledge in healthcare compliance, technology, business best practices, communication, social media, and marketing. She graduated summa cum laude from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and earned her Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan.
In 2012, Charlotte escaped the winter doldrums of the Midwest and returned to her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, to join the WebPT team, headquartered in the blossoming downtown tech scene. Since then, the lean startup has grown into the leading web-based EMR for rehab therapists, ranking on Inc. 500’s list of the nation’s fastest-growing companies two years running and receiving a significant investment from Silicon Valley-based venture capital, Battery Ventures.
When she’s not immersed in all things content marketing, Charlotte enjoys cooking, traveling, and binge-watching TV. She lives in central Phoenix with her husband and three adorable cats. For follow-up questions or additional information about WebPT, please contact Charlotte@WebPT.com.