Independent healthcare practices face an increasingly crowded competitive landscape: new options for retail healthcare and telehealth, the continued proliferation of urgent care clinics, and the expansion of large health systems into primary and specialty care all over the country.
With this in mind, independent practice owners who are committed to remaining independent have to develop and implement a solid growth plan that gets them working smarter, not harder.
But running a healthcare business has become increasingly complex, with ever-changing clinical guidelines and mounting regulatory and financial pressures as healthcare reform carries on.
To run a thriving healthcare practice, owners and partners must keep a close watch on key business metrics that can reflect current performance and signal future growth (e.g. increase in website traffic or online appointment requests). Some may offer the invaluable insight that a shift in operational or marketing strategies is necessary to stay on track.
Tracking for growth: Key performance indicators that matter most for healthcare practices
In business, a KPI (key performance indicator) is any metric or measurement that illustrates the status or progress of a particular operation or effort. Why establish and track KPIs for your healthcare practice? There’s really no better way to determine what is contributing to your success, which adjustments and improvements you should make, and where you have opportunities to modify growth strategies.
For a private healthcare practice, KPIs can reflect financial metrics, patient acquisition and retention, and marketing efforts. Regardless of the KPIs a practice may select, a single dashboard of relevant KPIs provides a quick and informative look into your healthcare practice operations.
While many practices identify success using some of the same metrics, setting your growth strategy requires choosing those that matter most to your business and align with your goals.
KPIs for healthcare practices to consider when developing a growth strategy
Identifying the key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to track is necessary to understanding your business and developing a long-term growth plan. Not sure where to start? Here are some of the essential metrics for any practice, providing insights that can help you set the stage for continued practice growth.
When it comes to financial excellence, many practices can identify areas of opportunity by taking a closer look at their revenue cycle. Some financial metrics to consider tracking include:
- Total revenue
- Average days in A/R
- Average visit value
- Patient lifetime value
Relying on new patient growth as the only way to improve revenue is short-sighted. Running a more efficient practice can play a big role in reducing costs, but you have to be able to measure that efficiency.
Consider the KPIs below — as well as adopting digital tools that can improve performance by saving staff time, reducing no-shows, and making it easy for patients to book or reschedule appointments.
- Staffing metrics (patient:staff ratio, provider:staff ratio)
- Patient wait time
- No-show rate/No. of missed appointments
- Number of patients who don’t book follow-up appointments
Patient acquisition and retention metrics
The surest way to run a thriving practice is by first attracting new patients, and then keep them (and your established patients) coming back to your practice. With an eye on patient volume, conversion, new patients, and overall patient satisfaction, you can get a line of sight to your performance and stay on track to meet growth goals.
- Total number of patients (monthly or year-over-year)
- New patient appointments (total, per location, per provider per month)
- Percentage of prospective patients who convert
- Patient satisfaction scores/rates
- Patient attrition rates
Most physician practice marketing strategies are designed to drive new patient volume. Some with a sharper eye on overall practice success also support patient retention. Both require tracking the effectiveness and return on investment for your various marketing strategies. These KPIs set the stage:
- Search engine rankings/position
- Social media metrics (# of followers, engagement, etc.)
- Website performance (converting visitors into booked appointments)
- Website traffic (# of new and returning visitors, etc.)
- Patient review volume/frequency
Measuring and enhancing the quality of care you provide patients also plays a key role in meeting your business and growth goals. After all, if your practice isn’t helping patients manage or improve their health as part of their overall experience, they’re likely to go elsewhere.
In addition, quality outcomes and provider reimbursement will continue to be more closely aligned in the pursuit of value-based care. Some common clinical metrics include:
- Percentage of patients who have received all appropriate vaccinations
- Percentage of patients who have received all recommended screenings (e.g. mammogram, colonoscopy, etc.)
- How well patients’ chronic conditions are being managed (as measured by A1c, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.)
How a practice growth platform can help improve KPIs
Growth is a sure sign of a thriving healthcare practice, but how do you get there? Once you decide which KPIs to track at your practice, create a practice performance scorecard to record and monitor how you’re tracking against your goals.
An easier and more insightful option is accessing a practice growth dashboard, an integral aspect of a practice growth platform. By monitoring key metrics such as incoming patient leads, new patient conversion rate, website performance, search engine optimization (SEO), and online reputation insights, all in one easy-to-use platform, healthcare practices can make smarter operational and marketing decisions.
The end result? Long-term, strategic growth that will keep your practice thriving and your patients happy and healthy.
What is a practice growth platform and how can it help private practices achieve 2021 goals?
Creating and using a practice performance scorecard: A healthcare practice how-to guide