In addition to caring for patients, how hectic is your healthcare practice? Staff call-outs. Patient no-shows. Chasing paperwork, tracking down faxes, returning phone calls. It’s no surprise that many practice owners and managers don’t have time to look to, and plan for, the practice’s future.
But without a plan beyond the next couple months, any practice — and any business — is poised to fall apart. Practices that carefully set and track growth goals, however, are planning well for success. How do you track those goals? By identifying and keeping tabs on key performance indicators, or KPIs, as we reviewed in this blog post on practice performance measurement.
However, most practices don’t have the tools or time to keep a daily watch on their metrics.
Forward-thinking practice owners are well aware of the value of metrics and KPIs. Dr. Krupa Patel, DPM, FACFAS, of Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Jersey, recently featured on our blog, knows a practice can’t stay competitive by just building a website and hoping for the best. Instead, practices need a steady stream of data that offers key practice insights designed to help drive better short-term and long-term decision-making.
When it comes to practice growth, information is essential
For healthcare practices looking to grow their business, the phrase ‘knowledge is power’ rings true. Knowing (with certainty, not guesswork) how your practice performs at every turn is the real key to long-term success.
While revenue and patient volume are critical metrics to track, there are dozens of less-obvious measurements related to practice growth that can help provide insights into your operations. From website stats to patient demographics to no-show rates, identifying metrics that align with your goals, and tracking them regularly, can support a healthy growth strategy.
How can overburdened healthcare practices make time to identify, track, and respond to performance reporting? By making it easy. Invest in an all-in-one practice growth platform that delivers both the right tools and the metrics that reflect how well they’re working.
Monitor performance on a daily basis, checking key stats that can inform decisions and drive practice growth over time. After all, how can you strive to do better tomorrow if you don’t know how you’re performing today?
We recently highlighted how to create and use a practice performance scorecard. In a recent interview, Dr. Patel shared her perspective on how using her PatientPop practice growth dashboard has helped her foot and ankle clinic thrive — even during a pandemic.
Here are a few ways she and other PatientPop practices can use key metrics to stay informed, on track, and ready to advance their business:
#1. Keep an eye on patient sentiment.
Providers like Dr. Patel use the practice growth dashboard to check key online reputation management insights, from the volume and frequency of patient reviews to average star ratings and overall sentiment.
“While it doesn’t happen often, it’s also a great way to keep an eye out for negative feedback so we can quickly address and resolve any issues within the practice,” Dr. Patel explains. Since we know patient reviews are the most influential online resource for patients, monitoring this information and incoming reviews on a daily basis can help busy practices stay on top of a key metric that drives patient conversion.
#2. Tracking patient conversion.
What is conversion? When a patient takes makes contact with your practice — visits your website, calls your front desk, sends a text message — and then books an appointment. But what about those who don’t take that final step?
If you don’t know the percentage of your web visitors or phone calls who are converting, you don’t know the effectiveness of each communication channel, and how many prospective patients you’re losing out on. Understanding these metrics can help affect your patient acquisition and marketing strategies.
Dr. Patel tracks the percentage of patients converting via phone and via online scheduling, as her practice strives for digital efficiency. With that knowledge, practices know when and if even small changes need to be made. For example, to boost online conversion, a practice might make an online scheduling link or button more prominent. Maybe the call-to-action message needs some tweaking to encourage prospective patients to book that appointment.
#3. Capitalizing on keyword trends.
As we say often, the world of search engine optimization (SEO) is a tricky business that changes frequently as Google and the search engine giants strive to deliver what searchers are looking for. That’s why checking out your keyword rankings each day can help you stay nimble with your organic and paid search strategies.
Dr. Patel talks about using the keyword metrics to help refine the practice’s SEO and local search marketing strategies. She’ll shift emphasis or budget here or there in response to what she sees in keyword metrics results.
Let’s say a practice wants to gain market share for orthopedic urgent care visits in a certain area of town. By regularly monitoring relevant keyword rankings for that target, the practice can see levels of progress and areas of need for various phrases, which can lead to digital marketing decisions that can drive new patient volume.
These are just a few examples of how real practices use the PatientPop practice growth dashboard to stay flexible and proactive in their patient acquisition and retention strategies.
Your healthcare practice metrics tell a story: Make sure you’re listening
Even if you don’t track key performance indicators (KPIs), one way or another your patients are. Prospective patients are carefully evaluating your online reputation, seeing what others think of your practice by checking your total number of reviews and average star rating.
Current patients notice when wait times increase or how long it takes to hear back from their provider in response to a question or concern. Your metrics tell the story of your practice’s efficiency, patient satisfaction, and growth trajectory. Healthcare practice owners and managers who invest the time and effort needed to keep an eye on these important measures will be better positioned for long-term growth and success.
Beyond tracking key metrics, practices often need to take decisive action to improve them. Adopting digital tools such as online scheduling, telehealth, digital registration and intake, automated appointment confirmations and reminders, and patient satisfaction surveys can drive performance improvements while giving patients the modern conveniences they prefer and have come to expect from healthcare practices.