Companies use key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to pick out real, quantifiable data generated by their business during a specific period (weeks, months, semesters, etc.) and compare it with the goals and strategies previously set. The objective is to monitor if the main areas are performing well – and what needs to be changed so that the goals are achieved.
Some people still believe that “KPI” is just another trendy term created by management coaches. But setting and managing these indicators is very important for the success of any organization. KPIs help managers to understand if the business is going in the right direction.
Some KPIs were created for specific businesses, and there are those that every owner or manager of medical clinics or private practices should always watch out for. Let’s look at five of them and understand how they can help your business stay healthy.
1. Cash Flow
Any manager should know how much money is going in and out of business. Some people still look at the numbers only at the end of the month and then rush to try to fix negative results the following month.
When you set KPIs and goals, you can follow up on quick reports, done weekly or even daily, to get a more realistic idea of the accounting before the end of the month. This even allows you to make adjustments before it is too late.
If you’re having trouble with your books, here are some ways to keep operating in the green:
- Re-evaluate the amounts you’re charging and try to develop an average that is valuable to patients and profitable to the business.
- Discuss pricing with your patients upfront to avoid payment issues later and explain what your clinic offers behind those numbers.
- Retain your patients by offering high-standard healthcare.
- Use all the healthcare technology at your fingertips (like EMRs or patient portals) to keep your operation efficient and avoid revenue leaks.
2. Patient Waiting Time
Customers hate to wait in line at a restaurant or to pay for a product at a store. Now imagine your patients being forced to spend hours in the waiting room when they are experiencing pain or discomfort. Worse: next to other people who may be transmitting diseases unintentionally.
Improving patient waiting times helps eliminate barriers to access to health services and your overall patient satisfaction. Keep in mind that there are different types of “waiting” beyond the waiting room: patients sometimes wait a long time at home for an appointment to receive the results of tests or diagnosis, etc.
Here are some simple ways to reduce the waiting and improve your service:
- Take all patient data in advance (by phone or on an Internet portal).
- Have separate teams do the phone work and patient check-ins.
- Avoid overbooking and keep the team on the same page so they don’t book different appointments simultaneously.
- Adopt a zero-tolerance policy for late arrivals.
- When possible, anticipate procedures such as measuring blood pressure or weighing patients.
- Create special protocols to address major illnesses or patients with priorities.
3. No-shows and Cancellations
If your clinic’s routine is very intense, maybe you celebrate cancellations because you gain some time on your schedule. But remember, those no-shows also mean lost cash flow. Medical practitioners can reduce the issue by using an automated appointment reminder system.
This way, patients can confirm or reschedule their appointments easily, without the need to call you. Some clinics have also implemented queue apps, which send the patient’s mobile phone the position they are in the queue and the estimated time for their appointment. This allows them to manage their time better and organize themselves to the clinic.
4. Patient Satisfaction
Considering that clinics and hospitals work directly with the public – and with the health of this public –patient satisfaction matters a lot. If someone was dissatisfied with your services for one reason or another, they would probably look for another place next time.
That’s why this is an essential KPI. By collecting and analyzing data on how patients rate different aspects of your practice, you can detect failures and allocate resources to solving problems. You can also reward those sectors where everything is working clockwork.
So don’t be afraid of criticism and offer different possibilities (in writing, on the Internet, through an app) for your patients to evaluate items such as waiting time, quality of care received, safety and cleanliness of the clinic, etc.
5. Claim Denial Rate
What is revenue cycle management for hospitals? Simply put, it is the entire process used by healthcare facilities to track the revenue from patients. And one of the stones in the way of a good revenue cycle is precisely a high rate of claim denials.
When many claims are being denied, this money starts to run out at the end of the month. There are many reasons for claim denials, and they are usually simple: incorrect patient data, incorrect insurance data, patient eligibility not verified beforehand, etc. One way to track this KPI closely is to use a customized revenue cycle management system, which helps you detect errors in your processes more quickly and easily.
Set KPIs and Keep an Eye on Them
Running a healthcare facility is a challenging job in itself. But running a healthcare facility and ensuring it is profitable is two times more challenging. That’s why it is important to set KPIs and keep an eye on them. These indicators offer valuable data to understand the reality of your clinic and possible weaknesses that you didn’t even know existed.
By constantly tracking and managing your KPIs (weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually), you provide better service to your patients and improve your practice’s commercial operation. After all, it’s not just about the health of your patients: the financial health of your business is also critical.