Does this topic make you cringe? Have you tried monitoring statistics for your practice but you just gave it up?
What I’ve found in talking to approximately 70 private practice owners every month is that there are two types of people when it comes to tracking statistics. The first type dislikes figures; they’re just not numbers people. The other type is the exact opposite: they love burying themselves in spreadsheets. The only problem here is that spreadsheets yield a one-dimensional view. You can’t look at a spreadsheet and extrapolate information needed for key management decisions. For instance, a spreadsheet won’t tell you if you need to hire a new clinician or should maximize the potential of an existing one instead.
To provide you with some true performance gauges for your practice, I’m going to review six important statistics. And I’ll keep it simple, clarifying the reason for each one so you can wrap your wits around it.
What is most important to understand is this: Knowing where your practice is at in terms of these six statistics can really boost your success. That sounds good, right?
All right, let’s get started on the statistics that a physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy private practice should be tracking.
1. Number of New Patients. This statistic is both your present and your future. When you’ve got new patients coming in the door, you’re going to be able to fill up your schedule for the future.
It’s so important that it’s worth creating incentives for your staff. Gift cards are good. Your staff might like a $20 gift card to a local business, like a restaurant. If your staff bring in a new patient, they should be recognized with a reward to reinforce that action.
2. Number of Scheduled Patients. By this, we mean how many patients are scheduled before the week begins. It’s advance scheduling. Because you’re always going to get some no-shows, the advance schedule needs to be very full. By the time you’re approaching the start of the next week, that next week’s schedule should be full to the top.
One way to fill up this schedule is to track how many visits patients have left to use for the rest of the year. You can then encourage them to use those visits. The more visits, the more benefit to the patient and, of course, your solvency. That’s an easy strategy anyone can use.
3. Number of Patients Seen. This statistic is critical because it measures the volume of care your practice provides—you know, your reason for being in this business!
You also know that it’s not just about the money. In this equation, helping the kiddos equals income. You help them and in exchange, you are paid so you can stay in business to help more kids.
4. Percentage of Arrivals. This statistic measures the percentage of patients who were scheduled before the week began who then kept their appointments.
Is it a mystery to you why so many of your patients are scheduled but don’t show up? It shouldn’t be. When staff provide amazing service, your patients are more likely to keep every appointment. This statistic measures the quality of your care and the value your patients place on that care.
Sure, occasionally a child is sick and can’t come in. That happens. Your Percentage of Arrivals statistic should consistently approach 90% or exceed it.
Maybe you get a big holiday week when that doesn’t happen. But if it happens in other weeks, then you might need a better appointment reminder system or more training for your staff.
5. Billed Out Totals. This is how much you bill out every week. Now, because you only have “x” number of staff, is this a limited statistic?
It might not be as limited as you think. Are you doing enough evaluations? These should be billed higher than treatment sessions.
Are your staff trained in specialty skills? Do you have multiple staff trained in each specialty? Evaluating the services you offer and your billings can give you insight into how to increase this statistic. Training in more specialties can help you increase your billed out totals!
6. Collections. Don’t forget collections because without this, you can’t keep the doors open! You need to pay your staff and you need to pay yourself, too. If collections are a sore point in your practice, then it might be time for you to ask for help. (If you’d like to know how to get an in-house billing system and/or a system that gets your money in the door quicker, better, faster–reach out to me.)
The Name of the Game
The name of the game is growth. These statistics should be on a steady rising trend. That’s why you provide incentives and bonuses and why you should be talking these statistics up at staff meetings.
If it’s just you at this point, then monitoring these statistics and looking at smart ways to get them to rise will get you to where you can hire more people. Then you can help more kids every day.
It can take a bit of work to get this monitoring implemented but when you get it done, you’ll have an objective view of what’s happening in your practice. You can see your practice expand each week. Setting and achieving your goals and prosperity becomes that much easier.
Need help tracking these statistics? Survival Strategies, Inc., has a product that can help: Peds OMS—that’s short for Objective Management Suite. It automates the process.
If you’d like more tips and tools on managing your pediatric PT/OT/ST private practice, visit Peds-a-Palooza Community and Conferences on Facebook.