You wouldn’t want to drive a car without knowing how fast you were going, or how much fuel you had left, would you?
Trying to run a business without measuring its performance would be a lot like driving without monitoring important gauges.
What are KPIs?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are statistics that are used to measure performance in achieving key business objectives. For example, you could have a KPI that would help measure overall office productivity, or KPIs to gauge productivity in specific jobs.
Why do I need them?
Without monitoring appropriate KPIs and using the insight they provide, a business would be running blindly—relying on opinions and guesswork, instead of facts.
This is why successful businesses use KPIs to monitor all areas of their organization.
Without using KPIs, ineffective and complacent management could result—the biggest deterrent to practice growth.
How can I start using them?
1. Establish your KPIs.
Start by establishing KPIs that track these four categories:
- New Patients
- Active Patients (At a general practice, “active patients” are those that come in as scheduled for recall. When patients miss two recalls in a row, they’re “inactive.”)
2. Record your KPIs.
You should document your KPIs at least monthly (weekly is ideal); and in a chart. (A list of numbers doesn’t show the upward or downward trajectory of the activity you’re measuring.)
You need to understand the purposes of your KPIs; and make sure your KPIs are accurately measuring your office’s productivity.
3. Review the graphs regularly; and look for trends.
Carefully examine the graphs. Are they trending up or down? Are they staying flat, in the same statistical range?
Are there significant changes in the trends compared to last month’s numbers? Last year’s? Over the past two or three years?
Try to find actions within the practice that correspond with the increases or decreases.
4. Take effective action based on what the graphs’ trends are showing you.
It’s a good idea to put these charts in a visible place as a motivator, and reminder of what’s needed. Looking at (and thinking about) these benchmarks will increase your awareness, and can lead to creative ways to improve the practice.
Tracking your KPIs and using these charts—even on a rudimentary basis—can keep your practice and staff sharp.