“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it!”~ Peter Drucker
The #1 question I get from practices regarding data and benchmarking is, “What should I be focused on when looking at my data?” My answer is always, “Everything!”
Every single statistic paints a picture of what is happening in a practice: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Most practices I partner with focus on revenue reporting: profits/loss, income/expenses. They have some sort of daily reconciliation process in place, and most can provide a summary of their financial health at the click of a button. They use financial reports to track revenue changes as benchmarked against a similar period of time. They understand this data is important to know if they are reaching financial goals and improving.
Why then, do so many practices not place the same importance onnon-revenue reporting and benchmarking? How do you improve internal processes such as staff interactions with patients, or other key drivers in the patient engagement process, if you are not collecting this information as vigorously as you collect revenue data?
Collecting non-revenue data places a practice in a proactive state, helps identify areas of opportunity by fine-tuning practice processes, and can increase patient conversion rates.
That said, I understand practice management reports can be daunting at times. I would suggest beginning with following analytics:
Conversion data: How do you know how well your practice is moving your patients through the Patient Progression Lifecycle? It may feel like you convert 50% of your consultation patients to surgery, but is this actually the case? Most practice management software systems on the market today have the capability to run conversion reports for each stage of the patient journey. Use the data to identify areas of opportunity for growth and implement actions to improve. If the conversion rates go up, you know you are on the right track!
Procedure data: What are your highest performing procedures in terms of count, revenue, and revenue per hour? This is important as you want to focus on procedures that drive revenue to the practice. Sometimes you may find the procedure you consider to be a cash cow is, in fact, hindering financial growth.
Provider data: Know the difference between provider and staff performance in your practice. For instance, a practice’s overall No Show / Appointment Cancellation Rate might be 30%, which is very high. However, staff member ‘A’ actually has an acceptable rate of 15%, while staff member ‘B’ has an extremely poor rate of 45%. By measuring their individual performance you can quickly determine staff member ‘B’ needs additional phone skills training and/or needs to be removed from the appointment making process altogether.
Source data: As you know, this data is crucial if you are spending money on advertising. What is your return on your advertising investment? Are you throwing money out the window? Or maybe there is a particular patient advocate that has sent you many patients; you definitely want to thank them! Most practices gather source data only when the patient shows for consultation, and some not until a procedure has been scheduled or completed. I recommend obtaining this at the first point of contact – even if an appointment is not made. You see, just like with patients, referral sources have scheduling rates and cancellation rates. By knowing that last month’s magazine ad generated 50 inquiries but only 4 appointments, you are able to see the opportunity is there and perhaps you need to refine your phone message to capture this segment of patients.
Year-Over-Year data: A year-over-year is a comparison of a statistic for one period to the same period in the previous year. This is usually monthly or quarterly and calculates the percentage change in growth (or decline) during the time period. A YOY report is helpful because it removes any effects of seasonality and also identifies long-term trends.
Patient Surveys: There is no better source of information than that provided “straight from the patient’s mouth.” Surveys are a wonderful way to identify areas of opportunity in improving the patient experience with your practice. By aggregating survey responses, especially via a 5-star rating system, you are able to benchmark patient satisfaction.
Telephone Secret Shopper calls: Okay, I agree secret shopper calls are not actually what comes to mind when thinking of data and analytics, but they should be an important part of your information gathering arsenal. How is your staff engaging your new patient callers? Are they asking questions and providing information – even if not asked? Are they promoting their provider and procedures? Are they qualifying the patient? What makes this call different than all of the other calls we know a patient is making as they “shop” for a provider? Ongoing telephone secret shopper calls to you practice are extremely helpful to identify areas of opportunity, to include phone skills training and consistency.
Interested in a complimentary secret shopper call to see how your practice performs? Simply go to the Contact Us page on this website by clicking here and write FREE TSS in the comments box. Your practice will be shopped by telephone within 2 business days. You will then be provided with a complimentary call to review findings and areas of opportunity.
Monitoring practice performance data is key in order to provide an ultimate patient experience with your practice. Patients are letting the practice know their thoughts and perceptions with each action they make. Luckily, we can use data to interpret their story, and then use their story to make adjustments that will enhance the patient journey. This increases retention and referral and helps maximize profitability.
To Your Success!