It’s almost the end of the year. Are the goals for your practice achieved? If not, maybe it’s time to go back to basics and plan out what went wrong and how to move forward.
Whether you’re trying to set goals for a new year or trying to catch up this year, you need to think about what your goals are. It could be either better patient outcomes, better engagement with your patients, or better patient retention. Perhaps it is increasing the efficiency of your staff, increased revenue or plans of expansion. Setting your goals is never a walk in the park. You need to figure out what your priorities should be to get you from point A to point B. For starters, you need to have a basic understanding of the current state of your business. For that, you need to have a benchmark.
- Total Visit – How many patients am I seeing?
- Charges per Visit – What are my average charges per visit?
- Payment per Visit – What am I getting paid per visit on average?
- A/R – Are my claims getting paid in a timely manner?
Once you have a baseline understanding of your current status, you can set SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. So how do you do that? First, you need to set a specific goal. For example, if your goal is an increase of 100 visits per month, you must formulate and understand the metrics that could help you achieve that goal. SAMPLE METRICS
- Capacity – What is a reasonable goal of appointments per day for my therapists to see?
- Evaluations vs Discharges – Am I bringing in more patients than I’m discharging?
- Arrival/Cancellation Rate – How do you increase the number of patients who attend their scheduled appointments?
- Active Patients without Future Appointments – Are my patients completing their prescribed plan of care and then being discharged appropriately?
- Weekly Frequency – Are my patients being scheduled for and attending their visits as they are prescribed?
- Conversion Rate – How do you convert more of my referrals into patients?
When referring to the metrics, you must assess your team on how they can impact your business. Every member should be responsible for keeping up with the goals set. For instance, increasing your visit totals can be archived by having satisfied patients who understand their role in their health and feel engaged. Increasing retention is often considered a “front desk” metric, so many practices instruct their front desk to set the next appointment up before a patient leaves the office. This is effective but not enough. Your entire staff can help you achieve this goal. If the therapist works with the patient at the eval to explain the course of treatment and why they are prescribing the visit frequency and duration that they are, the patient is more likely to feel engaged in their treatment. When a patient feels more engaged, they are more likely to attend visits as scheduled. Your billing staff or third-party biller can impact your patient attendance as well. If your billing team follows up on claims in a timely manner and bills and collects accurately, the patient is less likely to drop out of treatment due to a surprise bill. If the clinic management focuses on hiring employees who fit the company culture and are dedicated to making the clinic an inviting and welcoming space, it is more likely that your practice will be successful. Patients appreciate an office with very little turnover, they feel comfortable when they see the same faces at their appointments. It is imperative to your practice’s success that your entire staff is working towards the same goals. If an owner reviews metrics, is transparent about expectations and coaches their staff towards success in a productive manner, it is more likely that the team will understand what they need to do each day to reach those goals. Your staff will all be focused and empowered to make decisions that impact metrics in a positive way. A collaborative team helps ensure that everyone works together to reach your common goals.