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Physical Therapy KPI Metrics, A Recipe For Practice Health

Physical Therapy KPI Metrics

Staying on top of physical therapy KPI metrics should be part of the recipe for the financial and operational health of your clinic. Financial performance metrics are clearly the end outcome but they are after the fact measures or lagging indicators. On the other hand, operational metrics like arrival rate or units per visit represent leading indicators that could be influenced more easily in order to improve financial and patient outcomes. 

KPIs vs. Metrics: A Recap

While on the subject of physical therapy KPI metrics, it may be a good idea to reiterate the difference between KPIs and metrics per se. Metrics are the raw numbers that measure the performance of your clinic. Cherry pick the important metrics that are likely to move the needle, assign a goal to them, and you should have the essentials of a KPI in place.

Bringing KPIs & Metrics Into Dashboards

Physical therapy KPIs and metrics come together in KPI dashboards. KPI dashboards would eliminate the need for using external systems and for manually entering and correlating data into reports. These dashboards would enable you to quickly assess the quality and performance of front desk processes, clinical/marketing processes, and management processes (owner dashboard). Assessment of performance would be based on actual performance and goals set up. This would enable you to quickly adjust staffing capacity needs, address authorization issues, and reduce cancellation and no show rates, all of which would impact your revenue cycle.

Organizing Dashboards

Get dashboard security in place

Let us dive a bit deeper into what makes a KPI dashboard come to life. It would begin with application security. You would need to ensure that the right people have access to the data and dashboards. In KPI dashboard administration, you would manage a number of categories. There are typically several dashboards billing, clinical, front desk, marketing, and owner. You would assign these dashboards to specific roles in the system or to specific users so that by default users only have access to their own information. This would be achieved by editing goals, arranging and changing groupings as in which KPIs and metrics belong to which dashboard, and setting up the dashboards for different departments.

Arrange KPIs and metrics into groups

It would help to have physical therapy KPI metrics organized into groups. For example, we might want to add KPIs to the front desk dashboard that map to corresponding metrics in the system. Being able to search and add specific KPI metrics such as facility cancellation rate, move metrics around to different dashboards, and drag and drop metrics would add considerable flexibility. Users would be able to access their own dashboards for example therapist performance data.

Bringing In The Data

EMR the single source of truth

The primary source of operational and clinical data for calculating performance metrics should be your EMR/Practice Management system. Using tools like Excel instead would lead to silos of disconnected, non-integrated data. The more hands that touch the data, the less you would be able to trust it. Making decisions on data only to discover later on that the data was wrong is certainly a path to avoid. The answer would lie in seamlessly connecting and integrating the right data.

Internal vs. external performance metrics

Internal physical therapy KPI metrics would have data coming directly from the EMR system. This data would be pre-loaded in the system, in a single database. External metrics may not initially be recorded in the EMR and would likely vary across therapy practices. Average tenure rate, income, cost per visit, benefits, referral, and NPS score are examples of external metrics. It should be possible to customize external data points that are valuable to the business. We could then bring these external data points over into the EMR, thus retaining its role as the primary data source.

Setting Goals

Assigning goals would turn metrics into KPIs. Goal settings would play a key role. It should be possible to set KPI goals for an individual metric for a particular user/facility at a predetermined frequency. User metrics would gather information about visits and tie it to a particular user. Facility metrics would not have an associated user. For example, arrival rate is a user type and facility type metric that deals with therapists and assistants. This could be a goal set across the board for therapists. There would a low threshold as well as a goal value for each user metric. It should also be possible to set these for all users as a global measure.

Monitoring Performance

Aggregating and filtering data

Moving over to the KPI dashboard itself, you could have several types: Billing, Front Desk, Clinical, Marketing, and Owner dashboards. It should be possible to set dimensions. Time dimensions would include week, quarter, month, and year. Facility and employee are other possible dimensions. Initially, we would see data aggregated at the practice level. It should be possible to filter data by facility and by employee.

Drilling down into the details

It would be helpful to have user gauges that display performance using a red, amber, and green system. Red would imply you are near the low threshold. Green would mean on-goal performance. Drilling down into the data would help identify issues. Having gauges that display data would be a good starting point. Opening the underlying report would show the difference between current and previous periods and between current and goal values. Also we should be able to see the trend over time for the metric with color codes indicating above/below goal performance. For each user based KPI, one could go down one more level to the individual provider/therapist level. For arrival rate, this report would be the therapist daily summary. In the report, one would be able to see individual details for the provider. The result is vastly more intelligence without having to pull a daily report.

The idea is to control and manage the organization, making fine grained adjustments as necessary. Making data driven decisions to improve financial and operational health should be a matter of looking at the dashboard, studying the underlying data, and making course corrections. Managing Physical Therapy KPI Metrics is certainly a more surefire recipe for ensuring practice health.