In previous posts, we have tried to make the point that a clinic is a small business and that its performance needs to be closely monitored to ensure satisfactory outcomes for all its stakeholders. This would include patients (both current and prospective), clinic employees and (of course) you as the clinic owner.
In this post, we will look at 6 daily data points for tracking clinic performance. These are used not just to track daily clinic performance and ensure that it is on target to deliver satisfactory results for all concerned. They will also eventually be used as the “raw material” for calculating key performance indicators that will track the clinic’s performance across all the important dimensions. Future posts will suggest how this data can be used to monitor the performance of the clinic and its employees in meeting the expectations of patients and delivering healthcare outcomes that will assure future growth. The Key Performance Indicators should also help in monitoring patient flow, as that is a key performance metric for any healthcare focused organization.
The data below is to be reported separately by each therapist and administrative team member and relates to the activities of the team member for the preceding day.
6 Daily Data Points For Tracking Clinic Performance
This is the date to which the day’s information relates.
1. The Therapist
This is the name of the therapist or administrative team member reporting the data.
2. Admin Or Therapist Hours Worked
If the person reporting is an admin team member, the numbers of hours the administration team member has worked and for which he or she expects to be paid. If the person reporting is a therapist, this would be the total number of hours the therapist spent in the clinic on that date. The time spent would include time spent in meetings, training sessions and (of course) with patients. However, it would exclude lunch breaks and other unpaid time.
3. Consulting Hours
For a therapist, this would be the total number of hours that on the date for which he or she was available for bookings with patients.
4. Hours Spent With Patients
For a therapist, this would be the actual time spent on that date in face to face treatment sessions with patients. It should exclude internal meetings with other clinic team members, training sessions, lunch breaks or time slots not filled or cancelled by patients.
5. Therapist Utilization Rate
For a therapist, this would be the Hours Spent With Patients as a % of the Consulting Hours.
6. Overall Utilization Rate
Once you have the utilization rate for each therapist on your staff, you can calculate an overall utilization rate for each date for all the therapists on your team. It will be calculated by totalling the rates for each individual member and then dividing by the total number of therapists, i.e. the average utilization rate over the entire team.
This metric will allow you (as the clinic owner) to monitor how fully booked each member of your team of therapists is on a day to day basis. You can then monitor the trend in the overall utilization rate and use it as an early warning indicator of when you need to start the hiring process for new therapists.
A good rule of thumb might be to start the hiring process for new therapists once the overall utilization rate reaches 75%. This might seem to be a low threshold, but it allows for:
- the time you may need to find and recruit someone who is a good “fit” for your clinic. If you start the process too late (when the utilization rate is already close to 100%) you may be forced to make a hire before you have found the ideal candidate. This then exposes you to the risk of having to make a termination and rehire not too far down the road – an extremely expensive process that you need to try to keep to a minimum;
- The possibility that a current team member may leave the clinic before you have made a new hire.
In addition to the data listed above, two other components of the daily data collection for each team member might be:
- Number of new patients seen each day. This will help to track the growth of the clinic’s patient base; and
- Number and value of stock items sold by each therapist on the day.
As mentioned, these 6 daily data points for tracking clinic performance will also be used periodically to compile Key Performance Indicators that track the clinic’s performance in a number of critical areas. The process for doing this, and the interpretation of the resulting indicators, will be covered in future posts.