Practice Management Metrics for Physical Therapy

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How can Shannon make the numbers add up for her practice?

Shannon strode into the office with a confident smile.

“Oh, no,” came the greeting from Tana. The trainer was standing with Theresa, the office manager, and it looked as though they had been deep in conversation.

Shannon’s smile was a bit less confident, but she walked up and joined the other two women. “Are you saying “˜Oh, no’ just because I walked in?” Shannon’s tone was teasing, and Tana responded in the same way.

“It’s that look on your face. We always know when you’ve been talking with your husband and getting some big idea.”
Theresa joined in, “Or maybe it’s just you getting a bright idea on your own.”

“I have the beginnings of an idea,” Shannon agreed. “I think maybe we can make better use of all the information we gather.”

Tana snorted. “We sure do gather plenty of information!”

“It’s important,” said Theresa, “and I’m not sure we really do make best use of it. What’s your idea?”

“I think we have too much information, in some ways,” Shannon said. “We need to know all about our clients, and our software captures some great data for our practice, but we mostly just let it all pile up in case we ever need it. If we figure out how to use it better, we’ll be able to make better decisions.”

“Here’s how I think about decisions,” said Tana. “I don’t like to decide because it’s like homicide or suicide — it kills off all the other possibilities. You never know what opportunities might come up, and if you’ve decided already, you’re closed off to the new options.” Tana flicked her long hair and headed off to the weight training area.

Shannon and Theresa watched her go.

“Hmm,” Shannon said at length.

“She has a point, actually,” Theresa said. “How often do we go back and forth on whether or not to offer some service? We look at the data and think we won’t do it, and then someone asks for it and we think we will, and then someone asks for something else and we think we’ll do that instead”¦”

Shannon pursed her lips, remembering quite a few conversations like that. “I guess you’re right, but someone has to make those decisions — usually me. And I don’t have time to analyze all the data, so I guess I do fly by the seat of my pants a lot.”

“And if you feel like you’re flying by the seat of your pants, it’s no wonder it’s hard to make firm decisions.”

Shannon nodded. “Paralysis by analysis.”

“So we’re back where we started. You have an idea for how to winnow through the mass of facts and make better use of what we have.”

“I do. I think we need to identify the KPIs, and I have a list,” Shannon pulled her list from her pocket and handed it to Theresa, “and then we should figure out how to get the information that connects with these KPIs in a form where we can see it easily.”

“Like charts that magically update themselves.”

“Why not? It’s the 21st century and we have the information in computers,” Shannon pointed out. “We just need to find someone who knows how to make tables that update themselves.”

Theresa frowned at the list. “I think you’re right on the KPIs. If we actually knew these things, we probably could make confident decisions — without feeling like we’re killing anything off.”

“If we know we’re making the right decisions, we won’t always be second-guessing ourselves and yearning after the options we’ve given up.”

Theresa nodded. “I’m impressed. Now we just need to find a good way to monitor that information.

“Without having to spend all day at it,” said Shannon, noticing the time. “Speaking of which, I have a patient to see. I’ll get back with you later.”

How can Shannon make the numbers add up for her practice?

Disclaimer: For HIPAA compliance, all characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.

1 reply
  1. Andrew Kropff
    Andrew Kropff says:

    Theresa and Shanon are almost there. They have their KPI’s identified which is half the battle. Now they need a system in place to keep track of those KPIs and display it in a way that makes sense to them.

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