Medical Practice KPI’s – Achieving Objectives In Your Health Business

Ask anyone about KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), and you would be sure to find that the feeling most associated with them is dread.

Understandably, having our work scrutinised may appear as micro-managed interference. Yet, KPI’s provide a measurable way to demonstrate how effectively a business is achieving key objectives.

Essentially these indicators are used to gauge if a business or individual is reaching a given target. They also ensure that the overarching business goals are at the forefront of decision making.

For those running a business, it’s crucial to own the negatives while looking for the positives. So when dealing with staff KPI’s, it’s important to highlight that there is comfort in knowing where the benchmark of good performance sits.

Whether a new practice setup or reviewing an existing medical centre, the following provides some of the indicators that may help assess and review the staff within your practice.

Breaking down a staff member’s tasks within their job role is an ideal place to start for developing KPI’s. Those tasks linked to the success of a business goal are then allocated a KPI with a timeframe. In this sense, a KPI must be specific and measurable in some way.

For example, whether staff complete a set of tasks correctly is measured each month through random auditing. KPI’s should not be confused with reception staff just following a procedure or ‘how to’ guide.

In this way, KPI’s are meaningful and within the context of achieving long term goals.

Front Desk Performance Indicators

Performance indicators for the reception staff usually include those associated with patient contact and paperwork leading up to and after an appointment.

An example of a measurable KPI for reception staff could be that an individual staff member must make and document five calls a day to collect outstanding fees.

As an extension of this financial reconciliation, a standard could be set within the KPI that billing errors do not exceed a certain amount each week. Practice software could assist through searching the number of reversed or amended invoices and payments.

The tying up loose ends of appointments could be another KPI. This KPI would involve following those patients who did not show or have incomplete billing at the end of each day. A report through practice software is worth investigating as it may streamline this process.

Added to this KPI could be that all documents are scanned and filed on the day they are received. The same daily timeframe could apply to all banking and the batching and sending off bulk claims to Medicare / Veterans’ Affairs.

Performance Indicators For Doctors

The indicators for doctors performance mainly relate to time management for both financial incentives and quality of service.

Balancing quality of care with doctor KPIs can be a challenge, but good time management and organisational skills will help keep a practice flowing.

Before consultations for the day even begin, doctors can meet one KPI. That is starting on time. If a doctor is consistently unable to achieve this, then either adjusting the starting time or addressing the cause of lateness is wise. Ensuring this KPI is met will positively impact the rest of the day’s appointments.

Doctors starting times is a large contributor to another KPI, waiting times. This area is high on the list of patient complaints. Some doctors may view this as standard for all practices, but in a world where customer service is critical to business success and reputation, this is a high priority KPI. Once again, the tracking of excessive waiting times and attempting to remedy the cause will keep the timeframe and frequency goals of this KPI on track.

One KPI that is a requirement of accreditation is the reporting and management of hazards or incidents within a 24 hours timeframe. Tracking this data as a KPI can then have a dual purpose of accreditation and practice standards in general.

You could also try a KPI for doctors that have a minimum number of letter and test results at any given time. Keeping this paperwork flow consistent will avoid a backlog in other areas and keep practice staff informed. They can keep patients informed of progress and so meet patient expectations.

Finally, financial KPI’s are what practices seem most familiar with, and assessment can be in various ways such as dollars per day, per room or the amount per hour of patient time.

KPI’s for Nurses

Nurses have a central role within the practice of sharing the clinical workload. As such, it is worth properly utilising their skills.

A medical practice nurse can introduce new services to patients, manage recall and reminder systems and implement improved practice systems. All of these contribute to maintaining and proving a higher quality of patient care.

KPI’s for Nurses could start with reaching set targets for care plans, reviews and Health Assessments completed. The goals of these will vary depending on patient demographics with individual medical practices.

Performance could also focus upon a comparison of what the practice currently provides and it’s potential.

For example, the comparison of counts of billed GP Management Plans (GPMP) versus billed Team Care Arrangements (TCAs) each month. It may also include a comparison of the total of billed (GPMP + TCA) versus billed reviews which can occur for each of the TCA and GPMP.

The KPI could involve a comparison of the numbers of DVA patients on a Coordinated Veterans’ Care (CVC) Program versus those who are eligible. A similar comparison might identify those eligible each month for Practice Incentives Program (PIP), Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) and Closing the Gap (CTG).

A KPI is worthwhile that compares the number of patients with a care plan to the number of Item 10997 in Medicare billed each month.

It’s worth implementing a KPI for the number of infections per hundred procedures each month. Should this exceed a number set by the KPI, then an audit of clinical processes occurs.

Also, an audit each month to check that recall and reminder systems are up to date for the follow up of tests, results, referrals and appointments will, like the KPI’s for doctors, contribute to patient satisfaction.

KPI’s For Administration Staff

Reception staff and practice managers share administration roles, so KPI’s will help ensure the completion of essential tasks within the practice.

Chasing debt must be one of the least favourite tasks of administration. That is why it should rate high on the list of administration KPI’s. An example of a performance indicator would be that aged debt of more than 60 days is less than 5% of the total debt. For example, $10,000 of debt should have less than $500 owing for accounts 60 days or more overdue. This KPI would also ensure the settling of all accounts especially, those for Workcover, solicitor and insurance companies.

Practice software has some fantastic tracking ability and useful for setting some daily administration KPI’s. An example is a 100% follow up each day of cancelled appointments to check if rescheduled. This KPI would include counting and charting 100% of the patients that did not attend, including notes that prompt staff to confirm any future appointments.

Another daily KPI example would be 100% allocation of incoming results and correspondence to the appropriate person. It could also include that all recalls sorted and followed up daily.

The daily KPI could include generating a report for billing of reversed accounts,
Some KPI’s for administration may need flexibility in time, such as tying up loose ends of online claiming batches for Medicare that were rejected and require resubmission.

KPI’s can also apply to Occupational Health and Safety within the practice for staff and patients.

This regular setting of expectations and auditing of performance can include other practice areas. These areas may incorporate allied health or external contractors who supply long term services such as marketing.

Nicky Jardine has many years of experience in assisting medical practices in reaching their goals. As such, Nicky can work with the practice principals to define, implement and assess a range of KPI’s.

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