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  • How to Grow your Practice Utilizing Branding Benchmarks, KPIs, and Data Driven Marketing

How to Grow your Practice Utilizing Branding Benchmarks, KPIs, and Data Driven Marketing

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Reviewing a presentation from PTWA*

By Shannon O’Kelley, PT, MPT and Alex Zitnik

We have all probably attended a presentation regarding key performance indicators (KPIs).

For most of us, we understand and appreciate the need to have good, accurate data and KPIs to measure our practices. If you and your organization have made the decision to start collecting data, you have to ask the important questions: What are you collecting? How do you distribute this information? And to whom do you distribute this information? Most importantly, after you have the data, what kind of programs and intervention are you making in your practice from the information you’ve gathered?


People often ask, “Aren’t benchmarks and KPIs the same thing?” The answer is simple: they are not. KPIs are internal measurements that your company has control over and have a great impact on your overall business goals. They have to be measurable! Benchmarks are reference points to compare your performance with competitors.

  • What is a benchmark? A point of reference from which measurements may be made.
  • What is a KPI? Quantifiable, measured data used to gauge performance.


In our organization, we collect many different KPIs. We like to say we use these KPIs as our guiding lights of operation. It is important that your organization has an understanding of what specific information you are looking to receive, what data you can utilize to create change, and what information the people in your organization can control.

Once you and your team have decided what KPIs to collect, you must make sure these KPIs are quantifiable, measurable, and can affect your return on investment (ROI). In addition, you need to be comfortable with an environment of transparency. I know that sharing information with the entire organization can feel somewhat uncomfortable, but the decision to be transparent with your team can be transformative. We have found that being transparent and engaging our organization in our KPI process creates increased employee engagement, ignites a competitive team spirit, and ultimately creates better outcomes for the organization.

To simplify things, let’s look at five KPIs that we feel are the most important and that allow us to successfully manage our operation:

  • New Patients – This includes any initial evaluations
  • Total Visits – These vary per clinic and are based on model and payroll hours
    • (Payroll Hours/Week) x Weeks in Month
    • Includes initial evaluations
  • Cancelation No Show – Combined CX/NS rate <10%
    • Cancelation: Patient cancelled appointment and did not reschedule
    • No Show: Patient does not call and does not show
  • Charge Per Visit – Gross charge/visit
    • Monitor across staff
    • Varies depending on apt times
  • Payroll Per Visit – How much are you spending per visit?
    • All staff included in calculation


We can be fairly certain that health care, and our health care delivery system, will continue to become more complicated. We feel that in order to be sustainable we must intimately understand our business, and KPIs have allowed us to do this. The old way of managing a practice based upon how much revenue you had after all your bills were paid at the end of the month will not give us the appropriate amount of information we need to understand the ever-changing complexities of our health care system. It is imperative that you understand your business on a very micro level and this is all the more reason to be looking at both benchmarks and KPIs in your practice. We like to say, “If you’re not looking at KPIs, you are probably a dinosaur headed toward extinction!”

It’s important to remember that you can only manage what you measure. If you don’t have the data, you won’t know what needs to improve! And, finally, what gets measured, gets improved. Once you set your benchmarks, begin collecting data and looking at your KPIs, you will begin to see patterns and will have a greater understanding of where you need to improve. You will also be encouraged as you start to see definitive proof of the improvement you’ve worked hard to attain!

With all this being said, we still believe that the foundation of patient-centered physical therapy is building relationships that focus on soft skills. These skills include communication, compassion, and altruistic care. This paradigm is more important now than ever before. One of our company mantras has always been, “If you take care of your patients, community, and your team, your numbers will automatically follow.” We strongly believe this, and emphasize this in our practice. A good combination of soft skills, patient and employee engagement, and an understanding your KPIs are important for growth and for a successful business.

KPI-Setting Success

  1. Define the difference between a KPI and a benchmark.
  2. Decide which KPIs you will track and measure.
  3. Ensure your KPIs are measurable, reproducible, quantifiable, and actionable.
  4. Identify how to collect KPIs in your practice
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Alex Zitnik

Alex Zitnik is the director of business development for IRG Physical & Hand Therapy in Mill Creek, Washington. She can be reached at alex.zitnik@irgpt.com.

Shannon O’Kelley

Shannon O’Kelley, MPT, is the owner of IRG Physical & Hand Therapy in the greater Seattle Area with over 35 locations. He can reached at Shannon.okelley@irgpt.com.

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