Set Your Benchmarks
By Stacy M. Menz, PT, DPT, PCS
January is behind us and 2017 is in full swing. I may be a big nerd but I love to analyze the previous year’s stats. Regardless of how the practice performed, it’s imperative to be able to measure your performance against the benchmarks you set. This serves as a starting point to look at what worked and what failed so that you can delve into the reasons for those successes or failures. Benchmarks are important because they serve as the measure of practice performance. It also is a great time to determine if your benchmarks are still relevant. Did you exceed a benchmark easily? If so, it’s likely set too low.
Also, are your benchmarks measuring the right things to impact your practice? We actually changed a few of our benchmarks for this 2017 because we found they were not measuring information that was going to result in meaningful data to help us grow and adapt to change. We worked as a team to develop and implement new benchmarks that would be more of a resource. The best part about involving your team is that they will bring a different perspective you may not see as the owner, and when your team is part of the process you will be more likely to get their buy-in.
If you notice your trend lines are way off as compared to previous years, you can look at what you may have done differently. If a trend is way off in a good way, then keep doing more of what you were doing, and if it’s in a downward trend, you can catch it quick and make adjustments.
I look at benchmarks the same way I look at my patients’ goals. They are the target, and I check progress against them regularly (as I do for short-term goals) to make sure we are on track and that our company doesn’t have a “change of status” that requires a reevaluation.
What are the benchmarks you track? Did you need to do a benchmark overhaul? Set your course for 2017 with your benchmarks as your guide.