We all have our own health checkups. We head off to the GP, or specialist and have an appointment. As health care professionals, we also know in our own practices the importance of assessing our clients thoroughly to help plan future therapy sessions, reach goals and predict outcomes. How often do we though, check in on our own practice health situation? A busy practice sounds great, but a busy practice does not always equal financial security. It can just mean you are damn right busy!
I love this great quote by Peter Drucker: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. Measuring our business success factors helps us to track on a regular basis how we are doing. It prevents any declines in performance from creeping up on us, because regular assessing of our data allows us to know what to look out for and when to make some changes.
It is just as important to check in on your business health when it is doing well, as it is when it is not doing so well.
Where do we start though?
Seth Godin tells us “Don’t measure anything unless the data helps you make a better decision or change your actions”. This is an important point. Collecting meaningless data is a waste of time.
If you haven’t started this process before, you can start with a clean slate and immediately get going on the areas that matter to your business.
If you have already been collecting some statistics to track your performance, this is great. I would start by reviewing what you are collecting. Going forward, you can follow the tips on getting started and put them into review with your current data. If your statistics that you are collecting no longer represent your practice key areas of focus, or they are no longer indicative of your performance, then replace them with ones that are helpful.
What are the factors in your practice that you will need to make it a success? These can be related to financial performance of the practice, customer service, staff satisfaction and happiness, referrals, how ‘busy’ you are, and so on. Each individual practice has individual things that will lead it to success. One very important point to remember here is that we all view success differently. Some of us view practice success based purely on finances, whilst others view success in creating a safe and happy workplace for others, or maybe you are a combination of things. Because we all view success in different ways, it is natural for us to therefore collect data from different sources. That is ok, and actually it is better than just copying from another practice. Just because your friend who owns a practice collects a particular statistic about their performance, does not mean you have to. In saying that, do talk to others. I am always talking to people about what they collect and why. It helps me to redefine what am collecting, and can provide a great source of ideas for statistics that I might not of thought of.
If you are not sure where to start, next week we will share 6 steps to begin when measuring the performance of your practice.