October 9, 2017 by ChiroTouch Article Reporting, Business Management
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Benchmarking.  Never heard of it? You’re not alone.  Benchmarking is a term that refers to the process of identifying an industry’s best practices.  These best practices, forged by the leaders of each business community, can be used to evaluate your own performance metrics and help you adjust your business to match.  The successful result of your adherence to these best practices can be measured by identifying and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs help business owners reduce the uncertainties of their practice performance by simplifying their data down to numbers that assist them in identifying trends, remedying inefficiencies, and measuring improvements.  These indicators can help businesses large and small measure their performance to increase their efficiency and bolster their profits.

Decide What to Measure

Which KPIs Fit Your Plan

There are many different focus areas where KPIs can provide value.  These KPIs might include your number of patients and first-time visits per month, or the number of new patients garnered per marketing campaign.  Your financial health is also incredibly important. KPIs might include the cost of acquiring each new patient, the overall profit of your practice, the overall cost of your business, the lifetime patient value and the average number of referrals.   Are you looking to increase your number of patients?  Then KPIs that address the success of your marketing and referral programs may serve you best.  If you’re looking to improve patient satisfaction, then your KPIs will likely center on measuring patient feedback.

Deciding which KPIs to measure can be a challenge.  That is because you are the one that knows what is most important to your particular practice. And KPIs can be tricky.  If you’re not measuring the right performance indicators, their value in steering your practice is lost.  The KPIs that are important to your business will be those that allow you to build a roadmap.  A roadmap that will ultimately lead to an improvement in your main objectives.  Keep in mind that applicable KPIs can also be found outside of the chiropractic industry.  After all, there are many industries where the small to mid-size practice model is flourishing.

Take Pertinent Measurements

The accurate measurement of your indicators for practice success is just as important as the identifying which indicators to measure at all. Once you’ve targeted your critical KPIs, then work backwards to support the measurement of those KPIs within your business. Let’s take patient satisfaction, for example.  Perhaps this is a KPI you find imminently valuable for your practice.  How do you measure that?  How do your peers measure that? Do they use surveys, phone calls, or social media to harvest feedback which can then be used to assign a number to the level of overall patient satisfaction within their practice?  What methods have they found to be  most successful? Contrast and compare with your fellow chiropractors and find ways to collectively hone your objectives to achieve more targeted, measurable results.

Collaborate With Peers and Leaders

Look to Peers and Industry Leaders

If you don’t know what to measure, you won’t know where to improve.  Can’t find the definitive list of best practices and KPIs from your chiropractic industry leaders? Look again.  It’s hidden, but it’s there.  It lies within every conversation you have with your successful peers, in every webinar you watch, amidst every lecture you attend.  Although benchmarking isn’t a term often thrown around in chiropractic, words such as practice profitability, patient retention, and patient satisfaction are.  Look at the initiatives your chiropractic heroes are focused on and ask the questions: what core concepts are they touting and how do I measure them within my practice? Therein lies your list of best practices and the key to their corresponding KPIs.

In addition to your industry leaders, your peers are another great resource in the practice of benchmarking.  What are their most important KPIs and how do they use them to indicate success of their strategies?  How does your practice measure up?  Workshop ideas with your peers and make sure that you are not only measuring the correct performance indicators for your industry and your practice, but that your results are actionable.

Implement, Monitor and Track

Best practices and KPIs can help you prioritize adjustments to your business methods, keep a close eye on your financial health, and map out your best path to bigger profits. Finding the KPIs that work for you doesn’t mean you have to take shots in the dark.  Start seeking out the critical initiatives that your industry leaders are communicating.  Reach out to your peers to collaborate on benchmarks to success.  Once you have determined your benchmarks and start tracking them you can start to gauge what is working and not working in your practice.  Tweaking your plan along the way to ensure success.

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