Keeping the Pulse of Your Medical Practice
Have you ever questioned whether your medical practice is running as well as possible, either compared to prior performance or similar practices in your area? If so, you may want to consider benchmarking and trending. The first thing you must do as a practice is decide how to benchmark in a general way. Deciding the internal or external benchmarks you will use is a decision that will be different from practice to practice – a one-size-fits-all solution is generally not available.
Next, you need to decide on which processes, functions, and outcomes to benchmark. The easiest way to identify those things is to determine what makes your practice successful or is essential to your practice’s well being. Obviously, the easiest benchmark to compare is net income – comparing this year’s net income to previous year’s will give you a good feeling for your practice’s well-being. Generally, you will want to also look at days in A/R, net collection percentage, and RVU production.
Sometimes the next part is the hardest: gathering data. If you haven’t been benchmarking in the past, this can be time consuming. After you collect the data, it’s time to analyze. Compare your data to the chosen benchmarks and see how your practice stacks. As with anything else, there will be tweaks along the way. Just be sure that you are committed to benchmarking and you can see your practice’s pulse thrive for years.