There is a truism that goes “anything that cannot be measured is unmanageable”. And it has never been truer today. In a world of fierce competition, every company that runs on profit should measure the effectiveness and success rate of every aspect in the business. This statement holds true also for clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities. The same strategy that helped manufacturers and common businesses thrive has now become a major business operational tool for the medical industry, particularly for clinic management and customer service evaluation. The use of key performance indicators and metric systems for medical facilities is not for revenue purposes only, but also for clinical standards. Indeed, the use of clinic KPI is fast becoming a standard for medical business operation.
At a glance, one might say that it is easy to measure the performance of a clinic through sanitation and involvement in charity projects. In reality, there is more to just measuring cleanliness and active participation in community works. Government health authorities require clinics to comply with the national standards or accreditation tests. One purpose of clinic key performance indicators then is to see how compliant the clinic is towards obtaining government accreditation. Facilities, which do not have sufficient equipment, will not receive accreditation from the government. The government pursues this so that all clinics will provide the same health care quality across all markets.
And since government health authorities mandate stringent compliance to the accreditation tests, most clinics base and refer their key performance indicators on the accreditation levels. There are also other accrediting bodies, which are independent of the government. They may provide KPI basis for clinics. Either way, clinics should align their services and products satisfactorily to the requirements of the accreditation bodies.
Safety should always be at the top priority of clinics. This is precisely why clinics should provide not only clean but also conducive environment for the patients. There should also be sufficient and well-qualified clinic staff that will attend to the needs of the customers. Safety also covers medical prescription and administration. A sample KPI in this subject may include the evaluation of cases when patients suffer from over dosages. A review of medicine administration, dosaging, and successful treatments, is another possible KPI.
Interviewing present and previous patients may also help provide possible key performance indicators. Even questionnaires, surveys, and evaluation forms are resources that will help clinic managers come up with practical KPIs. Complaints like late administration of drugs or unaccommodating staff may call for a few changes in the clinic.
The clinic manager may also draw possible key performance indicators from the facility itself. Questions like “is there enough space for every patient”; “does the clinic sufficiently allow patient visitors”, “and is the clinic properly ventilated” can provide hints on what the clinic can do to improve its services.
Sales and accounting may be the least metrics that managers can include in the clinic KPI. Nevertheless, clinic managers should give importance to these financial aspects since this is where the blood of clinical operation runs. Clinic operators, therefore, should consider safety, accreditation compliance, and financial administration in order to come up with a balanced, functional, and results-driven scorecard system.