The Top Four Clinical Metrics

What do clinics and carwash shops have in common? They both use a performance metric system. Yes, every business operation today across all industries now requires the use of scorecards and other performance measuring tools. This is because everything in business that consumes time, effort, and money should be measurable. If you can not measure your business, how then can your business be possibly profitable? The true risk of a business is not on knowing the threats but on knowing the immeasurable. Good thing, clinic managers found a friend in clinical metrics.

Fortunately, for clinic managers, there are ways to figure out the measurable aspects of operating a clinic. There is a way of knowing over-inventory and under-inventory. There is a way of knowing whether the medical facility is sufficient for the number of served patients or not. There is a method of knowing whether the treatments are successful or not. There are ways of determining whether an upgrade of medical equipment is a priority or not. And there is even a system to identify the clinic's compliance to health insurance and accreditation requirements.

Metrics for clinical operations, in short, are manners of knowing the good and the bad of the business. Normally, managers would take out the bad, then change or improve it. But most of the time, the managers enhance the good and spend additionally to make it more beneficial. In using metrics for evaluating the performance of a clinic, there are different types that managers can use. The four types of metrics for clinics focus on such major aspects as medical, health insurance, medical supplies, and health care facilities.

The health care industry may be a broad industry to deal with. But, measuring the medical aspect of a clinic is simple. Government and accreditation bodies even require clinics to have a uniform set of key performance indicators just to standardize the measuring schemes. However, some clinics may provide special services to specific markets. Therefore, there is a prudent need for custom-tailored key performance indicators. Some of these custom KPIs include infection control and waiting times for the patients. Major metrics deal with clinical administration, patient satisfaction and services, emergency services, and financial operation. Sample metrics may include such aspects as clinic negligence, death within one month of surgery, readmission to hospital within a month of discharge, and death within a month of bypass surgery.

The second metric type deals with health insurance. It is an important aspect since the business involves patients whose health and well-being are at risk. This aspect centers its attention on the customer. And it can cover finance, operations, customers, and services. Sample metrics are new business premiums, IRR on new business, external funds under management and operating profit.

The metrics on medical supplies do more than just evaluating inventory. They also encompass the review on drug expiration, proper shelving, or keeping of medicines, appropriate administration of drugs, and reasonable prices for medicines, and other supplies. Sample metrics may include product range, market diversification, vendor contracts, and manufacturer representation.

The existence of medical supplies and qualified staff will be useless without the proper health care facility. It typically measures customer perspective, and social accountability. In short, the clinic itself reflects the quality of service.

When buying a clinical metrics system, it is imperative then to look for these four major indicators. Surprisingly, all of these four metrics are available as a bundle or package. Knowing what your metric system should measure will give your clinic the edge to improve and excel.