Mental health performance indicators help private practice owners know if they’re growing, and if not, where to focus their time and energy.
As a private practice office manager, your job is to manage front-end functions such as greeting clients when they come for appointments, monitoring the social media presence, and developing marketing strategies. Recently, you helped to implement new front desk practice management software, and now you have access to in-depth analytics. To really wow your practice owner, come prepared to the next team meeting with a list of mental health performance indicators your team can begin tracking to measure success and strategize growth.
There are many mental health performance indicators that will evaluate your business’s strengths and weaknesses. Think of them as a dashboard that helps you run the business. When a practice is strategic and continuously monitoring successes and weaknesses, they can modify their processes to continue doing what’s working for them or adapt changes to better than weak spots. Because you can measure so much, start small with these five key performance indicators.
1. Sessions Booked
If you accept insurance and private pay clients, the practice’s monthly finances may not accurately reflect how the schedule is performing. First, your insurance payments may be in limbo, making it appear that you had a low-productivity month. Or, just the opposite, if insurance payments get approved all at once, your balance sheets will reflect higher than average numbers that don’t align with the number of clients who scheduled and attended appointments.
Instead, analyze how many sessions are booked for the practice. This will accurately tell you how your referral and marketing sources are performing. Take it a step further and separate the number of sessions canceled, rescheduled, and attended. If you see trends in these subcategories over time, take steps to address your scheduling needs.
Finances are one of the most significant performance indicators any business should track, but especially so in a small business where money is transferred from multiple, diverse sources of income. To be more specific, measure these three categories:
1. Money that comes in
2. Money that goes out
3. Money that’s in limbo
You can measure these three areas in different ways over various practices, but here are some things to track depending on your business’s regular needs:
1. Private payments, client (insurance) copayments, completed insurance claims, past due billing received, etc.
2. Costs of practice management software, answering service, housekeeping service, salaries, rent, landscaping, etc.
3. Insurance claims pending approval, insurance claims resubmitted, unpaid invoices, savings set aside for office redesigns, etc
Once you’ve details the financial aspects to review, check them monthly to see how each of the three categories grow or shrink and take actions to remedying any potential issues. This may mean you need to get firmer with your billing policy or cancel that fancy social media software you purchased but never use. It also might mean that you’re growing, and you can reinvest that money into your business.
3. Marketing Metrics
A therapist’s sales funnel looks a lot different from other small businesses. You don’t have a product to sell. Instead, you have a service to offer, and even though you don’t want to be salesy to get clients in the door, the way you choose to market your practice will lead to success or stagnation. Why spend money if you don’t see a return? Analyze the money spent on your website, social media, blogging, networking events, community sponsorship, paper products, and more. Then, when new clients come into your practice, survey them on how they found you. Make adjustments to your marketing dollars as necessary, but don’t give up entirely on any tools that may help you nurture prospective clients for the long run, such as blogging or social media.
4. Client Satisfaction
Client satisfaction can be one of the trickiest mental health performance indicators to measure. However, you have options. Request your clients complete a survey after a few months of treatment to determine what their satisfaction levels are with your practice as a whole. You might ask them how they feel about the waiting room, your receptionist, the billing/payment process, the therapy sessions, scheduling, and more. Then, complete this process annually. So that you don’t overwhelm yourself with too many opinions make the annual survey happen for all clients in the same month every year.
5. Outcome Methods
Obviously, client satisfaction is important. They need to appreciate the process enough to keep coming back for treatment, but the level of satisfaction is not the only client-centric performance indicator you should measure. When you’re using outcome methods with your clients, you’re learning not only how satisfied they may feel with their growth or change, but you’re also analyzing whether the treatment is successful and finding out what, if anything, you need to be tweak or change to get the best results.
Now, you might set up outcome measures to help with individual treatment, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be part of your practice’s mental health performance indicators. Are your clients all succeeding in treatment immediately? Maybe you need to work with them to set more stringent outcomes. On the opposite end of the spectrum, many clients might be having a hard time moving forward in therapy. The outcomes may be too difficult to achieve, and they might need smaller goals. Since you help each client set therapeutic goals, analyze the effectiveness of your current system. If you see trends in either direction, it might be smart to reevaluate your systems so you can help your clients achieve better outcomes.
If you need help getting any of these KPIs to improve, SimplePractice can help. Our many features, such as appointment reminders, calendar sync, and autopay help keep your front end organized while you implement new strategies to peak your performance even better than before. Try Simple Practice free for 30 days.
Are there other mental health performance indicators that you track? Share your ideas with the community in the comments below.