Managing a health clinic is much more than just working hard and trying to get your team to do the same. We’ve all heard the adage to “work smarter, not harder”, but what does this actually mean? In a lot of cases, it means identifying things that can be done that will have a disproportionate return on your time investment. So, how do we identify these areas?
Well, by looking at the data, we can often find clues as to what is really going on in our health practices. In fact, there are 6 reports you need to regularly review to understand the full story behind what’s going on, and make management decisions that move your practice forward.
#1 New Clients Report
Your clinic is built around serving clients and a steady stream of new clients is essential to keeping your practice viable and growing. So, knowing how your new client numbers are tracking is one of the most important reports you should run.
Aside from your regular referrers, your marketing activities will be the primary driver of your new clients, so this is how you can gauge how well your promotions are working. Did you try something new that resulted in a spike of new clients? Great! Double down on that. Or maybe you tried something new but there was no noticeable difference? If you’ve given it long enough, move on and try something else.
There may also be seasonal trends that you can unveil as well – these will help you put seemingly sudden surges or drops in new clients into perspective.
#2 Client Appointments Report
You and your team might feel busy, but how busy were you really? Only the data can tell you that! Run a report by each practitioner to see how many completed appointments each person had over a given time period. This data will help you understand your workload and whether some practitioners are underutilised or overworked and when it’s time to add a new practitioner to your team.
Regularly keeping track of the number of appointments your clinic actually completes each week or month, is a great way to keep track of how you’re going.
#3 No-Shows and Cancellations Report
You may think there’s nothing much that can be done about no-shows and cancellations, but this is a costly problem that should be actively managed. In fact, we’ve written previously about 6 ways to reduce no-shows, and the better you can track and understand your no-shows and cancellations, the better you can manage these.
By looking at the data on a regular basis, you may see that certain repeat offenders are responsible for a large proportion of the problem (in which case you can take measures to enforce cancellation fees etc). Or, you might find that certain practitioners have a greater no-show rate than your average – which might indicate a client satisfaction issue or some other problem that can be addressed with training and communication.
#4 Sales Reports
Are you earning enough to cover your expenses? Are you earning more this month than last month? More this month than the same month last year? Only your sales reports can tell you this! Even if your utilisation and workload is sky-high, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this will be reflected in your sales numbers. You have to ensure you are charging an adequate amount to cover your costs and generate a profit. Sometimes the sales report can identify a need to increase revenue by selling peripheral items (such as books).
Knowing your sales numbers can also help alert you to any problems early, which can inform your decisions about expenses or expansion.
You might also want to break your sales reports down by practitioner to get an understanding of which of your team members are contributing more to your bottom line.
#5 Accounts Receivable Reports
Revenue is good but without money in the bank, it can be pretty meaningless. That’s why it’s crucial to regularly run accounts receivable or aged receivables reports. A well-run practice will keep outstanding debts to a minimum, as the longer debts remain outstanding, the less likely they are to be paid.
Managing outstanding accounts is no-one’s favourite job, but nevertheless, it’s a task that needs to be done. The more you can keep on top of your outstanding debts, the more manageable they’ll be.
#6 Referrals Reports
For most health clinics, referrals from general practitioners and other professionals are one of the most important sources of new clients. It stands to reason then, that you should know which referral sources are sending more clients your way. Once you have this information, you can take action to proactively thank those referrers, make sure timely referral feedback letters are sent, and also remind and encourage other potential referrers to send their clients your way.
You might also like to notice if clients from some referrers tend to be worth more than clients from other sources. Again, this can help you prioritise referrers and identify other high-value referrers.
Of course, these 6 reports are not the only ones you’ll find useful, but they’re a great starting point. You may also want to analyse your sales of certain items, client retention, sources of clients, inactive clients and more.
In any case, don’t be afraid of diving into your numbers! Get into the habit of regularly reviewing a set of reports to understand the stories they reveal about what’s going on in your practice.
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