The Best KPI in Physical Therapy

person writing on notebook

Is profit the best KPI in health care? Is volume of patients in your clinic a good measure of your business’ mission? Is there a better “healthcare” KPI?

A KPI is a Key Performance Indicator and the purpose for these in your clinic are multiple. They are objectives that produce data points that are used to track objective items. They are meant to be representative of the work you are doing, so that an outside source (typically your manager or owner) can know what you are doing day-to-day. In application: They are meant to signal to you, the clinician, what is important to your manager. It also signals to the manager what is important to the company, or the share holders, or the owner.

KPIs had their modern start in the 1920s with the DuPont Table, and in the 1930s with the Tableau de Bord or Balanced Scorecard. Since then companies far and wide, from Google with their “OKRs” to your private practice PT company, use them to track data, align values and drive behavior.

KPIs are data. These pieces of data (often in dollars, or visits per month, or number of referrals, or units per visit, or whatever your company deems important) are used as a communication tool. “The signaling of importance.” Aka: how you are going to be judged as successful… because this is how they are judging themselves as successful.

If a KPI signals “Importance” then isn’t that what you’re supposed to be focused on? Continue reading