How to Set KPIs for a Medical Practice

January 21, 2021

Many service providers often measure the success of their businesses using profit and loss statements. While you, as a health care provider, may also place a huge emphasis on profits, your most telling indicator of success is the health and happiness of your patients. This may lead you, like many practitioners, to assume you do not need to set, measure, and analyze traditional key performance indicators. This could not be further from the truth.

An overview of KPIs

In a nutshell, key performance indicators refer to set of a quantifiable markers that business leaders use to gauge the short- and long-term success of their efforts. Though KPIs are used to measure a number of operational and strategic achievements, you can use them to assess just about any area of your practice and even gauge its success compared to competitors’. The most common types of KPIs are as follows:

  • Process: Process KPIs focus on the efficiency, consistency, and/or quality of specific processes that were designed to achieve certain outcomes.
  • Outcomes: These indicators relate to the impacts or accomplishments that certain processes achieve. Outcomes are typically classified in one of two ways: End outcomes, such as appointments or patient retention, and intermediate outcomes, such as increased practice awareness.
  • Input: These KPIs measure the type, amount, and quality of resources a practice may use in the efforts to achieve a certain outcome.
  • Output: Output measurements indicate how much work was completed and define what was produced.
  • Project: These KPIs involve the status of deliverables and the progress related to certain initiatives.

Why KPIs matter for your medical practice

Improving the patient experience and level of care and increasing profit margins are just two of numerous reasons to establish key performance indicators for your practice. Among those include motivating team members by giving them measurable goals to work toward, identifying areas for improvement and ways your practice can be more competitive, evaluating employee performance, and identifying minor issues in your practice before they become bigger and costlier ones.

Medical practice KPIs to keep a pulse on

A strong medical practice KPI is quantifiable, clearly defined, thoroughly communicated, and crucial to helping you achieve your overall objectives. While you may be able to come up with dozens of KPIs across various touchpoints of your practice, we have defined several across three key areas.


From patient wait time to staff to patient ratio to patient-doctor communication, there are several areas of operations to which you should pay attention to both increase patient retention and encourage patient referrals. The top five are as follows:

  • Patient Wait Time: Keep track of the average amount of time patients wait to see a provider after checking in. Help staff with scheduling to reduce this average as much as possible.
  • Staff-to-Patient Ratio: Pay attention to your team’s ability to deliver quality care given the number of patients to be seen at any given time and the resources on hand.
  • Patient Rooms in Use: Think of this as your practice’s occupancy rate, and determine if you need more space to accommodate your growing practice.
  • Room Turnover Rate: This plays a huge role in patient satisfaction, as it demonstrates how quickly patients move in and out of your facility.
  • Communication: Assess whether more or less communication between your practice and patients is desired.


As a health care provider, your number-one objective should be to deliver top-notch care to your patients. To determine if you routinely meet patients’ expectations or if you have your work cut out for you, refer to two main KPIs.

The first is medication errors. Keep track of the number of times you or a staff member makes a medication error. Medication errors can include anything from prescribing the wrong dose to writing a prescription for the wrong patient to using a pharmacy that routinely messes up.

The second KPI is patient follow-up. Pay attention to the number of patients who receive follow-up care after their initial appointments. Follow-up care can be provided by you, a nurse, or a hygienist, and can be as simple as a receptionist reaching out to a patient to inquiry about how he or she is feeling.


Yes, your main objective is to provide the best possible care to your patients, but the truth is that your practice is still a business. If you let the business side of it slide, you will not be able to fulfill your first goal. To determine how your practice is faring financially and to identify weak areas, there are a few KPIs to keep an eye on.

Cost per visit is important. Every time a patient enters your office, it costs your practice money. If you spend more money to see patients than you make, it may be time to reevaluate your fee schedules, cost of supplies, cost of personnel, or all three.

No-shows and canceled appointments cost you, but do you know how much? According to the data, no-shows cost, on average, $150,000 per physician per year. Assess your no-show rate and devise ways to reduce it, such as sending out automated reminders.

Claim denials and delayed payments cost your practice money. If your denial rate is greater than 5%, it may be time to sit down with your billing department to figure out why denials are occurring and what you can do to prevent them in the future.

Of course, there are several other areas to which you can refer to assess your practice’s performance, but the above are a good start.

How to establish KPIs for your practice

At Doctor Genius, we understand that you have a lot on your plate running your practice without throwing in the need to dissect every single aspect of it. However, examine it you must if you want to take it to the next level. When you partner with us, we will do the dissecting and strategize ways to help you streamline your processes, improve the patient experience, and boost profits. If you are ready to talk partnership, call our team at 1-877-477-2311 today.

Doctor Genius, located at 16800 Aston Street, Suite 270, Irvine, CA 92606, provides a range of services for practice success. We seek to meet our clients’ needs by providing a variety of marketing, SEO, practice optimization tools, and coaching to transform the healthcare experience. Though we work to provide the most accurate information, the content found on this website is solely intended for entertainment purposes. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is entirely correct. You may not use the information on this site to cure, prevent, or diagnose a perceived medical issue. If you have healthcare-related needs, please speak directly to a healthcare professional. Never self-perform medical treatments discussed on this website. All images displayed are also for entertainment purposes only, and personal experiences may differ. Please note that the business tactics mentioned on this site might not be applicable to your industry or practice.