Practice Metrics

Why Tracking Metrics & Sharing With Staff Is a Practice-Builder

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By Steven Faith, OD

June 5, 2019

Tracking metrics carefully allows you to set success goals for your practice, and to inspire your staff to greatness. In our practice, a dashboard management system, combined with resources, like those we obtain from ABB OPTICAL GROUP, allows us to set, meet–and even exceed–practice growth goals. Here’s how we leverage the tracking of our metrics to better serve patients and become more profitable.

Technology + Business Review = Better Practice
We have utilized many different practice metrics over the years, including those we made ourselves from our own financial records and statements, those provided by our vendors, those provided by our EHR system, some as beta programs, and others available commercially. The magic formula seems to be dashboard management technology combined with business analytics like we receive from ABB OPTICAL’s Business Review and Primary Eyecare Network (PEN).

Combined with our dashboard technology, ABB OPTICAL’s Business Review gives us the insights we need to put the metrics information about our contact-lens sales into context. We are able to paint a picture for our whole practice of how the work they do contributes to the attainment of our long-term patient care and sales goals.

Optimized Metrics Makes for Improved Decision-Making
We use dashboard technology and business analytics programs to help us monitor nearly everything. There are honestly too many to list here: Revenue per doctor/staff; number of high production materials versus low production; which staff are producing the most jobs with Transitions, AR, high index, average frame revenue per staff and doctor; clinic revenue vs. optical revenue vs. contact lens revenue; actual net income per job ordered; $0 dollar frames per staff and doctor, and so on. And all of these metrics are available for comparisons to prior years.

The many metrics we monitor are key to helping us monitor our revenue stream in each area of our office – optical versus clinic versus insurance billings.

Metrics Make It Easier to Manage & Incentivize
We have a five-pronged office bonus system that we utilize for our staff, and the metrics are invaluable in calculating these numbers based on their increase percentage in each of the five categories. We used to have to calculate these manually, but now it just takes the click of a computer key or mouse. The critical nature to this ease, however, is the need to make sure a staff member is ensuring our input data is correct for the proper raw data that these metrics are gleamed from.

We make most of the metrics we monitor available to the various teams and team members in our office. We do not, however, give a “negative”metric value to others beside the person it measures. For example, we do not tell our entire staff the person producing the highest number of $0 frames for this time period. We do tell all of them, though, who is the staff member producing the lowest number of $0 frames or the highest production per patient sales.

We give the staff the numbers that relate the differences in production per area of our office, per insurance or vision plan, the A/R history, the “missed opportunity” reports and our office metric rankings provided by our dashboard technology.

Do Even Better
A key area of metrics monitoring for us is in the optical dispensary. We have an active web site allowing patients to order contact lenses through our portal, and make it possible for patients to view our entire inventory. Its metrics allows us to monitor what patients are looking at, for how long and even what device type they were using. We utilize this data with our Google Analytics to make sure our web site is designed appropriately and our inventory is what our patients are requesting.

With targeted data and dashboard management technology, we now know exactly the top 10 frame manufacturer brands viewed on our web site and sold in our office. Two years ago we took this data and pared down our brand offerings and manufacturer-by-manufacturer inventory and purchases.

Based on this information, we found that our optical frame sales demographics could be broken down into three categories: 20 percent of our sales were brand-name driven; 20 percent were strictly cost-based decisions; and 60 percent were sales in which patients didn’t care about frame names, but wanted “value,” or even “generic” frames.

For lenses, we found that 80 percent of patients bought quality-based materials and 20 percent were buying strictly based on cost of the lens product. With that knowledge, we changed our strategy to focus on selling the lenses our patients most want.

We are no longer deciding on our inventory based solely on vendor rep presentations. We now make informed decisions based on sales metrics.

Tap Educational Resources to Maximize Use of Metrics
Our optometric alliance, PEN, had a collaboration with an optometric consultancy a few years ago. At a meeting with their group, our office determined that our patients were spending $39 less every 10 minutes that they were in our office over 60 minutes. The highest production was at one hour from entering our office to exiting. We took this data and then started to embrace the use of web sites and electronic communication in helping our patients spend less time in our office.

Now, our patients can go to our web site after receiving a text/e-mail reminder and browse our entire inventory, place a couple of frames in their “cart,” and our staff will know what they like before the patient even walks into our office. We are still in the process of fine-tuning electronic communication to add a link to our web site through the reminder text/e-mail. But without the program provided by PEN we would have never known this seemingly fundamental patient metric.

 

Steven Faith, OD, is a partner of Livermore Optometry Group in Livermore, Calif, and a member of the advisory board of Primary Eyecare Network (PEN). To contact: drfaith@livoptgroup.com

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