In the busy-ness of day to day practice management, statistical data reporting is often relegated to the back seat and can be an ad-hoc activity if a streamlined and easy to use management system has not been developed.
Using practice performance data is crucial to maintain a sense of control of how your practice is performing at any point in time as well as telling the historical story of the business. Practices collect an overwhelming amount of data which needs some structure and manipulation to be able to make sense of it all. Whilst GP practices are becoming more skilled at analysing clinical data to assist with service planning – for example to plan chronic disease services, this feature focuses on the use of practice service data to give accurate and timely insight into financial and service performance.
There are some service indicators that will give your practice a good sense of performance.
The number of patient attendances
Any other data that is particularly relevant to your practice
PIP data; WPE, SWPE and income from each eligible program
By summarising the above data for each Practitioner, you will be able to calculate monthly and cumulative results. This allows you to track individual Practitioner performance, average fees generated per patient, overall practice turn-over, year-to-date tracking and year-on-year performance (when using this consistently over a number of years).
What do I do with all that information?
The best way to manage large data sets is to use spreadsheets, including graphs. Visual representation is much easier to understand than raw data and numbers. By making this a regular monthly activity you will ensure that your statistical reporting is always up to date.
Once the information is updated, analyse the results for the purpose of deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken. These reports will be able to spot trends in activity that are tangible and on which you can confidently base your decision making.
These reports are, of course, important to share with your practice principals.
What kinds of trends can be identified?
Increase or decrease in;
In conjunction with debtor reports, the differential between billings and receipts (indicating possible issues with fee collection)
By comparing practitioners, identify:
By tracking quarterly PIP/SIP data, practices can gain a higher level of insight into performance than by only reviewing reports as they are issued.
WPE/SWPE numbers tell you about your practice patient population. The WPE – whole patient equivalent, is a measure of service provided to a patient over a 12 month period.
The SWPE – standardised whole patient equivalent, is a weighting applied to WPE to account for clinical complexity. This means that elderly, indigenous and patients with chronic conditions increase the SWPE and younger, healthier populations reduce the SWPE. The difference between WPE and SWPE is therefore a measure of clinical complexity of your patient base.
Further help is available
If you’d like to get started with tracking your practice performance data, a free template spreadsheet is available.
Submit your request via the Contact Us page at www.medicalbusiness.services
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