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Measuring Employee Performance in Your Physical Therapy Practice

In this article, you’ll discover the best way to measure a physical therapist’s key performance metrics using an objective and subjective review process.

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Measure Employee Performance

Evaluating how well a physical therapist performs on average isn't a straightforward equation. There are two considerations to make when measuring an employee's output: objective and subjective measurements.Each involves calculating a mix of employee behaviors and data points to determine overarching productivity. And while objective measurements are more of a science, subjective measurements rely on intuition and character instead of numbers.In this article, you'll discover what both themes entail and examples of each so you can better coach and develop the PTs working in your practice.

Subjective Physical Therapy Performance Measurements

Determining an employee's efficiency falls into two separate camps: subjective and objective.Subjective measurements operate well under competent leadership because they're based on how you feel (your opinion) about employee performance.

How Well Do They Take Care of Patients?

Taking care of patients is arguably the most critical function of running a physical therapy practice. If you're managing PTs who are missing opportunities to empower their patients, it leaves the business (and the patient) vulnerable to subpar recovery. Practice owners can shadow and perform regular audits to help PTs better their instruction, especially when caring for complex patients.Another way to understand patient satisfaction levels is to examine patient surveys and no-show rates for a specific therapist and compare them against others’ performance.

How Do They Approach Their Daily Tasks?

Suppose a PT in the office complains throughout the day to staff members and brings the mood down with negativity or slick comments; that's something to consider when evaluating performance. The work environment should be a positive, friendly space where employees treat each other with respect. If a PT approaches their daily routine with a sour attitude, it's important to bring it to their attention during a performance review.

What Are Their Future Goals?

Physical therapists have already invested a significant amount of time into their careers, but what about the future? Whether it's personal or professional, goals are important motivators to keep your PTs on track. Asking about these goals during a performance review is a good way to judge job satisfaction and provide relevant support. It's also a good idea to make recommendations on how to enhance their current professional skill set.While you shouldn't make concrete decisions based on an employee's aspirations, it's something to consider when measuring overall performance.

How Do They Interact With the Team?

Employing a PT whose hot-headed or melancholy when communicating with others can bring the entire team down or fill the workplace with anxiety. Knowing how each team member interacts and ensuring mutual respect is key to maintaining a productive workplace.

Objective Physical Therapy Performance Measurements

While both subjective and objective measurements are imperative to consider, objective measurements are represented by facts compiled from the cold hard data at your physical therapy practice.Objective measurements are helpful when reviewing employee performance because they act as a denominator across therapists. You'll notice many objective measurements coincide with subjective measurements as results typically follow behavior.

What Are Their Cancellation Rates?

Cancellation rates—the bane of any sane practice owner's existence—run rampant through the industry, as some practices boast a whopping 30% of patients canceling their scheduled appointments! And while many factors contribute to an incomplete therapy regimen, cancellations are common when patients aren’t getting the proper care, education, or enough time with their physical therapist.When measuring a PT's performance, figuring out how many of their patients are canceling is key to understanding their overarching quality of care. Then, compare this number across PTs and dig into specific patient dropouts to identify potential issues.

How Many Evaluations Have They Completed?

Knowing your PT's productivity includes measuring how many patients they're seeing. Generally, evaluating more than two patients an hour can hurt the treatment quality, but if PTs aren't doing enough, it can damage the profitability of your practice. It's best to understand where your PTs are at in their career (recent graduates should take on less) and look to establish a reoccurring workload. Creating a goal during each performance review can help PTs nail down how many evaluations to strive for each month.

How Much Do They Bring In Vs. Their Pay?

A simple analysis of a PT’s pay versus revenue generated for the practice can tell you a lot about productivity. Using this equation on top of other data, including evaluation numbers, can provide a few key insights, including:

  • If PTs are seeing too many patients (look to cancellation rates)
  • If PTs need to up their patient load because their evaluation count is low
  • If PTs are effectively managing their time

Are They Accurately Billing Patients?

Proper billing can significantly influence the profitability of a practice—especially over the length of time. Investigating billing issues PTs are having allows you to remedy the problem, get paid and provide feedback. In addition, you can hone their process by reviewing a case-by-case application of the Rule of Eights and ensure they’re using the correct CPT codes.

Patient Outcomes

Understanding how well a particular PT resolves patient issues is essential when evaluating performance. While it's not an easy metric to measure, finding the gap between the standardized tests—likely used in the beginning and end of patient treatment—can show you how well they resolve patient issues.Putting patient outcomes under a microscope can create useful dialogue crucial for improving a therapist's ability.

The Bottom Line

Tracking the performance of physical therapists doesn't simply involve measuring cold hard numbers but using that data in combination with subjective performance metrics helps practice owners gain a complete understanding of overall productivity.The problem for most practice owners is there's never enough time to provide the in-depth analysis needed to generate truly effective feedback—the type of feedback that can generate revenue by making PTs better at taking care of patients. MWTherapy has simplified the process, giving you more time where it matters most with an all-in-one software solution. Physical therapists built this software to measure, track, communicate and automate all practice management processes in one simple solution.See for yourself by trying a free practice management demo of our EMR - MWTherapy.

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