Find the right platform to monitor your practice’s performance

June 14, 2018

Determining if your practice is up or down in certain categories from one year to the next can prove to be challenging. David Kading, OD, FAAO, FCLSA, and Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO, discuss why finding the right EHR platform to monitor the metrics important to you is the key to properly monitoring your practices overall health.

The views expressed here belong to the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of Optometry Times or UBM Medica.

On a weekly basis, we look at our practices and try to come up with the best way of knowing whether we are successful. It becomes a challenge because some days are down, and some are up. Some patients cancel their appointments and fail to reschedule, while other days ODs may see five multiple pair glasses sales.

Tracking your numbers can be a major challenge. Electronic health records (EHR) have made ODs’ jobs way easier. We can quickly run reports for the past months or years. We can see total numbers and compare one month to another.

Platforms to monitor performance
Some systems have the ability to convert reports into graphs that allow comparisons by practice location, growth rates, doctor, employee.

Pulse from Revolution EHR that does this as well as any product I have seen. Direct from the management portal, you can see demographic information and sales information.

I have been using Glimpse for the past four years to manage my practice. As a huge fan of numbers, I love to see our growth or loss. I like to see up to the day report of my practice’s performance.

Glimpse allows me to track my contact lens sales, reveals the contact lenses that I am fitting, and the shows me the types of contact lenses that my practice is selling. It provides me with my practice’s capture rate of sales, and it breaks down my frames vs. contact lens sales. Glimpse has the ability to tell me where my payments are coming from, which insurance company the patient has, and how much of the payment is coming from patient’s pocket.

Previously from Dr. Kading and Dr. Brujic: Why you should add upper lid eversion to your comprehensive exam

In Glimpse, I can see my payments per refraction, a review of my medical equipment, and appointment performance. I can compare all of this data to a prior time period to see whether I am above, on par, or below what the trend line is doing.

Use TTM to measure income
With all of the great innovations we have in data collection, one calculation is not being performed. Trailing 12 months (TTM) is a rare number to which optometrists does not pay much attention. I was introduced to it about three years ago and have seen it as the most impactful way to measure whether I have been successful from one month to the next.

TTM can be used in many ways, but it is most often used in the financial sector to measure income.

To evaluate TTM, take the sum of any measure taken over the past 12 months. Put this number on a graph and watch it for several months. This number does not care if you have a good month or a bad month here or there. What it cares most about is whether you have been improving over the last 12 months.

If you start to see the number you are evaluating begin to point up, you are improving and need to keep doing what you are doing. A slight downturn in that number gives you the opportunity to reevaluate before things go south.

Rather than freaking out because you may have a bad month, TTM allows you to average things out over a period of time to see how you are doing. I use TTM to evaluate my practice and the growth of our eye exams.

Whether I have a low exam month and then a good exam month, the TTM shows me whether I am up as a whole or if I am on par with where I was a year ago.

How are you looking at your success and what special metrics do you use? We would love to learn more.