Setting Goals For Your Practice

All of us should be setting goals each month for the whole year.

In fact we encourage every client to set new patient goals, patient visit goals and collection goals by month for the whole year.

How do you set goals so they are logical? There are four or five things you have to consider. You can’t just pull a number out of the hat and say, “This is how many new patients I’m going to get” or “This is how many patient visits I’m going to see”. You have to have some reasoning behind it so that you can believe it and reach your goal. There is an old saying that says, “What the mind can conceive and the heart can believe you can achieve”. If you really believe that you’re going to hit your goals you’re going to probably hit them. The reason you’re going to believe that you’re going to hit your goals is, because there’s reasoning behind it.

Here’s the reasoning you have to use. When you set a goal, let’s say we set a goal for patient visits for this month, what do we have to take into account? The first thing we have to take into account is the previous month. If you did 100 patient visits the previous month you should try to do like 102,104,106,108 this month. The second thing you should take into consideration is the same month last year. Let’s say the Decembers are a bad month for you, but in October you saw 108 patients. Is it possible to grow and still see just 104 patients in December? Yes, it is, because December is always a down month, so you may have grown over last year, but not compared to a month or two before. First of all, you compare last month, then you compare last month next year. The next thing you compare is any special events that are going to take place, like if you have a big promotion it’s good, it’s a positive, if you are going to be out of the country for a week, it’s a negative and you have to take that into account.

The last thing I want to share with you is, the thing that I think makes the biggest difference but we never take into account and that is the number of working days that you’re going to be in the office. Let me give you an example. In December of last year everybody was supposed to do not so well, but everybody, all our clients ended up doing really well in December. Why was it? The answer is because the way the weekends fell and the holidays fell, even though you took off Christmas day and New Year’s Eve day, you still had more working days in December than any other day in any other day in the year. Naturally if you have more working days, you’re going to do more work, you’re going to see more patients and your numbers are going to be higher.

Let me give an example. The average therapist works about 20 days a month, five days a week, for four weeks. Some months you work as many as 23 working days, so if one month you saw 20 and the next month you’re going to have 23 working days, you are seeing 15% more days, so you should see 15% more patients just by virtue of the fact that you show up for work. So when you set your goals in that month you might plan on a 15% or 20% increase in your month because you have more days to work at.

Those are the things you look at, but sit down today, write down how many new patients you are going to get each month for the rest of the year, how many patient visits you are going to get each month for the rest of the year and how much you’re going to do for collections for the rest of the year. Don’t make wild statistics. I once figured that if you made a 10% growth each month that you would end up with about 300% growth for the year, which isn’t logical. Just try to get a nice 4% or 5% growth, maybe 10% growth in the big months and you will do really well, and your practice will grow well as a result to keeping track of your statistics, and setting, and reaching goals.

This is David Kats. Thank you for listening.

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