If you’re just starting out, your rookie physical therapy practice may not have as much business metric data as your more senior counterparts. But that’s okay, because you’ve got something that they don’t: The opportunity to create a metric-centric culture from the start. And that’s huge. Not only do you want the business metrics themselves, but you also want the culture that supports a constantly improving mode of operation. (Now, this isn’t to say that clinics that have been around the block a few times can’t establish this type of culture—it just might be a little more challenging.) That being said, let’s get started. Here are five ways to create the metric-centric culture you want:

1. Set a good example.

As an owner, director, manager, or lead therapist, all eyes are on you—and everyone else is going to take their cues based on how you act, so lead by example. Otherwise you run the risk of losing your followers’ trust. If you want your staff to believe in the power of the metric, you should, too. Measure your processes, analyze the findings, and then tweak everything appropriately. Re-measure, and start again. If you make it a priority—in your words and your actions—others will follow suit.

2. Be willing to change course.

As I mentioned in a previous post, you shouldn’t get stuck in metrics that are no longer beneficial to you or your practice. If you do, you’ll end up sounding like a broken record, and your once-inspired team will start to dread metrics because they’ll seem like a lot of work with very little payoff. Instead, constantly evaluate the impact of your metrics, and disregard them the minute they no longer serve your practice. Trust me, tasking a staff member with tracking the revenue generated from a dormant Yellow Page ad is going to generate more resentment than appreciation.

3. Take action based on your findings.

Once you’ve measured a specific metric, take action based on your findings. Metrics won’t serve you if you’re not using them to constantly strive for something better—and your staff won’t see how using metrics to set goals will help you actually achieve them. Now, that doesn’t mean that every time you notice a slight change in one of your measurements, you have to take some extreme action to compensate. Instead, make a small tweak and measure again. Then repeat. (I love the subtitle of this metrics article: “Only measure what you mean to act upon.”)

4. Celebrate your progress.

Want people to share your vision? Make it fun! Celebrate your team’s successes—no matter how small. Get everyone involved in every step of the process and don’t sweat it when tweaks produce less-than-ideal results. Tweak something else, and then measure it again. A good leader (metric-centric or otherwise) is able to choose perspectives—what the author of this article refers to as, “zoom in, zoom out”—to focus on the big picture and the small details without getting bogged down by either. A constantly improving way of life—or business—is a long-term goal, not a short-term one, so there are bound to be some ups and downs along the way.

As Brooke Andrus writes in this article, it also doesn’t hurt to turn this sort of thing into a game—one that “reinforces your company culture and rewards those who embody your cultural values.”

5. Hire like-minded people.

Speaking of embodying your cultural values, the best way to ensure you create the culture you want is to hire people who embody your cultural values. In this article, Charlotte Bohnett explains that new hires whose personal culture aligns with your business’s “live up to expectations faster.” She continues on to say that, “If a new hire shares your values and understands how the business operates, he or she can adapt more easily.” In other words, he or she will “swim rather than sink—and...start swimming sooner.”


What else could you—or do you already—do in your practice to create or maintain a metric-centric culture? Tell us in the comments section below.

Triumph in the Triple-Aim Game: The Healthcare Executive’s Guide to Readmission Reduction, Patient Safety Promotion, and ACO Success - Regular BannerTriumph in the Triple-Aim Game: The Healthcare Executive’s Guide to Readmission Reduction, Patient Safety Promotion, and ACO Success - Small Banner
  • Year of the Monkey? More Like Year of Metrics Image

    articleJan 7, 2016 | 7 min. read

    Year of the Monkey? More Like Year of Metrics

    Welcome to 2016! As we kick off another year of informative blog content, the Chinese zodiac calendar also resets—and 2016 is the Year of the Monkey. Those born in monkey years—including yours truly—are said to possess such character traits as cleverness and curiosity. We monkeys are playful, and we thrive on challenge. The monkey is just one of 12 Chinese zodiac signs, though, and each sign has its own characteristics. (You want to research your sign now, …

  • 6 Steps to Giving Meaningful Feedback in the Workplace Image

    articleSep 26, 2016 | 7 min. read

    6 Steps to Giving Meaningful Feedback in the Workplace

    Feedback is a funny thing. Everyone loves to receive it, but no one likes to give it. And that spells trouble. Because without feedback, there is no improvement; and without improvement, relationships fail—especially in business. After all, employees leave managers, not companies . That’s right; at the end of the day, employees disengage and eventually quit because of poor relationships with their coworkers and leaders. And the root cause of that failed partnership often is feedback—or lack …

  • Mastering the Metrics for an Exit Image

    articleAug 18, 2014 | 4 min. read

    Mastering the Metrics for an Exit

    A checklist for what matters most to potential buyers of your therapy practice The physical therapy and rehabilitation care industry market is large and growing. Merger and acquisition activity continues to be on the radar for many of our nation's largest rehab therapy providers with six of the ten largest players now owned by private equity firms. There are several reasons for this industry phenomenon, which has driven multiples to a 20-year high and has attracted both …

  • Beat the Burnout: Time Management Tips for Private Practice PTs Image

    webinarJun 2, 2015

    Beat the Burnout: Time Management Tips for Private Practice PTs

    Between treating patients, completing CEUs, running a business, and managing staff, it’s hard to have a life outside of work; heck, it’s probably difficult to keep your head on straight some days. Such are the trials and tribulations of a private practice PT. And with so many tasks and people competing for your attention, you might find yourself dealing with a bad case of burnout. So, how do you wear so many hats—and juggle so many responsibilities—while …

  • Can You Hear Me Now? The Physical Therapist's Guide to Giving and Receiving Feedback at Work Image

    webinarJan 5, 2016

    Can You Hear Me Now? The Physical Therapist's Guide to Giving and Receiving Feedback at Work

    Feedback: everyone wants it. Professional feedback, in particular, helps us become better employees, managers, peers, and providers. It’s mission-critical when it comes to improving patient care and exceeding business objectives. Why, then, are we rarely getting the feedback we need or giving others the feedback they deserve? And when we do deliver feedback, why doesn’t it always have the desired effect? On January 26, Dr. Heidi Jannenga will team up with special guest and renowned leadership coach …

  • What You Need to Know About Calculating Expenses Image

    articleAug 12, 2014 | 3 min. read

    What You Need to Know About Calculating Expenses

    We briefly talked about totaling up expenses in order to calculate your net cost per visit in a previous post , but today, let’s take a deeper dive into the expenses side of things. Admittedly, it’s not the most exciting topic, but it’s necessary nonetheless, so here we go. Below are four metrics to help you get a handle on the costs of doing business (adapted from this article ): 1. Wages divided by net revenue. Rehab …

  • 3 Simple Steps to Develop a PT Marketing Budget Image

    articleJan 19, 2015 | 7 min. read

    3 Simple Steps to Develop a PT Marketing Budget

    January is synonymous with resolutions, and now that direct access is a reality in all 50 states, many rehab therapy practices are resolving to better market to consumers. But marketing costs money, and nothing dashes dreams like a budget. As Marketing pioneer John Wanamaker said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half.” Fortunately, you can avoid that trap and make your 2015 marketing dreams come true. After …

  • Using Your Past as a Crystal Ball Image

    articleJun 18, 2015 | 2 min. read

    Using Your Past as a Crystal Ball

    In the second video of a three-part series, PT and entrepreneurial consultant Jamey Schrier explains why looking into your clinic’s past is the key to driving future success. Want to know more? Watch the video or read Jamey’s description below: What’s the best way to determine how successful you’ll be in the future? Look at your past! Your clinic’s history—especially with respect to business metrics—often are a great indicator of how well you’ll perform moving forward. That …

  • Measuring Matters: Key Metrics for Marketing and Sales for Physical Therapy Practices Image

    articleMay 21, 2014 | 8 min. read

    Measuring Matters: Key Metrics for Marketing and Sales for Physical Therapy Practices

    You might be one heck of a salesperson, or you might be a master marketer. But how do you know that? A gut feeling, perhaps? Sales or marketing skills only matter to a business if that business understands the value those skills provide. More succinctly, sales or marketing only matter if they work, and the only way you’ll know if they’re working is if you measure them. With that, here are a few key metrics that’ll help …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.