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21 Key Healthcare KPIs & Metrics to Measure Your Patient Engagement

Peiru Teo

Peiru Teo

Healthcare professionals are responsible not only for their field of expertise, but also for efficiently managing their institutional growth. Healthcare organizations are overspending almost billions of dollars on assets that are not being utilized effectively and yet under performing on key objectives across the care continuum. It is possible to improve these key performance indicators (KPIs) by tracking them and working towards achieving the patient experience. Healthcare KPIs can collect and translate vital patient-related information to a dashboard in an easily consumable manner. They can simplify complex decision making and help you keep the focus where it is needed the most, delivering care.

Why Measuring Healthcare Metrics & KPIs is Critical?

Healthcare KPIs are statistics that can measure the outcomes of the key patient specific and departmental activities that happen in a healthcare organization. They can provide valuable insights to transform processes and achieve business goals. Well-defined KPIs generate new ideas to improve revenues e.g., seeing poor medical equipment utilization rates, you can shift focus to certain procedures as part of your marketing strategy and boost their utilization.

Benefits of healthcare KPIs and metrics

Measuring healthcare metrics can bring immense insights about how your organization functions. Measuring the healthcare KPIs helps to:

  • Act as a direct roadmap to respond effectively in moments of crises and better standard of care.
  • Improve patient satisfaction and efficiency of delivering care by improving transparency and accountability.
  • Promote data-driven decision-making.
  • Track financial indicators, which assist in better budget management.
  • Compare performance to other care facilities and identify areas of improvement.
  • Improve revenue and profits while identifying areas of unnecessary expenditure.

21 Key Healthcare Metrics & KPIs to Track Patient Engagement

The following is a collection of healthcare KPIs and healthcare metrics from several fields of hospitals that give quantitative information regarding patient engagement and performance quality of hospitals.

Healthcare Revenue Metrics

Revenue metrics can help directly measure where you are going wrong and how to correct it. This will identify current and potential expenditures as well as sources of revenue. Here are the six most important healthcare KPIs.

1. Number of new appointments in hospitals

Measuring the number of initial discussions that evolved into actual appointments helps determine the effectiveness of sales efforts in generating revenue. It ensures that the appropriate individuals are in the right place of the sales funnel where they can routinely set a high number of appointments. Measuring the number of new appointments can help –

  • analyze what timings appointments were fewer or what specialties received fewer number of appointments
  • align marketing activities towards optimizing the appointments for the relevant departments which need more bookings.

2. Patient lifespan

The average patient lifespan positively impacts revenues in terms of patient lifetime value and patient loyalty. The greater the lifespan of a person, the higher the potential revenues. Keeping track of patient lifecycle metrics can help lower new customer acquisition expenses.

For example: a greater number of pediatric appointments can often translate to higher patient lifespan value, as the child is likely to become an adult and continue visiting the same healthcare organization.

3. Patient lifetime value (LTV)

The estimated total of all future income or profits that an individual is likely to generate for your clinical practice is referred to as patient lifetime value. Using this healthcare metric can help lower new patient acquisition costs and improve patient retention.

 80% of total hospital revenue comes from just 20% of existing customers. Hence, using correct LTV as the foundation for marketing strategy can help boost overall revenue especially in fields that have chronic medical conditions like dentistry, cardiology, and dermatology.

4. Gross profit per appointment

Gross profit per appointment refers to real money generated from each appointment excluding all direct costs associated with each appointment. Calculating this KPI helps to determine the fundamental reasons for a variation in the profit across months. It equips hospitals to take corrective action in areas that are having a negative impact on revenue. It also helps hospitals to-

  • identify profitable sectors with more appointments
  • Develop strategies for patient engagement
  • Devise marketing strategy to know where to spend the budget

5. Patient recall time

Patient recall time metric is a critical metric for forecasting revenues in the medical sector since it gives information about the length of patient’s stay at the hospital. Additionally, it helps predict future staffing needs and plan budgets for staffing and marketing expenses. A high patient recall time means the patient experience is good and they are happy to return.

For example, getting your patients to see you twice instead of once per year has the same effect as doubling your gross profit per appointment.

Online appointment scheduling and efficient follow-up services can dramatically improve patient recall time.

6. Patient churn rate

Patient churn rate refers to the percentage of patients that stops treatment before completion of their therapy plan. While some turnover is inevitable, a higher patient churn rate indicates a sure-shot downfall in hospital revenue.

In physiotherapy practise, approximately 70% of all patients churn affecting the average physiotherapy practise to over $150,000 each year. Therefore, calculating patient turnover is essential to avoid losing revenue opportunity and patient satisfaction.

 A high patient churn rate can be lowered by improving patient experience at every step of the patient’s medical journey right from the reception to the final delivery of care.

Healthcare Communication Metrics

Understanding the metrics around both offline as well as digital communications occurring in the healthcare community can be really helpful while planning your annual marketing budgets.

7. Number of touchpoints/ patient interactions

A performance metric that measures interactions between physicians, patients or AI-driven algorithms is referred to as number of touchpoints or patient interactions. Assessing touchpoints can help improve overall patient experience by optimizing workflow. Incorporating digital patient portal service is a sure shot way to boost patient engagement via a limited number of touchpoints.

 A meaningful number of interactions improves the quality performance of healthcare institutions, ultimately generating revenue and patient satisfaction. A higher number of touchpoints, beyond a reasonable point, might not translate into great patient experience and feel like a big hassle to patients.

8. Patient portal engagement

Portal engagement determines the number of active and engaged users on digital healthcare platforms i.e., website or app. It helps identify potential patients who utilize the digital platform for scheduling appointments, asking queries via the chatbot, or connecting with insurance companies or hospitals.

58% of healthcare experts connect with their patients via mobile-based patient portals as it improves patient satisfaction, which translates into savings and improved care delivery. Higher engagement also improves AI-powered responses and provides greater patient satisfaction.

Simple ways to improve portal engagement are:

  • to integrate the portal with electronic medical records (EMRs), educating patients about digital availability of their entire medical history and making the appointment scheduling process hassle-free.
  • Using chatbots to answer queries can boost engagement rates and improve number of appointments

9. Patient satisfaction index

Ultimately, it is all about patient satisfaction. If satisfaction is poor, it indicates a thorough review and reboot of services offered at the institution.

 Patients who are satisfied with their experience are more likely to tell others about it, which maintains a steady flow of new patients. Patient satisfaction index matters for several other reasons:

  • Impacts clinical outcome
  • Builds patient loyalty
  • Improves patient lifetime value and hence higher retention rate

Feedback forms, phone surveys, digital ratings, focus groups or personal interviews can be used to compute the patient satisfaction index for both in-patients and out-patients. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey is the gold standard used in hospital settings.

A few of the ways to improve patient satisfaction are:

  • Reduce patient wait time
  • Evaluate the healthcare team as a whole
  • Try to provide all solutions under one roof
  • Use enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and patient experience applications to understand and act on the data

Leverage communication devices and electronic patient feedback system

10. Number of automated conversations on digital platforms

The number of automated conversations measures the total number of texts sent by the chatbot in each interaction. It also measures the length of a conversation between the patient and the chatbot.

 A higher number of conversations is an indicator of good portal engagement, but it is also important to make sure the chatbot is responding correctly. For example, if the chatbot misunderstands or fails to interpret the patient’s input, the chatbot will continually repeat similar terms, resulting in poor patient experience and potential loss of an appointment. AI-powered chatbots are a critical part of an omni-channel patient engagement strategy as they can improve conversation quality and prevent loss of patients.

11. Human handover ratio (bot to live chat)

The percentage of times when a chatbot is not able to answer the patient queries and hands it the query to a human agent is measured via the human handover ratio. It helps with,

  • identify failures and improve chatbot conversational accuracy
  • optimize the language analysis feature of the chatbot

 An accurate handover is essential to share clinically relevant information to ensure patient safety and improve other metrics like patient engagement and patient recall time. Using AI-powered chatbots can reduce handover ratios dramatically due to the high learning curve of the bot.

Healthcare Contact Center Metrics

Healthcare call center KPIs measure the effectiveness of patient service teams to track performance that improves patient satisfaction.

12. Number of tickets/ issues

Number of tickets/issues considers the volume and efficiency of assistance that service desk agents provide in response to patient requests. It helps healthcare providers manage their resources to provide profitable and efficient patient service.

A high number of tickets per patient indicates that many patients are waiting to be attended. This means that healthcare providers must implement automated AI-driven chatbots to resolve common patient queries and improve patient satisfaction.

Creating a knowledge base or manual on the portal also helps reduce the number of tickets raised for common queries.

13. Cost per request

Cost per request measures the average price for each call/chat handled by a client service representative or chatbot. It provides insight into the operational efficiency. In the long run, it affects revenues.

 Cost per request determines whether customer service operates cost-effectively and utilizes its resources effectively. To lower the cost per request, AI-powered chatbots can be used upto a certain stage before a human agent takes over.

14. First contact resolution (FCR)

The “first contact resolution” metric refers to a customer issue being resolved during the very first interaction. Knowing FCR  metric helps to evaluate the efficiency of the organization and patient satisfaction.

 According to the Small Business Chronicle, most callers hang up after an average waiting time of one minute and 55 seconds , and 34% of those callers never call back.

 Some of the methods to improve first call resolution is using automated chatbots, pre-recorded answers for most frequent queries, providing precise information and anticipating patient needs.

15. Average hold time

According to a Google Consumer Survey conducted by Arise, nearly two-thirds of consumers said they would only wait two minutes or less before hanging up and over a third of them said that no hold time is acceptable.

 Therefore, higher average hold time metric negatively impacts patient satisfaction and public image of organization. Utilizing 24/7 AI-chatbots and live chats can improve patient retention by lowering average hold time. This way the cost per ticket goes down too.

16. Abandonment rate

Abandonment rate metric depicts the proportion of callers who hang up/leave chat before interacting with an agent. To resolve patient queries within a small time frame impacts clinical outcomes and patient retention value. 

 Abandoned calls/chats indicate patient dissatisfaction and a potential loss of revenue for the hospital. It is possible to minimize abandonment rate by improving portal engagement and better agent utilization.

17. Average call handle time

Average call handle time is the amount of time the agent spends with a customer. However, both talk time and chat time should be considered from an operational efficiency standpoint.  This can help with staffing decisions, understanding scheduling behavior and provide insight into patient satisfaction.

 Utilizing chatbots which consistently provide precise answers can drastically cut down the call handle time and improve patient engagement.

18. Agent utilisation

The average amount of time spent by an agent to handle patient calls/chats in relation to the total number of work hours is known as the agent utilization rate. Therefore, this statistic is a reliable predictor of agent performance.

 Implementing chatbots is a great way to optimize agent utilization, as chatbots can have predefined answers to common patient queries. An agent can easily tackle more than one chat simultaneously and improves workflow efficiency. This one metric alone can lower overall call center and hospital expenses.

Healthcare Operational KPIs

19. Patient wait time

Patient wait time represents the time the patient waits in the facility’s emergency room before receiving any consultation or treatment. According to Vital’s Annual Report, 20% of patients switch doctors due to high wait times, and 30% leave an appointment due to the long waiting queue. Long wait times are perceived as a barrier to receiving care and keeping patients waiting can be stressful for both the patient and the institution.

 Long wait times lower patient satisfaction and long-term patient retention. It is possible to reduce patient wait time by incorporating a team care model and utilizing an electronic health record (EHR) system efficiently.

20. Staff-to-patient Ratio

The number of personnel (clinical practitioner) available per patient is represented by the staff-to-patient ratio. The quantity of attention provided to a patient determines the quality of care and having enough qualified staff is the number step for this.

 Having an online chatbot can reduce the number of patients that turn up at the emergency room and need a staff to attend to them.

21. Patient follow up

Patient follow-up rate deals with patient care after they finish a therapy. As patient outcomes and data are becoming more fully integrated into care plans, healthcare providers need to stay on top of patients’ post-hospital health. Health professionals can use a variety of IT tools to make follow-up treatment more convenient and increase patient awareness.

 Having a high number of patients who receive follow-up after their stay at the hospital can help lower readmission rates.

e.g.; A follow-up on cancer patients is done to evaluate if cancer has relapsed or invaded nearby tissues; thus, it could make sense to track this rate to determine patient needs regarding treatment type.

Deliver better patient care with accurate, timely Healthcare KPIs

Healthcare metrics can give key insights into how the business is functioning and where are the loose ends that need to be tied. They can help identify problem areas that direct next steps. Evaluate the progress of various healthcare KPIs and you will notice their benefits over time as problem solvers.

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