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Veterinary activity indicators (KPIs): why and how to create a control panel?

kpi veterinari cosa sono come monitorarli




[Important note: this article has been automatically translated from the original Italian language.]

How long does it take you to arrange a surgery? How long does it take your staff to make a visit? How many drugs do you let expire?
If you can’t answer these questions, you are missing an important growth opportunity for your veterinary facility because you are not understanding where you can improve.
Read this article to understand how to create a control panel that gives you a way to make good, informed choices for your veterinary business.

What are the activity indicators used for?

For a Veterinary Clinic (as for a small practice), indicators serve to highlight information that will then be used to make decisions.
This is the simplest answer.

What is a KPI (or performance indicator)?

An indicator is a variable, e.g., a number or a percentage, that has a high information content and enables a concise and rapid assessment of complex phenomena related to it.

For a veterinary facility, it is interesting, depending on its objectives, to choose a set of indicators to describe:

  • the state of departure
  • evolution over a given period, and then, more importantly,
  • make decisions
  • Turn them into concrete actions.

Let us give an example using an indicator that is often considered in veterinary facilities.

fatturato kpi indicatore clinica veterinaria

Let us give an example using an indicator that is often considered in veterinary facilities.

Turnover as a KPI for a veterinary facility: what role does it play?

Turnover is the indicator that is most often used, expressed as turnover/month or turnover/year.

Unfortunately, it does not meet the most important criterion that an indicator must fulfill namely, that of having a high information content.

By itself, the turnover communicates a figure, but without taking into consideration how this result was arrived at.

Considering turnover by “isolating” it from context, that is, the costs the facility incurred to arrive at generating that particular figure is misleading.

Risoluzione problemi

Turnover may grow month after month, thus giving a false positive feeling.
If the costs incurred during the same period are higher than the turnover there will be a loss.

Turnover, therefore, should not be taken as a reliable indicator, while the result given by[fatturato – costi] is much more interesting.

The result briefly describes how costs incurred by a clinic and revenue interact with each other to generate a profit or loss.

How to create suitable indicators?

First we need to broaden the vision from just economic indicators to a broader spectrum.
We can use as an indicator a:

  • Quotient
  • Absolute greatness
  • Percentage
  • Times

The field becomes much broader than just one economic value, and at the same time the ability to have information grows.

From the indicator to the control panel

In the literature, including medical literature, indicator is translated as Kay Performance Index(KPI) and Dash Board.
Developing a system of performance indicators is the most effective way to evaluate service performance.

It is crucial to interpret the indicators seen as a whole.

Which indicators to choose?

As has already been seen, turnover is not enough to properly pilot an enterprise.

The result [utile] is a step forward, but it is not enough.

You can then choose from several types, taking care to create a mix of indicators and thus a control panel that represents your structure.

Let’s take a few examples to build a customized control panel.

Time-related indicators.

  • How long do customers wait in the waiting room?
  • How long does it take to gather resources (people and materials) to organize a surgery?

Production-related indicators.

  • No. visits month.
  • No. visits month/veterinary.
  • No. Surgeries month.

This typology can be explored in great detail by examining different performances.

Economic and financial indicators.

  • Cost of expired drugs and/or expired consumables.
  • Turnover/month.
  • Average customer/month expenditure.

Indicators related to staff well-being.

  • What is the staff turnover?

Indicators related to customer satisfaction

  • Evaluations left on the web.

This list is not exhaustive and is intended as a starting point.

Where to get the data for the indicators ?

At this point you need to have the necessary data. The question to ask is, do I have the data I am interested in?

  • YES, and then they need to be collected and then analyzed.
  • NO, I need to organize a data collection.
  • YES, because business intelligence does it for me.

The Business Intelligence allows, in a single screen, to link all clinic data (turnover, performance, type of users, care pathways, …), and make an analysis.

kpi fatturato per percorso del paziente
Image BI Adiuvet

The advantage lies in the fact that you have at your disposal:

  • Relevant data-that is, data that satisfy cognitive needs;
  • accurate-because they correspond to real data;
  • Timely – because they are recorded continuously
  • accessible-given the ease of detection and visualization.

Using business intelligence that can provide relevant, timely, accurate, and accessible data, what is left for those running the outpatient clinic, clinic, or hospital to do?
The most interesting part!

That is, that of setting annual, quarterly and monthly goals within a growth strategy.

Once the goals have been established, the indicators that best represent these goals must be identified.

Through the indicators it will be possible to highlight significant variability from the goals and perform a deviation analysis.

All this must lead to decision-making and thus, to transform the control panel, consisting of indicators into concrete, corrective, improving, adaptive actions.

The control panel turns numbers, representing daily, monthly and annual activity, into concrete actions within the veterinary facility that adopts it.

You may realize that you are in line with expectations, that you have met and exceeded goals and thus have unexpected resources that you can use.

The control panel makes it possible to “guide” the smooth operation of a veterinary facility.

Now it’s your turn, start like this:

  • begin to understand whether you are in profit or loss
  • if you are in profit you understand where you can improve further and how to reinvest to grow
  • if you are at a loss understand where you need to improve
  • set goals
  • And analyze the results over time.