A medical practice performance dashboard is a great time-saver to help keep your finger on the pulse of practice performance and understand your position in real time. It is similar to the one in your car – a set of indicators  provide a simple, practical way to know what’s going on and to let you know when you’re headed for trouble.

The dashboard is a metric reporting tool that makes it easy to look at business performance so you know when the practice is doing well and are alerted when something is wrong.  Dashboards provide a layered interface that conforms to the way you work.  When performance dashboards are aligned with the practice’s operations, productivity, finances and strategic plan, managers and physicians begin to work more efficiently and effectively toward achieving shared objectives.

Typical indicators revealed on the dashboard focus on practice productivity and finances. However, the power of the dashboard can be extended to include other data. For example, if a new provider was added recently or you opened a new satellite clinic, monitoring growth and financial progress of this entity can be added to the dashboard.

The dashboard can be designed to compare internal performance from the prior year or to look at how you compare to your colleagues across the nation. Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) has conveniently packaged a set of dashboard metrics with its Cost Survey on disc.  This enables the user to create a dashboard based on six indicators that are benchmarked against other practices in a few short minutes. The spreadsheet used to prepare the dashboard shows your ranking when compared to the MGMA database.

If you find yourself on information overload with management and financial reports screaming for attention, think about implementing dashboard technology to monitor your practice’s business performance at-a-glance.   With web-embedded technology some applications can update information automatically eliminating the need to repopulate the spreadsheets.  Charts and tables can be configured to support drill-down capabilities. Keep in mind, though, that dashboards are only as good as the data that supports them.  Success is dependent on the quality and flexibility of the underlying data.

Managing performance better and making smart business decisions requires looking at and understanding data in a meaningful way that guides decisions.  Dashboards provide a layered interface that conforms to the way you work.  When performance dashboards are aligned with the practice’s operations, finances and strategic plan, managers and physicians begin to work more efficiently and effectively toward achieving shared objectives.

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