5 ways you can better use the data in your clinic and gym

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Big data. These are some of the buzz words being used in the tech world currently and due to their association with the tech world, you could be forgiven for thinking this is a long way away from the running of your clinic or gym.

But already in clinics everywhere, there is data ‘floating around’ from the way you advertise and market your services, through the reception area to your clinical rooms and gym areas. Three questions then, (i) are you really capturing this data? (or at least as well as you could be capturing it); (ii) how are you capturing this data?; and (iii) are you doing anything meaningful with the data once you have it?

Here are five ways you can better use the data already in your clinics and gyms to help improve the value and relevance of services you provide to patients and clients (let’s call them ‘clients’) and to help you run a more effective healthcare business.

1. Marketing Data

The famed ‘how did you hear about us?’ question that clients answer when completing their client details form. Now whilst this is fairly commonplace today, the question is what do you do with this after it has been collected? Do you periodically review new client details forms to map out trends of where new clients are hearing about you? Is this a monthly, quarterly or yearly ritual?

This can be done manually (slow) or through the use of practice management software (PMS) available on the market and most likely already in use within your clinic or gym. A simple and quick report can be generated, saving you time in the process. But then once you have this data, what next? Do you use it to change the areas where your advertising and marketing spend goes?

And then what about campaigns that are run for certain times in the year, e.g. a winter campaign, a start of summer campaign or a back to school campaign? Do you capture and use the data to give a clear understanding of whether the spend on this campaign was worthwhile or not?

2. Did Not Attend / Late Cancellation Data

Most PMS can generate a report of DNAs and late cancellations. The age-old saying of ‘what gets measured matters’ is relevant here. DNAs and late cancellations can affect a clinic or gym in a number of ways. Firstly and perhaps most obvious is that these result in a decrease in clients through the door and hence revenue for the business. But further to that, what about the client? Prior to that DNA or late cancellation they were on a trajectory to complete their rehabilitation or exercise program by a certain time. If your clinic or gym is using exercise prescription software, some of the advanced platforms now allow you to monitor client compliance to exercise – are you seeing any correlations with exercise compliance and DNAs / late cancellations? Now that has to be re-calibrated, discussed and agreed upon with the client.

To do this, you need to get the client back into the clinic which means someone needs to phone or email the client to follow-up and re-book them. Are these follow-ups occurring and are you measuring this? And what about the conversion rates of follow-ups to re-bookings? This information is great to track on a weekly schedule over a period of time. It can tell you if the methods being employed to re-book DNAs and late cancellations are (i) taking place and (ii) being effective. And even better than that, this data can tell you if there is a problem with DNAs and late cancellations in the first place, prompting thought of new ways to prevent this.

3. Client by Body Region Data

Understanding what body regions clients are seeing you about can give a mass of insight. Firstly, you get to understand common body regions requiring care. This could even extend to what body regions your clinic or gym is becoming well known for providing care for. Both PMS and exercise prescription software can allow a modern clinic to access this information quickly.

Drilling down into the data further, you can correlate body region and age. ‘59% of the clinic’s hip conditions are 60+ year old males.’ This could then lead the clinic or gym to run marketing campaigns for preventative exercise programs for this group of clients, increasing the revenue of the business and possibly even bringing in new clients not seen before.

What if the client is a corporate client situated locally to your business? ‘64% of clients from this company are presenting to us with upper limb conditions and are from the same company department.’ This data is invaluable as a lead indicator to take back to the company as a marketing campaign to potentially increase the scope of services your business provides to them. The ability to use the remote monitoring capability of exercise prescription software is a powerful tool in WorkCover / Third party insurer rehabilitation cases, assisting your clinic or gym to deliver a higher, more professional healthcare service that is data-driven.

4. Clinic Utilization Data

Depending on the time of year, school holidays or not, clinics and gyms can be busy at some times and quiet at others. Getting staffing levels right can be a juggling act and using data to monitor the daily, weekly and monthly trends with this can also be invaluable. Using your PMS effectively helps to understand (i) when are the peak times of the year (and hence when it is ‘all hands on deck’), (ii) when the quieter times are historically in the year. This can help the business with managing staff leave, allocating this time to non client-facing activities or even prompt the business to run a marketing campaign at those quieter times with the goal of attracting more clients to the clinic or gym.

5. Patient Visit Average Data (PVA)

This is a really useful piece of data to capture for the clinic or gym as a whole and for individual clinicians. It gives insight into over-servicing and under-servicing, either of which does not represent value to the client.

This specific data generated from your PMS can be compared to industry averages for different body conditions to see how your clinic is positioned. Couple this with exercise prescription software and client compliance to exercise programs also gives deeper insight into accuracy of PVA data. And what about using it with individual clinicians to assist them with their further professional development? If a clinician is well above or well under the industry average PVA in general or for a particular condition, then why is this the case and what mentoring can you provide to assist them to improve this?

Conclusion

In summary, using data in your clinic or gym is an effective way of running your business whilst providing a more tailored and valuable service to your clients. The above five ways of capturing data are by no means exhaustive. As you can see, there a lot of questions posed here, most of which, the data can answer. Happy data collecting!

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