Skip to main content

To compare a private behavioral health practice to a retail store might seem like an awkward juxtaposition to some. After all, a retail consumer and a client suffering from mental illness have two distinct sets of needs with little in common. But at the end of the day, the continuity of care depends heavily on practice managers operating with the same attention to business metrics as the owner of a retail store would. So what are the key performance indicators for behavioral health practices? Experts in behavioral health metrics, Valant has put together a comprehensive white paper outlining 20 key performance indicators private practice owners should take into account when tracking the progress of their practice toward its goals. To download the guide and discover which metrics you can use to improve your practice, click the “Download White Paper” button below.

Download White Paper


What are Behavioral Health Key Performance Indicators?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are quantitative metrics businesses use to track progress toward goals they set. It’s important to note that KPIs are not the goals themselves; instead, they are the numbers businesses refer back to over extended periods of time to determine how the business is performing in the long term. In behavioral health, KPIs can be a combination of administrative and clinical metrics depending on the nature of your practice’s goals. Technological advancements over the last several decades have granted professionals in all fields access to more thorough and accurate performance reporting, enabling them to provide better service based on what’s worked well in the past. Because there are a number of metrics to choose from, however, it’s critical to narrow your focus and determine which pieces of information are the best indicators of success for your business — i.e., which KPIs are the best measure of your practice’s progress.


Defining KPIs for Your Private Practice

Unfortunately, selecting the most effective KPIs to quantify and represent your goals can be a challenge in itself — especially in behavioral health, an industry in which the result/product value is not easily expressed in numbers. The key (no pun intended) is to:

  1. Define your practice’s mission and values.
  2. Gain a thorough understanding of both your long-term and short-term goals.
  3. Evaluate metrics available to your practice and select several as performance indicators of your goals.

Oftentimes, your practice’s values and goals (and corresponding performance indicators) are easier to determine if private practice owners have developed a clear business plan. If your private practice has not gone through the process of creating a business plan yet, or has otherwise not reflected on its mission, values, and position in the market thoroughly, Valant’s private practice business plan template is a great place to start.


Benefits of Identifying the Key Performance Indicators for Your Private Practice

Progress can be a tricky thing to define, but KPIs are measurable, consistent metrics that enable you to determine whether or not your private practice is moving forward. Here are several benefits of defining KPIs for your private practice:

  • Benchmarking – For both administrative and clinical operations, choosing KPIs for your practice gives context to numbers, enabling you to compare them with past figures and project them for future planning.
  • Measurability – Goals can be abstract creatures; saying you’d like to improve client satisfaction doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to measure the improvements. KPIs enable practice owners to define and monitor their goals in measurable terms.
  • Motivation – KPIs, or rather improvement across KPIs, are often linked to incentives. In behavioral health, proven improvements in clinical outcome KPIs, for example, can result in not just internal incentives for individual practitioners set forth by the practice, but also more favorable insurance reimbursement rates for the practice as a whole.
  • Efficiency – Monitoring KPIs can also tell you where inefficiencies lie in your practice operations, and allow you to make decisions about where and how to trim these inefficiencies based on factual data.
  • Accountability –KPIs can be a good source of feedback for your staff. Especially for your practitioners, whose quality of work can be highly subjective (and thus difficult to measure), having visibility into their KPIs means holding them accountable for changes in performance.


How Our Behavioral Health Performance Indicators White Paper Can Help

Our white paper on behavioral health performance indicators elaborates on 20 unique KPIs for behavioral health practices, split into five categories:

  1. Marketing – Measure how well you’re attracting new clients
  2. Intake – Measure intake process effectiveness
  3. Clinical Productivity – Measure clinicians’ contributions to profitability
  4. Clinical Outcomes – Measure the care being provided
  5. Financial – Measure key levers to profitability

Private practice goals can be categorized  into one of the five categories listed above. From there, practices can read our white paper, identify common KPIs for each category, and determine which of the KPIs is best suited to measure their goals. An especially helpful tool for new private practices, our white paper gives private practice owners and managers insight into how other practices (and behavioral health EHRs, for that matter) are measuring success.

Download White Paper