Taking a reading once is not sufficient to get the complete picture of your practice’s wealth. Measurements over time and changes in these metrics are what makes physio business tick. We compiled a few of the most essential metrics very Physio Business must master.

Running a practice is more than a full time job. 30-40 hours in front of patients and 20 more doing admin, checking stats, learning new skills. This passion for more and better understanding is what keeps us going.

With so little time, it’s very important to monitor the right metrics so you can determine if your business is moving in the right–or wrong–direction. Most clinic owners aren’t even looking at the right things, that’s if they are even looking at their metrics at all.

We want to share the key leading metrics you absolutely need to follow to predict the future of your practice. We’ll show you how these metrics can guide you the exact behavior or steps you need to take. Going one step further we’ll show you how to rapidly increase the numbers at your clinic so you can run a highly successful and profitable physio business.

How often should you track these metrics?

The more you watch metrics, the faster you will see the numbers change at your clinic. Well, firstly it’s very important to measure the following:

  • Month over month trends (February vs January)
  • Year over year trends (January this year vs January last year)
  • Measuring daily or at least weekly.

You might be thinking that watching your numbers daily is too much but here’s the thing, if you do watch daily it will take you only months to see changes. If you watch your numbers monthly, it will take you quarters to see changes. And if you don’t watch at all, well, you’d be lucky to see any change at all

Leading vs Lagging

Different types of metrics every physio business must distinguish between are predicting or reflecting metrics. Leading metrics are metrics that guides you to a goal, lagging metrics are there to confirm the change over time.

You don’t want to just keep your eye on the result. Getting ahead before the game, that makes you stronger and more resilient.

Leading Metrics

Percentage of answered Calls

Formula: No. of phone calls answered divided by Total No. of phone calls

As a practice owner your phone is your biggest leading metric. Call centers answer 95% of their phone calls. What percentage of your phone calls are being answered? Most physio practices only answer between 60- 70% of their calls.


Just 1 missed new patient phone call is worth R700 to your practice. If you miss 1 new patient phone call every day, over a month that is worth R14 000. Now consider the marketing cost that you spent for each lead. Missing phone calls can reap havoc in a practice.

The benchmark is 95 – 100% of calls must be answered or followed up on. Please leave the answering machines out of your practice! Your patients are calling to connect with a human being. Automation has its benefits, but at a health institution practices have a lower conversion rate when they first have to try navigate through your prompts to try to speak to someone.

The solution is to make sure you answer all your calls each day.

Open communication is virtue your practice must strife to achieve. Allowing anyone who contacts you for whatever reason, this makes you reliable.

We’ve all experienced Telkom’s incompetent phone lines. Can you imagine calling Telkom, and within seconds someone answers the call. Close to impossible. How much business have they lost?

Think of a business you’ve recently called and there’s no answer. Did you relentlessly keep on calling till you got through? No, you probably called someone else.

Percentage bookings

Formula: No. of new patients booked divided by Total no. of new patient calls

Converting a potential patient into an actual patient is crucial. Most physio practices book less than 60% of these potential new patients. If you receive 10 calls a day, at R700 a session, you lose out on R84 000 in a month.

Do you know if of your receptionists is doing all she can to make sure calls become consultations? Does your receptionist have the skills to bring in that amount of revenue?

We’ve found that physio practice owners tend to think very little of their receptionist, while paying the minimum (Anyone can answer a phone, right?). On the contrary, in fact they are more valuable that another therapist. Rather hire a skilled administrator, before you hire another therapist.

Receptionist are office administrators that plays a crucial role in your practice. The faster you realize how much of your business depends on them, you’d think twice before you hire. You need to know these things because if you start booking more new patient form your calls each day, you will see your revenue shoot through the roof.

Potential Capacity

Formula:  No. of appointments booked divided by Total No. of appointments available

This is a percentage that reflects how full your bookings really are.

Benchmark at 3 days must be 80%, 1 week at 50%.

If you are operating above the benchmark, you must allow more time to book new patients. Nobody wants to wait when they are hurt or in pain, but using this metric ensures that you manage your time wisely.

If you consistently fall below the benchmark you are leaving your day too open, and hoping enough patients will call. Better look at why you are not booking follow-up visits.

When you operate at more than 90% Potential Capacity for more than 4 weeks, you should consider sharing the patient load with another physiotherapist. This is your indicator to know if you need to hire another physiotherapist.

Graduation percentage

Formula:  No. of patients that complete treatment plan divided by Total no. of patients seen

One of the top struggles physiotherapists face is getting patients to commit to their care plan and see it through. In fact, only 40% or less of patients graduate from their treatment plans. Ideally you want to be aiming for at least 80%.

This metric is far more complex to remedy because it spills over multiple aspects of the treatment process including: education, follow-up, expectations and physical treatment. Identify the problem and take charge.

Physiotherapist must learn to educate their patients about the process of healing, therapy is a process of change that we monitor. Patients expect magic, and its our duty to manage those expectations, because what if something goes wrong, and the patient doesn’t get better immediately?

If you are a therapist that promise patients a instant relief after one session, you will be working your fingers to the bone. Any expert physiotherapist know that there’s far more o a problem than the obvious diagnosis. Taking your patients trough a set of goals that they must reach in order to be and stay pain free requires a treatment plan.

Have you gone over to the dark side, or are your patients following your plan of care? If not, they do not understand the value of your treatment plan.

Patient Loyalty Score

Formula: Loyalty Score = (% of Promoters) – (% of Detractors) divided by Total number of survey responses.

Benchmark is 70%.

This core measures the satisfaction score of you patient’s experience with your practice. It conveys the loyalty of your patients to become advocates for your practice.

In your surveys you send your patients ask your patients: ” Would recommend our practice to a friend, family or colleague?” Patients respond to this question on a zero to 10 point rating scale.

3 Categories of responses:

  • Promoters (score 9 – 10): Loyal enthusiasts who will keep coming to your practice and refer others.
  • Passives (score 7 – 8): Satisfied but not enthusiastic patients who are susceptible to comparative offers. Passives only count towards the total number of respondents and does not directly affect your score.
  • Detractors (score 0 – 6): Unhappy patients who can damage your brand& practice reputation through negative word of mouth and bad reviews.

If you find that your overall Loyalty falls below benchmark, then you’ve got work to do on your levels of patient satisfaction.

Lagging Metrics

Lagging metrics are a reflection of the cause of your actions and decisions. These metrics are retrospective, and not predictive – meaning they can’t help you now to predict future outcomes.


Every savvy practice owner keeps a close eye on their revenue, although there’s a very important distinction that you must make. Generated Revenue vs Actual Revenue.

Revenue is the total amount of income generated by you your physio practice, as opposed to actual revenue that’s the income received form your patients. This distinction should balance with your debtors accounts receivable. Money that you don’t have is money that you can’t use.

Many factors affect your revenue, but its not a measurement of your practice success. Your generated revenue may be high, but coupled with high outstanding accounts, you’ll find yourself in a cash flow crisis. Your attention must be focused on your actual revenue rather than generated revenue. Monitoring your revenue monthly will show your seasonal trends in your marketing strategy.

Controlling and these leading metrics above, you will see your revenue numbers increase. These metrics will help you make key decisions that drive your physio business to success.

New Patient Volume

Monthly volume of your new patients are crucial to determine the effectiveness of your marketing. A flat-line of new patients are frustrating and may take 2 weeks to recover. If you detect it fast, you are able to take action.

There’s no doubt that running a successful practice and treating patients at the same time is a balancing act. But, if you want a successful practice you need to constantly attracting a steady new stream of patients.

Follow up Rate

Formula: Total no. session divided by Total new patients

Benchmark: More than 3 – 3.5 is the industry standard.

And, the key to growing a physio business is the acquisition of new patients and the retention of established patients. The retention of the established patient is called you Follow-up rate.

Knowing your follow -up rate of all your physiotherapist help you identify lower performers who may need more coaching and support.