Are you aware that your assumptions, beliefs and personal biases towards metrics, numbers, KPIs and other data may damage your treatment outcomes with certain patients?
My guest, Joel Lindner from Studio Podiatry in Brisbane, believes numbers are fundamental in health care and evidence-based practice, and I wholeheartedly agree.
University Lecturers Tell Lies
We have all heard stories from students about lecturers warning them about employers who want to measure numbers and keep metrics on their employees’ performance (KPIs), almost to the point of frightening the students before they even graduate, which makes no sense because universities and lecturers do the same thing through exams.
An exam is merely a performance review. Your lecturers want to know that you have listened, studied, and understood the content. They want you to be competent so you don’t hurt anyone, and good employers want the same for you and their patients.
More Education is Needed in the Industry
The podiatry profession needs to understand better why numbers and metrics are essential.
Wouldn’t you like to know if you’re doing a great job, and if you’re not doing well, have an opportunity to get better so you don’t end up in front of the registration board?
A lot of podiatrists have a fear of being seen as overserving patients, but what about underservicing? Underservicing seems to be a bigger problem in podiatry, and often it comes down to a lack of good communication skills.
Numbers and metrics (KPIs) are used to help with your communication.
Competitive People Love Numbers
A-Type Players like numbers and metrics because they are usually on a continual path of self-improvement. C-Type Players reject them because it makes them uncomfortable and highlights their deficiencies.
B-Type Players can become A-Type Players once they better understand numbers and how to use them to improve their performance.
Who Do You Want in Your Team?
If you put an A-Type Player in a business team, productivity will be lifted by 30% by the whole team; however, if you put a C-Type Player in a business team, the opposite occurs, and productivity drops by 40%.
That’s a massive difference.
Knowing your numbers takes away assumptions of care and instead leads us to facts of care. It changes possible outcomes to probable outcomes.
You can’t get a PhD without knowing the numbers and having data to prove or disprove a theory, yet some lecturers with PhDs will say employers shouldn’t use them. That makes no sense.
If you don’t reappoint a patient for a review visit, and they never return, you cannot assume you’ve fixed them, and believing you have because they didn’t come back without any evidence they are better is arrogant. It may also reinforce inaccurate beliefs about rebooking patients.
The truth may be the opposite. You did not help them, and they have gone elsewhere for treatment. We’ve all had patients tell us this.
If you think numbers, metrics and KPIs are evil, you should stop and ask yourself WHY you feel this way and consider where your beliefs have come from. Did they come from family, friends, past employers, lecturers or your own experiences?
Then, start searching for new information. Beliefs can change quickly when further information and evidence is presented.
Look for information that proves and disproves your current beliefs.
For example, some podiatrists would have no idea why they charge what they do and when you challenge them to increase their fees, their beliefs jump to the forefront, and they will tell you why their patients cannot afford it.
Is it true? Can they not afford it, or is it just a belief?
KPIs Remove Biased Beliefs And Assumptions
If you have a team of podiatrists and your KPIs show that, on average, each patient pays $100 per visit, KPIs will shine a light on an under-performer who is averaging only $60 per patient, and they allow you to catch this before it gets out of hand.
Assuming a patient cannot afford specific treatments and making the decision for them is not allowing the patient to have informed decision-making.
The most expensive belief system in your life is the one that costs you money. They won’t rebook because….
If you want to connect with Joel Linder, his email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and you will also find him on LinkedIn.
If you have any questions about this episode, please email me at email@example.com
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