15 healthcare KPIs & metrics you should track in 2024

The healthcare industry is changing rapidly. We’ve gone from hand-writen notes to sophisticated data capturing systems that provide previously unavailable visibility into patient health and organization-wide performance.  

Knowing which key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure is essential for your healthcare organization’s success. In this post, we will discuss what 15 essential healthcare KPIs and metrics should be tracked in a real-time KPI report or you can say dashboard so that you are able to accurately assess your organization's progress over time. With this information, you will have the tools to make educated decisions when navigating through these uncertain times in order to reach optimal results.

15 healthcare KPIs to track

1. Patient satisfaction score

Patient satisfaction is a critical indicator of the quality of healthcare services provided. It reflects how well healthcare providers meet patients' expectations and needs, including aspects such as communication, wait times, and overall experience. A high patient satisfaction score indicates that patients are receiving satisfactory care and are more likely to have positive outcomes.

Patient satisfaction can be measured using surveys, feedback forms, or patient interviews. These methods capture patients' perceptions and experiences during their healthcare journey. Common metrics used to measure patient satisfaction include the Net Promoter Score (NPS), Likert scales, and satisfaction ratings.

Interpreting this healthcare metric requires analyzing the data collected and identifying trends or areas for improvement, using healthcare analytics. It is essential to understand the factors contributing to patient satisfaction or dissatisfaction to implement targeted interventions and enhance the overall patient experience.

2. Cost per procedure

Cost per procedure measures the financial efficiency of healthcare operations by evaluating the expenses incurred for each medical procedure or service provided. Monitoring this healthcare KPI helps healthcare organizations identify cost-saving opportunities and optimize resource allocation without compromising quality.

To calculate the cost per procedure, healthcare organizations need to consider all relevant expenses associated with providing a specific medical procedure, including direct costs (e.g., supplies, equipment) and indirect costs (e.g., labor, administrative overhead). The total cost is divided by the number of procedures performed during a specific period to obtain the cost per procedure.

To reduce procedure costs, healthcare organizations can explore strategies such as monitoring and optimizing their supply chain analytics, negotiating better vendor contracts, standardizing protocols, and implementing process improvements. These initiatives can lead to increased operational efficiency and cost savings.

3. Average revenue per patient

Average revenue per patient measures the average amount of revenue generated by each patient during a given period. It provides insights into the financial performance and revenue potential of healthcare organizations. Monitoring this healthcare metric helps identify trends in patient spending and revenue streams.

To calculate the average revenue per patient, the total revenue generated within a specific period is divided by the total number of patients served during that period. This healthcare metric can be further analyzed based on different service lines or patient segments to gain more specific insights. Using interactive data visualizations and advanced healthcare analytics techniques, you can understand which factors have the largest impact on patient revenue.

Healthcare organizations can enhance revenue per patient through various strategies, such as improving billing and coding accuracy, offering additional services or treatments, implementing targeted marketing campaigns, and focusing on patient retention and loyalty programs. These initiatives can contribute to increased revenue and financial sustainability.

4. Revenue cycle length

The revenue cycle length in healthcare refers to the time it takes for healthcare organizations to receive payment for services rendered. It encompasses various stages, including patient registration, coding, billing, claim submission, and payment collection. Monitoring the revenue cycle length is crucial for financial management and cash flow optimization.

To measure this healthcare metric, organizations track the time it takes from the initial patient encounter to the final payment receipt. This involves analyzing key milestones and identifying bottlenecks or delays in the revenue cycle. By optimizing the revenue cycle, organizations can streamline workflows, reduce denials, improve billing accuracy, and expedite payment collection.

5. Employee Turnover Rate

The employee turnover rate measures the rate at which employees leave an organization and need to be replaced. In healthcare, high turnover rates can negatively impact patient care, staff morale, and overall organizational performance. Monitoring this healthcare KPI helps identify workforce management challenges and the potential need for recruitment and retention strategies.

To calculate the employee turnover rate, divide the number of employees who have left the organization within a specific period by the average number of employees during that period. Multiply the result by 100 to obtain the turnover rate percentage.

Reducing high turnover rates requires a multifaceted approach. Strategies can include improving employee engagement and satisfaction, providing competitive compensation and benefits, offering professional development opportunities, implementing effective onboarding programs, and fostering a positive work culture. Regularly monitoring and addressing the factors contributing to turnover can help mitigate this issue.

6. Staffing ratios

Staffing ratios in healthcare indicate the balance between patient demand and the number of healthcare professionals available to provide care. Appropriate staffing ratios are essential for ensuring patient safety, quality of care, and staff well-being. Monitoring this healthcare metric helps healthcare organizations optimize staffing levels and ensure efficient resource allocation.

Measuring staffing ratios involves comparing the number of healthcare professionals (such as nurses, doctors, or technicians) to the number of patients or clinical activities. This can be calculated on a unit or departmental level. Staffing ratios can vary based on the type of care, acuity level, and patient population served.

To optimize staffing levels, healthcare organizations need to consider factors such as patient needs, workload, skill mix, and regulatory requirements. Workforce management solutions, predictive analytics, and data-driven decision-making can help ensure appropriate staffing levels, promote better patient outcomes, and prevent staff burnout.

7. Average length of stay

The average length of stay (ALOS) measures the average number of days patients spend in a healthcare facility. ALOS is an important indicator of resource utilization, operational efficiency, and patient flow. Monitoring ALOS helps identify opportunities for improvement, reduce unnecessary costs, and enhance patient throughput.

To calculate ALOS, divide the total number of patient days (sum of days each patient spent in the facility) by the total number of patients during a specific period. This provides an average value that can be analyzed across different departments or diagnoses. You may look to visualize this with a range of values or a bar graph.

Efforts to optimize length of stay focus on reducing delays, improving care coordination, and enhancing discharge planning. Strategies may include implementing evidence-based clinical pathways, enhancing communication between healthcare providers, leveraging technology for real-time bed management, and facilitating timely and appropriate transitions of care.

8. Bed occupancy rate

Bed occupancy rate measures the utilization of hospital beds and indicates the percentage of beds that are occupied by patients at any given time. Monitoring bed occupancy rate is crucial for effective capacity planning, resource allocation, and ensuring efficient patient flow within a healthcare facility.

To calculate the bed occupancy rate, divide the number of beds occupied by patients by the total number of beds available and multiply the result by 100 to obtain the percentage. The calculation can be done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. You may also find other visualization tools like heat maps or bar charts helpful when determining occupancy rate by floor, over time, or by department. 

Managing bed occupancy involves balancing the demand for beds with the available capacity. Healthcare organizations can implement strategies such as optimizing discharge processes, improving patient flow, implementing efficient admission protocols, and leveraging real-time bed management systems. These measures help ensure that beds are appropriately utilized and patients receive timely and appropriate care.

9. Emergency department (ED) wait time

ED wait time measures the duration patients spend in the emergency department from arrival to the initiation of their care. It is a critical indicator of ED efficiency, patient satisfaction, and timely access to emergency services. Monitoring and reducing ED wait time can lead to improved patient outcomes and experiences.

ED wait time can be measured by tracking the time from patient arrival to initial triage, the time from triage to a clinical assessment, and the total length of stay in the ED. Analyzing the data helps identify bottlenecks, delays, and areas for improvement. Strategies for reducing wait times may include streamlining triage processes, optimizing patient flow, improving communication and collaboration among ED staff, and implementing rapid assessment protocols for time-sensitive conditions.

10. Readmission rate

Readmission rate measures the percentage of patients who are readmitted to the hospital within a specific period after an initial discharge. High readmission rates can indicate issues with care quality, care transitions, or post-discharge follow-up. Monitoring this healthcare KPI is important for evaluating the effectiveness of care coordination and preventing unnecessary readmissions.

To calculate the readmission rate, divide the number of patients readmitted within a defined period by the total number of discharges during the same period and multiply the result by 100 to obtain the percentage.

Reducing readmission rates requires a comprehensive approach that includes improving care transitions, enhancing discharge planning, promoting patient education, and strengthening post-discharge follow-up. Collaboration among healthcare providers, home care services, and community resources can help ensure patients receive appropriate support and care to prevent readmissions.

11. Mortality rate

Mortality rate measures the percentage of patients who die within a specified period or as a result of a specific condition or procedure. It is a critical indicator of patient safety, quality of care, and clinical outcomes. Monitoring mortality rates helps identify areas for improvement, guide clinical decision-making, and promote patient-centered care.

To calculate the mortality rate, divide the number of patient deaths within a specific period by the total number of patients with the same condition or undergoing the same procedure during that period and multiply the result by 100 to obtain the percentage. While this is definitely a KPI you want to monitor in your healthcare BI tool, having the ability to drill down into the data will help you identify key areas of improvement that will have the highest impact on mortality rate. 

Improving patient outcomes and reducing mortality rates involve implementing evidence-based clinical practices, enhancing care coordination, optimizing early detection and intervention, and promoting a culture of patient safety. Continuous monitoring, quality improvement initiatives, and interdisciplinary collaboration contribute to better patient outcomes and decreased mortality rates.

12. Physician productivity

Physician productivity measures the efficiency and effectiveness of physicians in delivering patient care and achieving desired outcomes. It includes factors such as patient volumes, clinical documentation, resource utilization, and patient satisfaction. Monitoring physician productivity helps assess workload, resource allocation, and the overall performance of the healthcare organization.

Measuring physician productivity can involve analyzing patient encounters, relative value units (RVUs), revenue generation, patient outcomes, and feedback from patients and colleagues. Quantitative and qualitative metrics provide insights into physicians' performance, efficiency, and impact on patient care.

Enhancing physician efficiency requires optimizing workflows, reducing administrative burdens, implementing technology solutions, and providing adequate support staff. Ensuring appropriate resources, promoting work-life balance, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional development will contribute to improved physician productivity and overall organizational success.

13. Medication error rate

The medication error rate measures the frequency at which errors occur in the medication administration process, including prescribing, dispensing, and administering medications. Medication errors can have serious consequences for patient safety and treatment outcomes. Monitoring this healthcare KPI is essential for identifying areas of improvement and implementing strategies to prevent medication errors.

Measuring the medication error rate involves tracking incidents of medication errors and near-misses. This can be done through incident reporting systems, medication reconciliation processes, and medication error detection tools. The error rate is typically calculated by dividing the number of errors by the total number of medication doses administered.

Preventing medication errors requires a multifaceted approach. Strategies include implementing computerized physician order entry systems, employing barcode scanning technology, improving medication labeling and packaging, enhancing communication among healthcare providers, providing education and training on medication safety, and promoting a culture of safety and reporting.

14. Hospital-acquired infection rate

The hospital-acquired infection rate, also known as healthcare-associated infection rate, measures the occurrence of infections that patients acquire during their stay in a healthcare facility. Hospital-acquired infections can lead to prolonged hospital stays, increased healthcare costs, and adverse patient outcomes. Monitoring this healthcare KPI is crucial for infection control and prevention efforts.

Monitoring infection rates involves surveillance of specific types of infections, such as surgical site infections, urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, and respiratory infections. Healthcare facilities implement infection prevention protocols, including hand hygiene practices, proper sterilization techniques, environmental cleaning, antimicrobial stewardship programs, and adherence to infection control guidelines. Regular data analysis, feedback, and continuous improvement initiatives help reduce infection rates and improve patient safety.

15. Health Outcomes

Health outcomes measure the impact of healthcare interventions and services on patients' health status and quality of life. It includes indicators such as mortality rates, morbidity rates, disease-specific outcomes, functional status, and patient-reported outcomes. Monitoring health outcomes is essential for assessing the effectiveness and value of healthcare delivery.

Measuring health outcomes involves collecting and analyzing data on patient health status, clinical outcomes, and patient-reported outcomes. This can be done through standardized assessments, surveys, registries, and electronic health records. Healthcare providers and organizations can improve health outcomes by focusing on evidence-based practices, care coordination, patient education, preventive care, chronic disease management, and addressing social determinants of health.

By continuously monitoring and improving health outcomes, healthcare organizations can enhance patient satisfaction, optimize resource allocation, and drive positive changes in population health.

The future of healthcare dashboards

Of course, capturing data and monitoring these healthcare KPIs is an important first step for healthcare systems. But simply capturing these healthcare metrics isn’t enough. Your team needs the ability to identify irregularities, find correlations and patterns in the data, and act on these insights—all while still providing a high level of care. It’s an increasingly difficult task, but it’s made easier with modern technology.

Gone are the days of static dashboards and gut reactions. Today’s challenges require modern solutions. Consider a KPI monitoring tool that alerts key stakeholders to real-time changes in important metrics by the week, day, or even by the hour. What if that manager could drill down into that metric, identifying patterns or abnormalities—even finding AI-generated explanations for potential reasons behind that change. And with a click of a button, that manager could automate an action plan—sending preprogrammed actions directly to their team’s operational workflows. 

This scenario isn’t imaginary. Companies like MDaudit and Neuroflow are using Liveboard technology to automate workflows, risk monitoring, and compliance. By trading static dashboards for interactive Liveboards and natural-language search, they are saving time, improving efficiency, and providing higher levels of patient care.

A quote from Bill Lynch at NeuroFlow.

Start boosting the KPIs that matter most 

To sum up, tracking 15 healthcare KPIs and metrics in a liveboard is essential to get an optimized insight into patient care quality and financial performance. Having clear information on the available resources gives companies the chance to create data-driven strategies that boost their overall performance. Although it might seem complex, there are actually reliable solutions out there that make this process painless. 

ThoughtSpot allows you to track all of these healthcare KPIs and metrics easily, while providing greater access for your teams. Additionally, the platform requires no hardware or software installation so can be up and running quickly. By combining all of these efficiencies with a proactive approach, health organizations can take better care of their patients without having to significantly increase their budget. 

If you think our ThoughtSpot powered solution can fulfill your needs, sign up for a free trial today or schedule a one-on-one demo to see what insights you can gain from a modern BI solution.