Benchmarking: A Key Practice Management Solution

One of my favorite sayings and a critical component I teach to all of my medical aesthetics clients is “Inspect what you expect.” 

If you DON’T have systems, processes & procedures, and a way to track your business analytics, or you don’t know your numbers, or even what numbers you should be tracking, then you are setting yourself up for failure.

Even if you DO know your own numbers, data is only as good as the action steps you take once you analyze it. You should be using the information to your advantage, running reports on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly), and using benchmarking data to compare your practice to others locally, regionally or nationally.

No matter what stage your medical practice is in, there are so many business decisions you need to make. The bottom line is without knowing your numbers or having a basis of comparison within the industry, you cannot scale, you cannot make informed decisions and you cannot course correct.

Why Benchmarking is Critical Now More Than Ever?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a worldwide change in consumer and business behavior. At this point, the duration and long-lasting effects are unknown, and guidelines are fluid and vary by location. The pandemic has changed the way we do business and has propelled the aesthetics industry into the virtual-based world. Now more than ever we must understand the financial health of our practices and the nuances of consumer behavior so we can maximize efficiency, profitability, and ultimate viability.

It is vital to know the latest trends across the country as well as in your region and city when it comes to consumer behavior, products and services sold, and which KPIs to measure so your business can stay competitive during this critical juncture.

An aesthetics practice is a retail business. You sell products or services to consumers, so measuring your success should closely mirror the same metrics other retail businesses use.

On the consumer side, you must be able to answer:

  • Am I providing the consumer with a quality product or service?

  • What is the public perception of my brand?

  • How effective is my brand marketing and messaging?

  • What are the most up-to-date consumer trends for various aesthetic procedures and services?

On the business side, you must be able to answer these questions:

  • How efficient is my business?

  • How can I maximize my productivity and minimize my overhead?

  • What procedures provide me with the highest net revenue?

  • What products and services will bring me the best patients (those that keep returning for additional treatments)?

The only way to quantitatively answer ALL of these questions is by 1) understanding the importance of benchmarking to gain insights into practice performance and patient behavior and 2) using updated, aggregated, validated and standardized aesthetic medicine data that allows you to make an apples-to-apples comparison to other practices locally, regionally and nationally.

How Can Benchmarking Data Help?

With access to comprehensive data, you will be able to anticipate and answer these important questions:

  • What will recovery look like for different products, procedures, and devices?

  • How does my revenue and procedure counts compare to the previous year?

  • What is the spending behavior of the mask-wearing, socially distancing consumer?

  • How does this behavior positively and negatively affect the aesthetic market?

  • What types of procedures and products are patients consuming during this time?

  • What is the trend for average charges for products and services?

  • How does this relate to patient and practice demographics?

  • How does productivity for other providers in your practice compare to the previous years?

Where Can I Access Benchmarking Data? 

Because aesthetic medicine is not dependent on medical insurance reimbursement, most of the datasets out there are generated ad hoc from subjective information based on surveys that are not validated and subject to errors. Even when using the top practice management systems and EMRs, standardization by devices, procedures, and products across specialties and different types of practices is not possible within each system.

That’s why I’m so excited to offer the Ronan Solutions™ dataset which is accessible through the APX by Terri Ross integrative training platform. This comprehensive benchmarking dataset is a unique, aggregated, de-identified set of aesthetic medicine data coming from hundreds of practices across different specialties from as far back as 2000.

Plastic surgeons can access proprietary local, state, and national benchmarking data needed to perform competitive market analysis in a meticulously standardized and organized manner. Then, gain insights into their practices and consumer behavior as well as understand previous, ongoing, and potential future trends–all critical to creating an efficient and profitable business in the Covid-19 era and beyond.

To learn more or book a demo to experience the APX platform and its capabilities, please visit apxplatform.com!