Understanding patient visit average (PVA) and how it can help your practice business

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
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Introduction

Patient Visit Average (PVA) refers to the average number of appointments a patient has attended within your practice over a specific time period and understanding its functions can help you significantly elevate your quality of care. Tracking your PVA can aid in improved clinical outcomes amongst patients, ensure that you’re effectively evaluating your performance, and identifying any outliers of client care. It's a vital component of healthcare, as well as practice management software, and allows you to grow and provide the highest quality of service to clients, without compromising on quality across operations. We understand that this can be a bit tricky to initially wrap your head around, which is why we’re here to help you get started. 

Conducting a health check on your practice

Regardless of whether your healthcare practice is thriving or dying, you need to conduct regular health checks to monitor performance and assess your operations for strengths and weaknesses. With the right software, you can do this at a reduced cost, and through a completely paperless method. You can catch warning signs before it’s too late, and maintain processes that you excel at! 

Total new patients visits

The first aspect that you’ll need to check is the number of total new patient visits. Generally, this number should be increasing, as it indicates growth and the need for expansion within your practice. If this number is beginning to decline, then this is clearly indicated that further evaluation is needed!

Total repeating patient visits

Measuring the number of patients who continue to return is a good way to quantitatively evaluate the loyalty of clients, and the retention value of your business. 

Total revenue

Naturally, you’ll also want to check on the revenue of your practice to ensure that your expenses don’t outweigh your positive cashflows. After all, you are a business, and will need to make a profit to stay afloat!

Understanding patient visit average (PVA)

Mathematically defined as the total number of appointments you have divided by the number of new clients, PVA numbers are vital to measuring performance and improving operations within your business. These can be measured within different time periods, with each one providing valuable insight for you to incorporate into your investment and business decisions. For instance, a 3-month report can provide snapshots into your growth, with a 12-month report doing the same, but also evaluating and identifying loyal clients and your retention rate. Lifelong performance reports, of PVAs over the years, can supply with you the richest, most accurate information, in regard to how long clients have been with you. Using PVAs, you can assess what is normal, and what needs specific improvements unique to your practice. You can ensure you’re continuously providing the best care possible, without sacrificing clinical aspects, and you can prevent declines before they start snowballing. PVAs are not just statistics, but rather, are a measure of growth and are a valuable asset and crystal ball into the longevity of your practice. 

Example of patient visit average (PVA)

To put PVA numbers into perspective, it may help for us to illustrate an example within Dr. Smith’s chiropractic clinic. You can work out the patient visit average, and know to set the right prices for your practice at ease. For example, if Dr. Smith had 400 patients visit his clinic in the last month, and had 30 new patients book appointments with him, his PVA number would be 13. Simply put, the average new patient returns approximately 13 times to visit Dr. Smith and access his services. PVAs aren’t complicated, and they certainly don’t have to be with the right tracking and record-keeping processes in place! Naturally, this can take some time to work out, especially if evaluating patients over longer periods, such as 12 months, however, the maths required isn’t difficult. Many practice management softwares work to automatically calculate this for you, which is a solid win-win for developing your business. 

How does tracking PVA help your practice business?

PVA provides immeasurable value to your practice business, as you can assess those who are the acute type, or specifically, those who may not return after a certain number of visits. Sometimes, these are referred to as ‘emergency factor patients’, and identifying these individuals through an email or message can help you return them to your regular client list. Offering new treatments or plans may work towards them becoming regulars, which is always a plus! You can continue strengthening and building professional relationships, as well as earn higher revenue. Communication goes a long way, with PVAs contributing towards higher clinical outcomes and greater growth sustainability within your practice. The numbers don’t lie, and simply by evaluating this statistic, you can identify strengths and weaknesses to elevate the quality of your business and attract more clients. What’s not to like?

Top five tips to increase your patient visit average 

Now that you know all about patient visit averages, it’s important that you’re aware of the top five tips and tricks that work towards increasing them! You can reduce waitlists, and increase loyalty amongst patients without compromising on quality. Doing so will also allow you to generate higher revenue and promote greater healthcare solutions within your practice, which is always welcome. 

Provide a plan at the end of your patient's session

Patients need to feel that you understand their concerns and queries, have taken them into account, evaluated them, and are using your expertise to the fullest by creating a productive plan that works to improve their condition. Always supply clients with a direct plan that addresses homework and tangible things to work on, as well as future directions. 

Book the next appointment in advance

Clearly relay to your patients that you run treatment plans and not session-by-session experiences. This way, your patients can commit to programs that will demonstrate results, with greater accountability and consistency when it comes to their health. This also increases the chance of patients returning to your practice, which will significantly increase PVAs. If you’re transparent with your clients from the start, this shouldn’t ever be an issue!

Be confident with your plan

Clients are coming to you for professional advice, so it’s important to never sell yourself short. You’re the one with the expertise and knowledge that they’re paying for, and you’ve worked hard to get to where you are! Have confidence in your plan, and deliver it straight with no ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’. 

Align staff with your PVA plan

Make sure that you and your staff are all on the same page when it comes to healthcare plans and your patient. Clients can interpret things very differently, and so you want to make sure that the odd comment from fellow healthcare professionals doesn’t send the wrong impression. The quality of your delivery matters. 

Set goals and work towards increasing results

It can help to set, measure, record, and display each member of staff’s PVA numbers, as this can work as effective motivation and encouragement towards elevating the quality of care of your business. 

Practice management software

Final thoughts

Although PVAs may be unfamiliar territory to you, they’re a surefire way to track and monitor your performance and boost growth within your practice. You can identify weaknesses to improve, as well as strengths to emphasize and focus on to increase business value for current and prospective clients. You can evaluate and treat warning signs before they spiral, and ensure that your business is healthy and thriving across all operations. Best of all, PVAs don’t have to be complicated and are an easy way to elevate the status of your practice. 

Get Carepatron for free today to create a lifetime’s worth of better patient outcomes.

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