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Interested in knowing just how high your risk of burnout is? People in “helping professions” and entrepreneurs are all at extremely high risk. As PT owners, you’re both.
Unfortunately, burnout is a natural extension of being overworked and overwhelmed. When you’re burned out, you feel exhausted and stressed pretty much all the time. You experience the constant burden of work. And you lose your connection to the joy, passion and drive that brought you to physical therapy in the first place.
Burnout in PT owners is avoidable, with some attention to its root causes. And using metrics in your practice can help.
Metrics might seem like a surprising solution to burnout. But a system of tracking and analyzing data about your practice provides whole new levels of control and predictability for an overwhelmed practice owner.
- A systems-based PT practice that tracks metrics will operate more efficiently
- Metrics provide detailed, objective data you can use to set expectations and goals, doing away with the uncertainty that creates so much stress for practice owners
- Metrics empower your team and put them on the same page, focused on replicating what’s working—and improving what’s not
The result? Practice owners get balance back in their lives. You get the downtime you need to rest and return to your work energized, motivated, and razor sharp. You get the freedom to work on your terms: working when you want, on what you want. You get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your practice is running well even when you’re not there.
The causes of burnout and how metrics help you beat it
Burnout doesn’t come out of nowhere. There are a series of factors that contribute to burnout in PT owners—and metrics can help with each one.
Lack of control
Without a system of metrics for your PT practice, you’re flying blind. Burnout waits for you in that constant, exhausting uncertainty. Metrics provide you with granular detail about your practice operations and performance, giving you clarity and control.
Do you know…
- Whether your practice is seeing all the patients you’re capable of seeing—and how many of them are completing plans of care?
- How effectively you’re collecting payments and reimbursements?
- How well your referral and marketing tools are working to bring new patients your way?
Your practice metrics will provide detailed answers to these questions and more.
Unclear and unrealistic expectations
One way to define burnout is as living in the uncomfortable space between what you expect and what is actually possible. (For more on that idea, check out this really good article in Forbes.) Too-high expectations are major contributors to burnout in PT owners. Metrics provide you with benchmarks that let you be ambitious and growth-focused, without succumbing to the PT perfectionism that send so many practice owners into burnout territory.
Difficult, dysfunctional workplace dynamics
When expectations aren’t clear, staff drama and dysfunction thrive. Your staff deserves to know what’s expected of them and what a job well done looks like. As a practice owner, you deserve to lead a team of people who are committed to your practice goals and vision.
But you don’t get there by magic. You get there by communication, culture and yes, by systems and metrics. Metrics enable you and your team to set realistic goals, be accountable for progress, and celebrate the wins that come along the way. Tracking practice data also alerts you to problems before they become crises. In a practice that employs metrics, owners and staff rally together to work as allies, not adversaries.
Excessive demands from work
If you’re working weekends, haven’t had a vacation in years, and can’t imagine how your practice would function without you for a couple weeks (or even a couple of days), you’re working under the extreme conditions that lead to burnout.
Metrics are one key part of a structure for decision making, problem solving, and standardization of care that enable your practice to run without you. You won’t become operationally irrelevant without a systems-based practice that includes metrics. And operational irrelevance is what PT owners who want to be in the game a long time need to achieve.
Interested in working smarter, instead of working harder? There are proven strategies for increasing patient visits and delivering exceptional patient experience that don’t rely on you working constantly. Instead, they’ll give you the freedom to step away from work—maybe for the first time in a long time. I’ve collected some of the very best fundamental tools in a FREE guide, 3 Simple Things That Will Get You More Patients and Make You More Money Right Now.
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Isolation, lack of social support
The go-it-alone approach that many practice owners take is one cause of burnout that gets overlooked. Working in isolation, without a supportive network, leaves you run down, out of energy and new ideas. Remember, the business of PT is really all about relationships. Metrics tell a very specific, results-showcasing story about your practice that you can share with potential referral partners, showing them just how smart they’d be to align their business with yours.