important healthcare KPIs visualised with dashboard on a tablet

KPI Examples for the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare Key Performance Indicators and Metrics

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A healthcare KPI or metric is a well-defined performance measurement that is used to monitor, analyse and optimise all relevant healthcare processes to increase patient satisfaction. Many of these metrics are actually specific key performance indicators for hospitals.

Here is the complete list of the most important healthcare KPIs and metrics, that we will discuss in this article in every detail:

Average Hospital Stay: Evaluate the amount of time your patients are staying

Treatment Costs: Calculate how much a patient costs to your facility

Hospital Readmission Rates: Track how many patients are coming back

Patient Wait Time: Monitor waiting times to increase patient satisfaction

Patient Satisfaction: Analyse patient satisfaction in detail

Patient Safety: Prevent incidents happening in your facility

ER Wait Time: Identify rush hours in your ermergency room

Costs by Payer: Understand the type of health insurance of your patients

chart displaying the important healthcare KPI 'length of stay'

Average Hospital Stay

Evaluate the amount of time your patients are staying in your facilities after admission

The Average Length of Stay in hospital is a pretty straight-forward KPI, as it measures the time spent, on average, by a patient accepted in the facility. This healthcare metric is a very general one and can vary greatly according to the type of stay it measures: a heart transplant surgery will increase the figure while a wisdom teeth removal will do the opposite. This is why it is interesting to breakdown this KPI in different categories of stay, procedures and operations undertaken, so as to have a more accurate result. You can also measure it depending on the different units of your hospital.

Performance Indicators

After different evaluations over this KPI, you may set a target length of stay (accordingly to the type of stay and procedure) that you would like to achieve.

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visual example of the treatment costs

Treatment Costs

Calculate how much a patient costs to your facility

This a typical healthcare KPI example for monetary management. Treatment Costs are important metrics to track as they directly impact your finances, the contribution margin you make and the capacity of your facility to sustain itself. The purpose is not to reduce it as much as possible to make profit, but to spot abnormal or exaggerated expenses and address them. You can break it down into various categories -per units, per operations, or as in our example, per age groups. By acknowledging these costs, you can also budget better and allow the right amount of money to go to the right category: 25-year-old patients cost on average less than 72-year-old patients.

Performance Indicators

Calculate the Treatment Costs according to different categories over time and analyse the evolution.

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charts showing the healthcare metric hospital readmission rate

Hospital Readmission Rates

How many patients coming back after discharge?

A typical healthcare KPI example here. The Hospital Readmission Rate provides information on the number of patients that return to the hospital within a short period of time after being released. It is one of the most important healthcare metrics as it provides a great insight on the quality of care administered in the facility concerned — but cannot be used as a stand-alone quality indicator. Readmission rates can also shed the light on other flaws the hospital management is subjected to (lack of staff or appropriate material, overloaded staff neglecting details, units with special need …), and may help in a better cost control as it aims to decrease expensive and unnecessary readmissions.

Performance Indicators

The lowest your readmission rate is, the better. High rates point out dysfunctionalities that must be addressed as soon as possible.

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bar chart illustrating the average patient wait time in minutes

Patient Wait Time

Increase your patient satisfaction score by decreasing their waiting time

Patient Wait Time is one of the most important aspect of patient contentment. It measures the time it takes for anyone visiting your hospital from when they register to when they see a doctor and get a treatment. It can be particularly interesting to measure it in ER (Emergency Rooms) to evaluate how prompt is the hospital to deliver urgent services to its patients. This healthcare metric is highly linked to the patient satisfaction score, as no one really enjoys staying hours in a hospital. It can also reveal some other problems your facility is facing, if the figure is too high, and that need to be addressed.

Performance Indicators

The lower the wait time is, the better. Measuring this type of healthcare KPI over time is also important so as to identify trends and rush hours on a longer time period, and eventually adjust staffing needs for a more efficient patient management.

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donut chart showing the patient satisfaction

Patient Satisfaction

The showcase of your healthcare facility

This is another great healthcare KPI example that should be a top priority for any healthcare organisation, in order to have feedback and improve the service. You can ask your patients how they felt while being taken care of, how they would rate their meals or the time taken by doctors and nurses to explain them their situation. Such assessment will provide you insights on the overall perception of your hospital services and show you which points can be improved. Besides, your patients will feel listened to as their opinion and feelings are taken into account, which is another important component of the satisfaction score.

Performance Indicators

The overall Patient Satisfaction is precisely the healthcare KPI that will attract or on the contrary scare away future patients. The higher it grows, the better it is for your hospital.

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data visualisation of the healthcare KPI patient safety

Patient Safety

Identify the incidents happening in your facility and reduce the patients’ exposure to further risk

The Patient Safety measures the capacity of a hospital to deliver quality care to its patients and keeping them safe from contracting a new infection, post-operation complications, or any kind of sepsis. This is extremely important to track this metric assiduously to know where problems occur, which stage of the process can be improved and identify any infection abnormally present in your hospital. You can measure this metric and break it down into distinct categories (post-operation infections, respiratory infections, or treatment-related diseases), to have an even more accurate view of your hospital performance in the matter.

Performance Indicators

This healthcare KPI provides data on the quality of care your hospital delivers to its patients. It will give you insights on what must be improved in the different services.

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data visualisations illustrating the emergency room wait time


Evaluate the time patients spend from checking in the ER to seeing a doctor

ER or Emergency Room Wait Time measures the amount of time between the arrival of a patient in the ER and the moment he or she can see a physician. This number is linked to the average patient wait time, but is more specific as it focuses on the Emergency Room only. Evaluate this KPI so as to know when are the rush hours of the day and the busiest days of the week, how long are your patients currently waiting and set a target accordingly. Just like for the Patient Wait Time, it may spark light on issues (staff overloaded, check-in processes needing change, ER facilities congested) the service is facing and that can become very problematic if not solved.

Performance Indicators

After assessment of the ER Wait Time on average, you should keep an eye on the evolution of that metric and monitor it over time to see trends, so as to adjust or solve any issue popping up.

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column and pie chart displaying the costs per payer

Costs by Payer

Knowing your patients better by acknowledging which type of health insurance they have

This healthcare metric will evaluate the distribution of the costs amongst the different organisms. Whether your patients are under Medicare, Medicaid, whether they subscribe to a private insurance or do not have any insurance at all, this metric will help you know which organisms are the biggest payers for your health facility. This will also tell you what types of stay and how much they represent for each healthcare provider: surgical, medical, maternal and neonatal stay. According to the insurance and the type of stay, the average amount of time they take to pay varies and knowing how much they represent will help you manage better the financial management of your healthcare facility.

Performance Indicators

A good assessment of the healthcare providers that are covering your patients is important to track your patients’ satisfaction.

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