21 Healthcare KPIs You Should Track (+ Template)

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Article by 
Cascade Team
  —  Published 
March 30, 2023
April 24, 2024

Overview of Healthcare KPIs

Healthcare key performance indicators (KPIs) are critical for any organization in the healthcare sector to keep track of its business performance.

Whether you’re a public or private healthcare organization, you’ve likely been feeling the pressure of tightening budgets and keeping up with ever-evolving policies, processes, and regulations in the industry.

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These pressures have created a real emphasis for healthcare organizations to set clear business objectives and ensure they’re being achieved.

So, how do you ensure business strategic objectives are being achieved? It's all about tracking and measuring. As they say, if you can measure it, you can improve it. To actually measure and track business objectives, you'll need the right KPIs and powerful real-time dashboards.

In this post, we’ll walk you through 21 of the most common healthcare KPIs and show you how to track them. For each KPI we'll explain what objectives it can measure and provide an example of what that might look like in your strategic plan.

This article is part of our KPI examples mini-series. Check it out for the full range of KPI examples.

What Are Healthcare KPIs? 

Healthcare KPIs are quantifiable or measurable factors that reflect upon the goals of an organization. Working without KPIs can create vagueness around performance, and comparing the progress of an organization over different time periods can become very difficult.

In other words, KPIs show the direction an organization is moving by providing numbers. The data collected provides insights that enables a healthcare organization to analyze its progress report over a certain period.

If you need a hand creating your KPIs, check out this article where we show you 4 simple steps for writing great KPIs.

Healthcare KPI Examples

The following is a list of KPIs from different healthcare areas. These KPIs provide quantifiable data that enables healthcare providers to understand and improve their performance.

Healthcare KPI Examples

Following is a list of KPIs from different areas of healthcare. These KPIs provide quantifiable data that enables healthcare providers to understand and improve their performance.

Operational Efficiency

Admission rate

This KPI measures the number of patients admitted to a healthcare facility during a given period. It’s important because it provides insights into trends in patient volumes and the demand for healthcare services. 

High admission rates may indicate a need for increased resources or improved efficiency, while low admission rates may suggest that patients are seeking care elsewhere or that there’s a lack of demand for certain services.

KPI example: Increase admission rate by 10% by 31/12/2023

Patient satisfaction score

This KPI measures the level of satisfaction that patients have with their healthcare experience, including their interactions with staff, quality of care, facilities, and overall patient experience. This is an important metric to improve the quality of care and ensure patient-centered care.

KPI example: Increase patient satisfaction rate to 96% by 31/12/2023

Patient complaints 

This KPI measures the percentage of patients who have filed a complaint or expressed dissatisfaction with their healthcare experience. It’s important because it reflects the quality of care provided by the healthcare facility and can impact patient satisfaction, loyalty, and outcomes.

KPI example: Decrease patient complaints by 25% by 31/12/2023

Average Patient Wait Time

The average patient wait time is a very useful nurse KPI example for measuring and tracking business objectives around patient satisfaction and capacity management.

Patient wait time can be calculated by finding the average amount of time a patient must wait from the moment they walk into a hospital or healthcare clinic until the time they can be seen by a healthcare professional.

KPI example: Decrease average patient wait time to 10 min by 31/12/2024

Bed Occupancy Rate

The bed occupancy rate measures the proportion of hospital beds in use at any one time. Bed occupancy is a good indication of a hospital's ability to provide safe and effective treatments to patients.

Therefore, bed occupancy is a great KPI for measuring operational and capacity objectives. Once the KPI is measured and tracked, healthcare providers can estimate whether or not more space and beds are needed.

KPI example: Decrease bed occupancy rates to 82% by 10/11/2024

Average Hospital Stay

Just as the name implies, this KPI tracks the average length of time patients stay in the hospital. While this metric is very useful, it's also very general—using average hospital stay as a single KPI to track all the different categories of stay in your facility won't prove to be very helpful.

The recovery from heart surgery will almost always be a longer stay than a patient who underwent cataract surgery. Instead, this KPI should be broken up and used for each category of stay. After some analysis of the results, healthcare facilities will be able to create a target length of stay for each category.

KPI example: Maintain the average hospital stay for shoulder arthroplasty of 2 days by 31/12/24

Staff-To-Patient Ratio

This indicator measures the number of staff resources present to attend to the patients in a hospital over a certain period of time. This KPI may require different ratios for different periods, such as morning shift vs. night shift, and should be broken up accordingly.

The staff-to-patient ratio is a good indicator for business objectives that aim to improve the quality of patient care, as well as improve workforce sustainability. A higher staff-to-patient ratio implies a greater capacity to provide treatment and care to patients.

KPI example: Increase the staff-to-patient ratio to 1:4 by 01/06/24

Medical equipment utilization 

This KPI measures the percentage of time that medical equipment is used during a given period. It’s important because high utilization rates indicate that expensive medical equipment is being used effectively, which can help reduce costs and improve patient outcomes.

KPI example: Increase medical equipment utilization by 15% by 31/12/2023

Patient Room Turnover Rate

This KPI measures the amount of time it takes to prepare a hospital room for the next patient after the previous patient has been discharged. A high turnover rate indicates that the facility is effectively managing patient flow and minimizing the time between patient discharges and admissions, while a low turnover rate may indicate inefficiencies in the facility's operations or staffing.

KPI example: Reduce patient room turnover rate to 30 minutes by 31/12/2023


Patient Drug Costs Per Stay

This KPI measures the average cost of drugs for each patient during their stay in a healthcare facility. It’s important because drug costs can have a significant impact on overall healthcare costs, and tracking this metric can help healthcare providers to identify ways to reduce costs while still providing high-quality care.

KPI example: Reduce patient drug costs per stay by 10% by 31/12/2023 

Operating Cash Flow

This KPI measures the amount of cash generated by a healthcare organization's operations. It’s important because it reflects the financial health of the organization and its ability to invest in new equipment, facilities, and staff.

KPI example: Increase operating cash flow by 20% by 31/12/2024 

Net Profit Margin

This KPI measures the percentage of revenue that a healthcare facility retains as profit after accounting for all expenses, including overhead costs, salaries, and supplies. It’s important because it reflects the financial health and profitability of the healthcare facility.

KPI example: Increase net profit margin by 3% by 31/12/2024

Average Treatment Charge

The average treatment charge measures the amount of money a hospital or healthcare facility charges each patient for their treatment. This KPI is a great indicator of how effective and efficient your hospital's treatments are.

The KPI can be either measured in terms of an individual treatment fee or in the form of an average treatment fee taken from all the patients during a certain amount of time. The average treatment charge is a good measure of business objectives relating to reducing hospital costs.

KPI example: Reduce treatment charges of delivering a baby to $3,000 by 30/06/24

Permanent Employee Wages

The cost of permanent employee wages is an extremely important KPI to measure for every healthcare provider. Human resources represent a large portion of costs for most organizations and keeping track is vital.

While employee wages are an expense to healthcare providers, the expense also comes with an anticipated benefit. Fair compensation increases employee satisfaction and loyalty. Blindly working to decrease this figure may also end up decreasing the benefit it provides. Before creating your KPI for employee wages, consideration should be given to how this will impact the organization.

To measure this indicator, calculate the wages paid to all the full-time employed workers during a specific period of time. Permanent employee wages is a useful KPI for business objectives around business costs and budgeting.

KPI example: Increase the budget for permanent employee wages to $2,000,000 by 30/04/24

Average Insurance Claim Processing Time and Cost

This can be calculated by finding the mean of the total time and total cash spent by a hospital on insurance claims. A low amount denotes that the hospital gets the payment faster and there are low charges on treatment fees.

KPI example: Reduce average insurance processing time by 20% by 31/12/2024

Claims Denial Rate

The purpose of using this quantifiable indicator is to check out the efficiency of the revenue cycle of a hospital. A decreased rate shows that a hospital gives more time to taking care of its patients than utilizing time on keeping the documents or doing the paperwork.

KPI example: Reduce claims denial rate by 15% by 31/12/2024

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Revenue leakage

KPIs that fall under this category will help you identify lost income opportunities and create action plans to decrease revenue leakage. 

Readmission rate

This KPI measures the percentage of patients who are readmitted to a healthcare facility within a certain period of time after being discharged. It’s important because it can indicate the quality of care provided by the healthcare facility. High readmission rates may suggest that patients are not receiving adequate care or that there are gaps in the healthcare system that need to be addressed. By reducing readmission rates, healthcare providers can improve patient outcomes and reduce costs associated with rehospitalization.

KPI example: Reduce readmission rate by 15% by 31/12/2024

Canceled appointments due to patients not showing up

This KPI measures the number or percentage of appointments that are canceled by patients without advance notice. It’s important because it can hurt the efficiency and revenue of a healthcare facility. By tracking this KPI, healthcare providers can identify trends in patient behavior and take steps to reduce the number of cancellations.

KPI example: Reduce canceled appointments due to patients not showing up by 20% by 31/12/2023 

Outbound referrals due to unsupported specializations

This KPI measures the number or percentage of patients who are referred to another healthcare provider or facility because the provider does not have the necessary specialization or expertise to treat the patient's condition. It is important because it can impact patient satisfaction and outcomes. 

By tracking this KPI, healthcare providers can identify gaps in their services and take steps to address them.

KPI example: Reduce outbound referrals due to unsupported specializations by 10% by 31/12/2023

Rescheduled appointments due to provider unavailability

This KPI measures the number or percentage of appointments that are rescheduled because the provider is unavailable to see the patient at the scheduled time. 

By tracking this KPI, healthcare providers can identify scheduling issues and take actionable steps to improve their availability or communication with patients. 

KPI example: Reduce rescheduled appointments due to provider unavailability by 15% by 31/12/2023

Internal Processes

Training per department

Training per department measures the total amount of training provided to the workers of each department, or the total amount of training possessed by the employees as a whole.

KPI example: Increase training per department to 8 per month by 31/12/2024

Medication error rate

A medication error occurs when there is a failure in the treatment process that causes or is likely to cause harm to the patient. 

KPI example: Reduce mistake events to 5 per month by 31/12/2024

Patient confidentiality

This is a highly important indicator that measures the number of times patients' confidential or private information has been provided to an unapproved third party.

KPI example: Reduce patient confidentiality breaches to 0 by 31/12/2024

Number of partnerships with advocacy groups

This indicator is used to measure the number of partnerships a hospital holds with other organizations. A high value in this indicator implies a greater positive influence from campaigns and events held by the hospital.

KPI example: Increase partnerships to 25 by 31/12/2024

📚Recommended read: How To Implement Effective Strategic Planning in Healthcare

How to Track KPIs With Cascade? 

Cascade is the ultimate strategy execution platform that empowers healthcare organizations to execute their strategies flawlessly. Our powerful tool comes with a range of features, including extensive KPI dashboards, real-time data integration, and analytics capabilities. 

“Cascade is helping us solve our problem of having "too many priorities." It’s also helping us be able to visually map out our tactics and actions to achieve system-wide initiatives. It also gives our executives visibility into all the work being done at the hospital level in one centralized platform.” - G2 reviewer

Whether you’re an executive manager, CFO, or head of operations, Cascade provides the tools you need to make data-driven decisions and achieve your business objectives. 

👉Here’s how you can track KPIs in Cascade: 

1.  Get your free healthcare strategy plan template 

Sign up for Cascade and access your free template. The template will help you define your healthcare business goals, objectives, and KPIs to measure success. 

Here’s a preview of your template: 

healthcare strategy plan template

More related templates: 

2.  Customize your data

While the Cascade template comes pre-filled with examples, you have the power to customize your data and performance metrics to ensure they are relevant to your specific business needs.

3.  Integrate Cascade with your data sources

With Cascade, you have two options to track your KPIs: manually and automatically

The latter option is far more efficient, as it simplifies data collection and ensures you're working with accurate and up-to-date data. 

By integrating Cascade with your favorite business tools, such as Excel, Google Sheets, or Power BI, you can easily import your KPI data and keep your team in the loop. 

No more worrying about manual data entry or inaccuracies—let Cascade take care of the hard work for you.

4.  Bring in your team

Send an invite to your team members to collaborate on shared KPIs and ensure everyone is on the same page. 

With Cascade, you can assign roles and responsibilities, set up notifications, and communicate with your retail teams in one place.

5.  Start tracking performance with the dashboards and reports

Cascade's powerful dashboards provide real-time visibility into your KPIs and allow you to quickly identify areas that need attention. 

With customizable widgets and drag-and-drop features, you can easily visualize and analyze key metrics to improve revenue management and operational efficiency.

Healthcare KPIs dashboard cascade

Need to explain the “why” behind your key KPIs? 

Using Cascade's strategy reports, you can choose a set of data and add context to it. By providing this context, your stakeholders will be able to make informed and data-driven decisions. 

Healthcare KPI Report cascade

You can customize the reports to fit your specific needs, and drill down into the underlying reasons behind your financial performance. 

📚Recommended reads:

Optimize Costs and Patient Care With Cascade 🚀

It’s no longer enough to be patient-centered to run a healthcare organization. Leadership teams need to be laser-focused on revenue and strategic management to ensure financial stability and operational efficiency. 

While many organizations still rely on spreadsheets and disconnected analytics tools, this won’t cut it today. The healthcare industry is too competitive, and the best healthcare providers are always on the lookout. 

This is where Cascade can help you. 

Cascade is the world’s #1 strategy execution platform that offers powerful reporting tools so you can stay on top of your performance and adapt your business strategy when needed. By consolidating all business data in one place with real-time updates, you get a precise understanding of your financial and operational performance.

Ready to take it for a spin? Start today with a free forever plan or book a 1:1 product tour with Cascade’s in-house strategy expert. 

Free Template Download our free Healthcare Strategy Template Download this template

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