Sikka Software works with thousands of practices across the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. As of this writing, 17,500 practices use Sikka Software’s applications, totaling over 19.3 million active patients in the Sikka Platform Cloud. The company processes approximately $4.5 billion worth of transactions a year. Sikka monitors vital animal health key performance indicators (KPIs) and tracks them in real time across all of our opt-in practices. Data is HIPAA and HITECH compliant and is free of animal hospital or client identifiers.
Sikka shares this data with veterinarians so they can benchmark their performance against hospitals across the nation using a variety of KPIs. With the secure data, animal hospitals can see how they compare to the national average, facilitating discovery regarding areas of strengths and weaknesses. Practices performing optimally are healthy, allowing the team to spend more time caring for animals and less time working on administrative tasks.
This article will focus on a subset of data, including new patient data and average charges per invoice and per pet. Data compares national average results from February 2016 to two points of contrast: January 2016, the preceding month, and February 2015. These are both important comparisons. Same month comparisons show changes to the hospital under the same seasonal constraints. Comparing two consecutive months allows for month-to-month growth comparison.
National Trends Animal Health KPI Ticker New Patients
Although January to February 2016 is only a small change in the number of new patients, comparing data to the previous year shows a sharp decrease of 12%. This indicates that significantly fewer new patients are entering animal hospitals across the nation.
National Trends Animal Health KPI Ticker New Clients
Although there are fewer new animals, the number of new clients has risen by 2%. This indicates that although there are new clients visiting the practice, they are bringing in fewer pets. In February 2015 there were, on average, 63 new clients and 92 new pets, a ratio of 1.46 pets per client. By comparison, in 2016 there were 64 new clients and 81 new pets, a ratio of 1.26. Fewer pets per person translate to more marketing and costs associated with maintaining the same caseload. This is because each account brings in less revenue to the hospital as there are, on average, fewer pets, so a higher volume of clients is needed.
National Trends Animal Health KPI Ticker Number of Patients Undergoing Anesthesia
There is a significant increase in the number of animals undergoing anesthesia. This indicates that more procedures are being performed overall at an average animal hospital. This is positive, as it indicates that more animals are receiving the treatment they require while increasing revenue to the animal hospital.
National Trends Animal Health KPI Average Pet Charge
The national average per pet charge has risen slightly, a 2% change over last year. This is in contrast to the average invoice charge which has remained essentially flat. So overall, there is a slight increase in revenue from a pet during the month, but individual invoice amounts have remained stagnant.
National Trends Animal Health KPI Ticker Average Charge per Invoice
Flat average charge per invoice indicates that there may be little or no increase in fees associated with providing veterinary care. Pricing veterinary services for the local market ensures that the animal hospital can remain healthy and pay for the equipment, supplies, and staff needed to provide optimal pet care. Animal hospitals should regularly examine their prices and set them based on their geographical regions, the services they specialize in and the market rates.
More new clients bringing in fewer pets result in more administrative, marketing and front desk interactions to provide care to a smaller group of animals. Also concerning, a plateau or a slight rise in fees may indicate that veterinarians are not regularly updating pricing for goods and services. Combined, these have the potential to create a significant negative impact on the financial health of an animal hospital.
Veterinarians should benchmark their February performance against this data to see how they compare and if they are facing these or other challenges in managing their animal hospital. Data allows for growth and goal-setting, where changes to the hospital can be measured and success can be quantified. Caring for animals involves significant administrative effort, however, with a strong understanding of practice analytics, administrative time can be reduced, as opportunities to improve clinic flow and financials quickly become evident.
Sikka Software facilitates healthy animal hospitals and healthy pets by measuring not only financial KPIs, but also fee setting, marketing return on investment (ROI) and compliance metrics. Veterinarians can learn more about these tools and request a free demo by visiting store.sikkasoft.com.
About Sikka Software
Sikka Software provides a platform for small and medium-sized business healthcare apps. The company’s products help healthcare providers and other small businesses optimize their business via a series of easy to use cloud-based applications. With over 32 apps built on Sikka Platform Cloud with over 17,500 installations, Sikka Software is the leader in the US Dental, Animal Health and Hearing Care markets. The company is now supporting a real-time optimization and information network with providers, patients, consultants, manufacturers and financial service provides.
A privately-held company, Sikka Software is headquartered in San Jose, California. More information may be found at www.sikkasoftware.com.
About the Author
Vijay Sikka is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sikka Software Corporation. Under Vijay’s leadership, Sikka Software Corporation has become the premier cloud-based business analytics and optimization platform company and a SaaS-based market leader for dental industry with a growing presence in the veterinary, optometry and audiology industries in the United States. Sikka Software Corporation has 17,500 installations and is experiencing strong growth and will be looking for investments to fund that growth.
Vijay is a healthcare informatics expert with more than 25 years of software development and quality experience, including large-scale projects with National Institutes of Health, Glaxo Smith Kline, Roche and UCSF affiliates. In 1996, Vijay founded IBrain Software, Inc., a business intelligence company that competed with Business Objects, Cognos etc., and served as IBrain CEO until its acquisition in 1998 by Entigen Corporation, that later became part of Roche. In 1999, he co-founded Bodha.com which later was acquired by Peregrine. Vijay’s book, Maximizing ROI in Software Development, was published in 2004 by Taylor and Francis International and is available for purchase from Amazon and other bookstores in hardcopy and for eBook readers. Vijay is a speaker and a continuing education registered provider in California.
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