Must-have key performance indicators to improve senior living operations

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Joshua Malbogat
Joshua Malbogat

Do you have key performance indicators and benchmarks for your organization?

In most cases, the answer is a resounding yes – when it comes to the financial and clinical side of the business. But what if the question is expanded out to the non-clinical areas such as maintenance and housekeeping?

The expansion of benchmarking and the creation of KPIs for these areas is all part of the shift away from the firefighter model of rushing from emergency to emergency and decision-making based on “That's what we did last year” toward a planned approach to operations. This shift is essential as areas such as maintenance and housekeeping are integral to the strategic goals of a senior living community.

In the past, the excuse has been that it's too difficult to collect the data, but with the maintenance management systems available today, data and KPIs no longer are out of reach for operations professionals.

To get started, here are five must-have KPIs that you can use to gauge your performance and empower your team to improve operational efficiency.

1. Volume of work / task per resident unit

How much work is being completed per resident unit? You can calculate this KPI by dividing your total number of work orders by total number of resident units to better understand if you have issues you need to pay attention to.

Industry average: 18 work orders per resident unit / year

2. Average response time

Have you ever wondered what your average response time is to your residents' requests? This number, calculated from the average number of days from date of request to completion date, can help you gauge your overall responsiveness.

Industry average: 3.8 average days open per work order / year

3. Time spent per work order

What is the average time spent on a work order within your department? This information is useful to set benchmarks for improving your efficiency. Time spent per work order can be calculated by dividing the total time tracked by the number of work orders with labor time. This can get really interesting if you start to drill into time spent on specific types of jobs (for instance, how long to change a light bulb – industry average here is 27 minutes).

Industry average: 1 hour and 10 minutes per work order

4. On-time completion percentage

Your on-time completion rate can tell you much about the quality of your team's work and even resident satisfaction. This percentage comes from dividing the total number of work orders completed on time with the total number of work orders. Depending on your number, you may want to tout a high percentage to administration or create new processes to improve a lower percentage.

Industry average: 76% done on time

5. Overdue severity

How do you concretely show how much of your work is overdue and for how long it is typically overdue? This KPI comes from dividing the total days overdue by the number of overdue work orders to get an average of days overdue. Look at how much you're overdue when you are, so you know how big of a gap you need to address to reduce overdue work.

Industry average: 3.4 days overdue

Let data do the work

The nice thing about these data points is they do the difficult work for you of figuring out where your community's operations stand today, as well as what you can achieve tomorrow.

When you have a reliable system where you can easily input your daily work order data, it can make viewing and acting on these KPIs a simple part of your weekly or monthly routine. In addition, looking for a system that can share industry-wide numbers next to yours will allow you to benchmark your performance against other communities.

With KPIs such these at your fingertips, you'll have the information to:

  • Petition your administration for more resources
  • Make data-driven decisions when it comes to repairing or replacing assets
  • Better contribute to your capital plan and budgeting process
  • Monitor your staff's productivity and performance on a daily, weekly, monthly and / or annual basis
  • Positively effect resident satisfaction

Make this year the best one yet for your department and community as a whole by diving into your operational KPIs and using them to make a lasting impact.

Josh Malbogat is a senior director for TheWorxHub by Dude Solutions and has worked with more than 1,000 senior living communities in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom throughout his career. Specializing in operations challenges unique to senior living communities, Malbogat offers perspectives on strategies to increase resident satisfaction, improve productivity, mitigate risk and achieve compliance. He frequently speaks at industry conferences on topics ranging from benchmarking to housekeeping, with an emphasis on senior living and operational excellence.

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