April 8, 2022 | Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA

3 min read

When a Plan Comes Together: Set SMART Goals for Your Rehab Therapy Clinic

A plan is only as good as the objective on which it is focused. Without the presence of a clear and simple objective, however, a plan can lead down any path.

The good news is that you’re guaranteed to arrive somewhere. The bad news? You’ll have very little chance of arriving somewhere productive when your goals haven’t been clearly defined.

In fact, regardless of the size or scope of the goals you have for your rehab therapy practice, it should start with a simple objective or set of objectives. These should be clearly outlined and fully understood by everyone involved before planning commences and you start committing time and resources.

And, as with objectives used in the care of our physical, occupational and speech therapy clients, each goal should follow the SMART formula by maintaining the following qualities:

  • Specific: Make your goals as clear and specific as possible so everyone on board understands the direction.
  • Measurable: Ensure you have a way of tracking your goal. This includes ways of assessing progress and knowing when you’ve achieved your objective.
  • Attainable: Is your objective reasonable and based on solid research? Avoid pie-in-the-sky goals.
  • Relevant: Is achieving this objective going to truly benefit your practice, your patients and/or your staff? Will it improve an outcomes-based or bottom-line issue?
  • TimeBased: By when would you like to achieve this objective? Setting a target date helps with planning and serves to motivate those involved.

The absence of any of these characteristics will likely result in planning objectives that are limited in scope and application. Following this formula, however, will actually help motivate and empower your team, ensuring better buy-in toward your final goals.

Let’s look at some examples of good objectives vs. bad based on common issues many rehab therapy clinics may encounter.


Bad: We need to increase referrals to our physical therapy practice.

Good: We will recognize 10 new client referrals from Hometown Orthopedics in the month of October
in order to support our practice through necessary volume growth.


Bad: We need to increase revenue.

Good: We will increase our revenue by 10% in the calendar year 2022 (compared with 2021) by reducing cancellations and no-shows by 50%.


Bad: We must implement an online marketing strategy.

Good: We will raise our online Google Review online rating from 3.9 to 4.5 stars by the end of the year by both improving patient outcomes and better communicating with patients following their plans of care.

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