It is often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. This old adage can be applied most anywhere—including your practice. So why not switch things up this year, implement some real change, and get some real results? With the right frame of mind and a fresh, fearless outlook on improving your practice, 2016 could be your best year yet. Add these activities to your New Year’s resolutions and get things started off right!
Add Weekly Staff Meetings
Not holding weekly staff meetings? You may be thinking, “I see my staff all day, every day, why do I need to set aside extra time to meet with them”? Believe it or not, having a weekly meeting of the minds can help get things on the table that you and your staff members just don’t have time for during the workday. It also means that you’re taking the time to actively focus on improving your practice. Come to each meeting with specific topics to discuss and leave with takeaways for each staff member.
Each person in your practice sees things differently and this can be a very valuable asset, if you take advantage of it. Ask each member to bring one suggestion for improvement each week (consider areas such as workflow, patient handling, or communication). You’ll be amazed at what your staff members come up with that can improve your practice in ways you’ve never considered.
Take Intentional Time to Work On Your Practice
When you spend so much of your days working in your practice, it’s hard to find time to work on your practice, right? Of course, it is. Which is why you have to take intentionally the time to work on your practice. The time must be scheduled in and devoted wholly to work that needs to be done on your practice. Even if it’s just 30 minutes, you’ll likely discover some quick changes you can make that will have a noticeable impact.
For example, what does your waiting room say about you? Is it worn down and tattered? Does it have new issues of magazines, comfortable chairs, and cutting-edge self check-in technology? What about your finances? When was the last time you analyzed your cash flow? You could be sitting on a gold mine that is being slowly frittered away on unnecessary inventory and inconsistent billing processes.
Have you become complacent with your technology? How about your EHR software? Are you still working with old hardware and software that doesn’t adequately support you anymore? 2016 may be the perfect year to take on that update or software conversion. Pulling the trigger on big purchases and technology overhauls can be scary, but large leaps lead to large rewards. Often times those rewards come in the form of gained efficiencies that will free up more time for you to focus on you practice, not just in it.
Manage Your Marketing
If you haven’t gotten yourself aboard the social network train, it’s time to take your seat. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn continue to be some of the fastest growing social media platforms in the game. They are also some of the most economically intelligent and effective sources of free marketing available. Social media marketing campaigns can increase traffic to your website, strengthen patient engagement, increase practice recognition, help spur referrals, and improve patient loyalty. Although setting up your social media accounts can be daunting, the payoff is well worth the investment of time and effort.
Don’t let the ideas of constant management or posting keep you from getting on social media, either. At a minimum, set up Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages with a goal of at least one relevant image or bit of interesting information each week. This keeps you connected to your patients in between visits. In addition, their engagement with your online presence passively presents your content to their own networks and effortlessly expands your reach. This small amount of regular effort can pull in an unprecedented amount of new patients this year.
Learn a New Trick
It’s never too late to learn something new and a recently acquired skill or certification can help rejuvenate your enthusiasm for your day-to-day practice. Consider taking a business class to learn more about a subject you’re shaky on or find new streams of income through specific training in marketing. Consider joining the lucrative national registry for certified medical examiners (CMEs). By becoming a CME, you can make your practice a beacon for interstate truck and bus drivers looking to achieve their physical qualifications. This is a great opportunity to bring in additional income and also distribute your name among new public circles.
Reinvigorate your efforts, taking a fresh look at your practice, and this could be your best year yet. By adding new skills to your toolbox, increasing your social media activity, updating your waiting room and technology, and empowering your staff, you are taking small but impacting steps towards running your practice and connecting with your patients like never before.