In stressful times like the current COVID-19 challenge we are all dealing with, I wanted to write about some of the things we can do with our practices. Some of these ideas come from Tom Peters, the famous management consultant. Here is my list.
Go to work earlier and stay later. You can work on your practice rather than in your practice. You may not have as many patients as normal, so work on your systems. That way, when things become closer to normal again, you are ready to explode your practice. Evaluate your marketing plan, staff members and how you train/develop them, EHR and treatment equipment, practice growth capacity blocks, clinical skills, patient management skills, office culture, and your vision of your practice going forward. We have been doing office strategic planning with Aileron (Aileron.org) for the past year and have re-evaluated EVERYTHING in our office. It is actually a fun and productive exercise and has been great for our office in so many areas.
Dig deep to bring your A game clinically and for the office, with a great attitude! If your attitude starts to sour, then fake it.
Take better care of yourself and encourage your patients and staff to do the same. Your staff is critical to your success, so make sure they know you care about them, always, but especially now.
Forget about the “good old days.” Nostalgia is self-destructive and boring. No stress related excess spending. Simplify things to be lean and mean and pay very close attention to the details. Maintain excellence no matter what. Stay connected to, and network with, people who do not bring you down by telling you the “sky is falling.” Avoid negative people!
Behave kindly, but do not sugarcoat or hide the truth. Humans are resilient, and rumors are spirit killers. Celebrate small success and build momentum. Have thick skin and shrug off the losses. Leave the blame game at the front door.
Understand that once you get through these rough times, there will be more rough times down the road. Learn from what you have done right and wrong in handling this challenge. I am not sugar coating the current situation. It is tough, but you can be tougher.
Mark A. King, D.C.
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written from both a clinical and business perspective to help you grow your skills and your practice!