Physician, heal thy practice!

I work with doctors. Together we create their ideal practice. Not one physician has ever approached me saying, “I want to create a practice where I consistently run an hour or more behind schedule,” or “My ideal practice is one where my office manager quits every two to three years and I have to start over with someone new,” or “I just love to lose my temper and make my staff cry and refuse to do their work.”  Healthcare providers are by and large, good, decent people, who are attracted to medicine because they want to take care of patients, and provide healing to the world. In the craziness of today’s healthcare landscape, that simple truth has been obscured for many providers.

Truth is, despite the ever changing demands, things are essentially quite predictable. Sometimes that is good, sometimes not so much. Regardless of your intention, your practice takes on a rhythm of its own. Like your patients, when problems are ignored, your practice can develop chronic issues.  Those little irritants, just below the surface, haven’t been addressed usually because you just haven’t had the time and energy, you don’t know what to do about them, or they’ve fallen off your radar buried among the other many competing priorities. As you tell your patients, don’t ignore the signs and symptoms.  They will only get worse, more difficult, and more costly to treat. Your practice deserves to be run with intention. Give yourself permission to take a moment. You will find it’s well worth the time and effort.

Begin by asking yourself a few questions.

  • Are you satisfied with the way things are going or is it time for an updated plan?
  • What have your trends been over the last 1, 5, 10, 20, or 30 years?
  • What have you done well?
  • Are you creating systems and strategies to capitalize on your strengths?
  • What kinds of things have been neglected?
  • What are the mistakes you have made? Have you learned from them and grown, or are you predictably and regularly repeating the same ones?
  • Do you have the right people in the right places, on board?
  • How are you attracting your team?
  • How are you developing and retaining them?

Take the time to regularly review how your practice is running. Be smart enough to know what you enjoy doing and what you do well.  Surround yourself with energetic and capable team players who will help you with the rest.  Capitalize on the wealth of their knowledge and the value of their engaged perspectives. Create the type of environment that attracts productivity, health, and healing. Together you can do this!

What are you doing to improve your practice? I’d love to hear from you!

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Written by: Terry Hoffmann

Terry Hoffmann specializes in partnering with physicians, executives, and teams to drive profitability, foster patient loyalty, enhance provider and staff engagement and satisfaction, and create high performance work cultures. Terry's educational background includes a Master's degree in counseling psychology from the University of North Florida and a Bachelor's of Science in psychology from Colorado State University. She is a board certified coach, and also credentialed through the International Coach Federation.