Will 2017 Be the Same Old, Same Old?
People fear change. After all, if it isn’t broken why fix it? But many practice owners have trouble figuring out exactly what is “broken” – although they do know something isn’t working. Wanting to change how things are done is one thing, but executing the change can bring a halt to the best laid plans. Some things that require change involve selling or convincing the people involved to change behaviors or adapt new behaviors to bring about better results. Some things needing to be changed require money to pay for them, money that is not there.
Whether you need change to bring about modification in behavior of yourself and your staff or change that requires money like newer technology, you first must expand your belief about what is available in the areas of your life that can accelerate change.
One of the most difficult things to change is the old stories you play over and over again that help you disengage from change. Check the dialogue that you have with yourself for the following words: Can’t, won’t work, won’t like it, been there, done that, doesn’t work, tried already, patients will leave, staff will leave, it isn’t broke don’t fix it, it’s how we have always done it, it is too complicated…
It is really easy to kill change for the better when you don’t believe it will ever get better. How do you know you need change? Honestly ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I happy to come to the office in the morning?
How to bring about change:
1. Become a better leader. Get coaching or take classes. Revisit your practice Vision and Mission Statement. Don’t have one? It’s time to write it with your team.
2. Know your practice and the community better. Get a Community Overview report from Scott McDonald (https://doctordemographics.com/) and assess what is going on with your patient base. Has it changed? What can you do to improve the internal and external marketing of your practice?
3. Communicate regularly with your dental team. When was the last time you updated your Employee Policy Handbook? Do you have written job descriptions that are relevant to what people are doing in the practice and is there accountability and metrics for measuring employees’ work?
4. Show your team you care. Do you have productive, positive team meetings monthly and morning or evening huddles daily?
5. Giving feedback is critical to changing behavior. Are you doing regular Performance Reviews (not salary reviews) so you stay connected to your employees and communicate areas for improvement and work done well?
6. Look at your fees. Need money to improve your practice or pay bills? Are your standard fees current and are they going out on every claim? Have your fees analyzed if in doubt. Have you seen the latest outstanding insurance claim report? Have regular meetings with the people responsible for insurance processing and financial arrangements and collections. Stay connected to your business staff.
7. Address social media and respond kindly to online reviews and work to eliminate future poor reviews.
8. Get help from professional sources such as dental consultants and leadership coaches.
9. Identify your weak areas and put a plan of action in place to bring positive change in the New Year.
Need help? McKenzie Management has been helping dental practices with all of the above, with the goal of improving the practice by inspiring leadership and change for the better. Call today and start the New Year on a solid footing.
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