As I have established Holistic Practice Management (HPM), I have laid out various points of methodology that help make HPM valuable in the marketplace and in your practices. In this article I am going to be presenting one of the most important tenants that make HPM so successful.
That is Continuous Improvement!
Without this, you would not be able to accomplish your goals and you certainly would not accomplish the overall year in year out practice goals. Like I have stated throughout this HPM series, business is fluid and you have to change with market conditions so you provide the needed value add to your patients, employees (human capital), and yourself (owner).
To adopt a continuous improvement methodology you first have to have your practice Culture buy into the change. Secondly, you must have the Motivation in wanting your practice to change. Lastly, you have to have constant Learning throughout your practice.
I will address each topic and show you how to achieve them so you can adopt continuous improvement in your practice.
Practice culture is something that is very delicate.
If you have the wrong culture that is not implemented properly from the leadership then it will reflect in the services you provide to the patients.
It is a delicate symbiotic relationship that has to be nurtured in the right manner so everyone in your office achieves the overall goals laid out in the beginning of the year.
This culture is achieved from the leadership.
You need to have buy in from the top so everyone is on the same page when it comes to decisions regarding your practice. Achieving this top down approach can be difficult if you have never done this but it has to take place in order for the practice to succeed. You also need to be flexible in your approach.
The marketplace can change so rapidly and you have to be adaptable in your tactics. As the great Mike Tyson once said “Everyone has a game plan until they are hit.”
Never be static in your approach because it can have intended and unintended consequences overall to your practice. You need the urgency to improve every second you are involved in your practice. This urgency will then spill into your culture!
The next way to have continuous improvement is the motivation you have for your practice.
If you do not show the commitment for your patients and staff, then how can you be successful?
People see the motivation through the desire you have when you care for a patient’s eye health. Employees see this from how you handle them and the patients. You have to have full engagement so you can show your motivation.
I love to see people explain to me their loves in life, be it personal/professional, you get to see that shine in their eyes when they are telling you about how it will be successful.
That is why motivation is a key to continuous improvement! Now understandably this is not something that will change overnight. You have to have that urgency within you to make that change to become a better owner. This will then filter down to your staff and then it will filter down into the patients you are seeing.
Lastly to achieve continuous improvement, you have to have learning.
This is a really simple statement, but most people miss this part.
I have met numerous practice owners that think they have it all figured out. They know how to be successful, and no one can tell them otherwise. The truth is, if you do everything else but don’t continue to learn, then you are missing the point of continuous improvement.
You have to have ongoing learning so that you can be successful.
When you understand that you will always need to keep learning, you can then start to experiment and test ideas that will make your practice better. You have to have an approach of “learning by doing” so you can flesh these ideas out and provide you with a proof of concept that, if successful, can be implemented throughout your practice.
Patients have various choices in who they trust their eye health with. You have to differentiate your value and services so you can keep them as patients. Knowing this continuous improvement will help you show that value.
Have a Culture change, practice Motivation, and keep Learning within your practice. Never be complacent with where you are at and have a sense of urgency for the practice that you run. If you can do that, then everything will fall into place.