New Year’s Resolutions for Your Medical Practice

If you haven’t made any professional resolutions, consider having your clinic make them for you.

All over the world when the clock struck midnight, bringing us into 2013, people made personal and professional resolutions. If you haven’t made any professional resolutions, consider having your clinic make them for you - it is not too late.

A fun way to set goals for yourself and your office staff is to hold a staff meeting to determine what the goals for 2013 should be for the office. Encourage each staff member to contribute one to three goals.  If you operate a larger clinic, divide the office into its departments and have each department come up with resolutions for the upcoming year. When you divide up into departments, make sure the department heads get together to form a collective list for the clinic.

Asking staff members to come up with a few realistic goals makes them a part of the success of the clinic and gives them a feeling of a personal responsibility for the completion of each goal. It is OK if some of the goals are things like “the lab will work harder to get along with the nurses” but make sure that the majority of the goals are measurable and patient centric. A good example is “decrease waiting room time for patients by 10 percent” or “increase per patient contribution by XX dollars” or “place follow-up calls to each patient who comes in with an acute illness.”

Grab large paper pads (the kind that sit on a stand) or dry-erase boards to brainstorm with the staff and come up with the lists. To prevent rushing, give your staff/providers a heads up a few days before the meeting to prepare their resolutions. Appoint one person to be the person in charge of putting all of the ideas into either legible poster handwriting or spend a few dollars to make posters at your local print shop. Hang them in the break room, so that people are frequently reminded of them.

One key item to remember is to meet every month or so and put these resolutions back on the agenda to see how you are progressing. As the resolution goals are reached, plan to reward the staff/providers with a fun (doesn’t have to be fancy) reward for completing their goals.

What will your resolutions be?