The question for 2012 is: What will you choose to focus on in your practice?
Now that 2011 is behind us, I think we can look back and say that it was a rocky, up and down, transition type of year for many of us. For me, I went through several transitions in my practice - first changing to no insurance and then next, changing from a traditional type practice to a new mobile practice model.
I can tell you this - 2012 already feels different. There is positive energy in the air. As an integrative medicine doctor, I widely accept and believe in energy healing and I can tell you that the energy has shifted with this change in year. 2012 is about positivity, fresh starts, and rejuvenation.
The question truly becomes: What will you choose to focus on in your practice? Certainly there will be those among us who choose to pay attention to the negative and view their practice through the lens of half-empty. But, I believe that 2012 is about changing your perspective.
Here are my top 10 items I think you should choose to focus on in the new year:
1. Connections with Your Patients: Above all else, this is the heart of medicine - for far too long we have been focused on the pill or the surgery or the protocol. Put those things aside this year and instead focus on developing strong and meaningful connections with all of your patients.
2. Social Media Integration: 2012 represents a fantastic opportunity to truly become a social media wizard. Start your blog, get your Facebook fan page fired up, and start making some YouTube videos. The more you spread your personal message, the better.
3. Show Your Vulnerability More: Patients want us to be human, to make mistakes but then apologize for them. The more we become vulnerable in front of our patients, the more human we are and that only leads to more trust.
4. Innovate One Thing: At least one area of your practice needs a make-over or even a do-over. Now is the perfect time to innovate and try something brand new
5. Slow Down: In this crazy health insurance environment the squeeze is to either super-size or downsize - join a large group/ hospital/ corporate structure or go completely solo. No matter which direction you go, try slowing down instead of speeding up.
6. Embrace the Digital Landscape: Do you e-mail with your patients, use Skype, or even text message? Have you purchased an iPad but don’t know how to make it work for you. Now is the time to get going and make the automated software out there work for you.
7. Start a Blog: While Facebook and YouTube are great tools, far and away, blogging helps you more than anything else. By writing about health and your personal views on health and well-being you will not only help your patients learn more about you, you will learn more about yourself from the writing process
8. Work Flow Efficiency: Far too many doctors do not spend enough time tweaking how efficient they can be with their work flow. So much time is wasted in the hallways and exam rooms when it could be used more efficiently. Don’t you want to get home at the end of the day?
9. Say Yes: Practice saying only yes - the more you do so, you will find that yes is always a choice for you. 2011 was about saying no; 2012 is about saying yes.
10. Leave The Room Brighter: I always liked the saying about leaving the room a little bit brighter than when you entered. Make 2012 your year to exit all of your rooms a little bit brighter.
I wish you and your family and your practice a very Happy New Year! This really will be the best year yet for all of us!
Find out more about Craig Koniver and our other Practice Notes bloggers.