The old saying “change is the only constant” seems to become more relevant every year. Whether so much change is considered good or bad is at least partly dependent on attitude. It’s more difficult to have a positive attitude toward change that we have little control over, such as government mandates (HIPAA, MIPS, etc.) and EHR software upgrades. On the other hand, improvements that you control can add interest or even excitement for you, your staff and your patients.
Changing Things Up
Keep things fresh in your practice by periodically changing the areas of the business that you and your staff are focusing on and the rewards that you share with them. Keep patients and the entire staff appraised of new products you are offering. Refresh the appearance of your facility in some way every 5 years. Add new equipment, services and staff when appropriate. All of these changes require effort, but show your commitment to being on the leading edge.
Whether it’s something as simple as changing the goals you and your staff are working toward or as complex as moving to a new location, these tried and true strategies will improve performance in your practice by leveraging the positive psychology of change.
- Improve attitudes. Lead by example and project a positive attitude toward changes you need to make including those that you have little control over.
- Enhance abilities. Lack of knowledge is a primary reason why people resist change. Educate your staff and your patients in advance of change to increase acceptance.
- Shift the social norm. Rather than allowing some to fall back to the old, habitual way, reinforce the need for the change to become the “new normal”.
- Make incremental changes when necessary. Breaking a complex change into smaller steps allows for small successes along the way and bolsters positive attitudes.
- Eliminate the barriers. Encourage feedback from staff and patients during transition periods and address the obstacles that are standing in the way of success.