The Business of Caring:  Balancing the Checkbook with Compassion

 

By Susan Fink Childs
December 10, 2020

How do we keep compassion while creating policies and processes? This can be most certainly one of the most daunting parts of being an administrator and physician. Make no mistake about it, we are a business. To relay compassion while keeping the lights on is truly an art. Add to the challenge that managers are often powerless in controlling certain expenses, and the task seems even more daunting.


Controlling the cost of healthcare continues to be a challenge. For the past twenty-five years, as we have gone through managed care and other health initiatives to save money, we continue to be the number one nation in cost when comparing health expenditures of developed countries as a percentage of gross domestic product.


Due to heightened consumerism, a business is now also how patients view us, as just another commodity that can be replaced with a newer model!!! In a service where people may not be comfortable comparison shopping, sometimes we are seen similarly to any other service industry. But when they need us, they really need us … and as soon as possible.


Your practice will be compared to other practices that patients may or may not perceive offering the same services and purchase contingent upon their preference. It is now a competition along with compassion. The most important thing to remember is the power of your practice, and how your uniqueness is actively and visibly conveyed to staff, patients, and communities!


How can your practice express its individual value with a personalized meaning to prospective patients? Most of this is common sense. Having a giving heart and business savvy is certainly a great jumping-off point. Authenticity shows.


And Remember, Work Is Creative


Taken as a whole, your staff members are professionals who want their abilities and skills to be used to the ultimate potential. We all want our best and most unique talents to shine and be recognized!


We also want to build an aware and high-performance team where being creative also means thinking about fringe ideas. These can at times be risky but that is also their strength, and when it works it is remarkable! It also stands a better chance of being noticed because it is so different.


Our patients rely upon us to offer the most up to date technologies and connections with information that can affect their lives. We want each staff member to communicate with patients in the most impactful and engaging way, at every level of care.


Change can take longer for some than others, especially when they have already established core assumptions and traditional values. We can blend the best of both. The great counterpart is that we are able to support forward thinking that is positive, which helps engage patients and staff members as we gain professional growth.


Thinking about the message that we choose to relay when we ask a staff member to complete a task can make a big difference! For example, “We have to collect more or there may not be any raises this year,” compared to, “If we are able to collect at least 80 percent of our goal, we will probably get good raises!” Let your goals become theirs in an upbeat way.


One manager continually sets the goal based upon the best employees, so they continue to improve. Staff members become more invested when it’s more personal. One physician said to me that no matter the commission percentage, the practice typically recognizes more income than may have originally been anticipated. That makes sense!


Hold that carrot out! Invite, and many will go for it! We like bonuses for performance, why not others too? Adding healthy competition helps keep the momentum going. And when given the choice, people usually select reward over repercussion. engage patients and staff members as we gain professional growth.


There’s nothing wrong with a little incentive that takes someone a step further. It also may help some in realizing they can do more.


Thinking about the message that we choose to relay when we ask a staff member to complete a task can make a big difference! For example, “We have to collect more or there may not be any raises this year,” compared to, “If we are able to collect at least 80 percent of our goal, we will probably get good raises!” Let your goals become theirs in an upbeat way.


One manager continually sets the goal based upon the best employees, so they continue to improve. Staff members become more invested when it’s more personal.


There’s nothing wrong with a little incentive that takes someone a step further. It also may help some in realizing they can do more. One physician said to me that no matter the commission percentage, the practice typically recognizes more income than may have originally been anticipated. That makes sense!


Hold that carrot out! Invite, and many will go for it! We like bonuses for performance, why not others too? Adding healthy competition helps keep the momentum going. And when given the choice, people usually select reward over repercussion.



Excerpted from Susan Fink Child’s new book, “Common Nonsense? A Practical Guide to Managing Through Emotional Intelligence.”
https://evohcc.com/common-nonsense/
https://25andy.com/product/common-nonsense-bundle/

 

 

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