At the end of every year, we get ready for a rush. We cancel meetings, try not to start new projects, and maybe bring in lunch. We know it is going to be busy and we do our best to get ready. This year I felt good about our preparations, but we were much busier than I anticipated. For some reason, my patients are procrastinators. Many have Flexible Spending Account dollars all year long and wait until Christmas to start thinking about it. And we do our very best to help them all out.
True story from my practice
Monday, December 30 was our last FULL day in the office for the year (we opened for a half day on New Year's Eve). The schedule was full, full, full. I was fighting to keep up. This is the kind of day where all of the patients seem to be in holiday party mode and want to talk about football, trips and grandkids. And I make it worse, because that's what I want to talk about too.
So when two "walk-ins" showed up on the books, I almost blew a gasket. But the staff was ready. They watched me come to the realization that they were new patients, they had been waiting too long and were not originally on the schedule. I felt my blood pressure go up, gritted my teeth and said, "Come on guys! What the ......"
I was stopped and Aerial explained, "This is a neurologist and his wife from North Carolina. They are visiting family and need to spend all of their Flex Money today by getting some new glasses and contacts. So we made the call to work them in."
I stopped, complimented the wise decision and smiled as I entered the room to greet my new friends. My staff never fails to impress me.
I haven't had time to really look at it yet, but I think the two biggest days of 2013 were the last two. I would love to hear how your year ended.
Now onto 2014
This is the time of year for New Beginnings and a renewed dedication to what matters most. The biggest unknown for all healthcare providers is the new Affordable Care Act. While I am certainly not an expert on the topic, I do think it will be both good and bad for our practices. But I know that we need to keep our eyes up for changes that will be affecting our practices and we need to be ready. I will be sharing with you what I learn.
It is very likely that you do not have a budget for the upcoming year and it is time to get one. This is the most neglected aspect in the practice management realm. A budget is a very basic executive tool that is a first step in giving you control of your practice. Without it, you are just giving money to anybody who asks for it.
To help you out, we are offering limited access to our online Budgeting Tool. You can use it to enter historic data to measure how you are doing and projected data so you can better control your expenses. Please use it!
Last year, Leadership OD held its first educational event as an experiment and plan to expand the program this year. While we got a great response to our Executive Retreats, the biggest impact came from the lessons through the BluePrint program and the Strategic Escapes.Here are some highlights from last year.
Leadership OD Membership Program:
At one of the Strategic Escape events, the members came up with the idea of a Premium Level Membership Program. So we begin a beta testing a Membership Program and are now ready to offer that benefit to you.
For $200 a month, Leadership OD Membership includes a personal username and login with access to all of our products and services. The secure membership page will give you ongoing access to your BluePrint program and all of its features, like the Executive Summary and the Responsibility Grid. Our online tools will be unlocked so you can archive entries to your budget and your marketing calculators.
Leadership OD Members will have special registration rates at all of our events. Registration for the Executive Retreat and all webinars will be absolutely free for all Leadership OD members.
Other benefits include access to our team of consultants with an online call scheduler and regularly scheduled Face 2 Face online group discussions. Availability to our collection of resources that have helped us in our practices.
Basically, we want the Leadership OD program to be a place where you can go when you need some extra support.
2014 will be a year of New Beginnings. I look forward to continuing to build these programs and working with you to move you toward your Ideal Practice setting.
Happy New Year,