Retail stores are hoping for a busy week to salvage an otherwise dismal season. The cold and flu season is cranking up. Otherwise, the business community is pretty much in glide mode this week, as many people take off for one or more days, and many at work are on a mental vacation. Personally, I have a light week to relax, refresh, and think a bit about the 2007.
People need downtime. They are not machines, and cannot run flat out forever. They may be present, but they aren’t working. I worked for an organization which had a weekly partners meeting on Thursday morning. My week revolved around that meeting. I’dl work hard Friday, then rev up and push through Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the last day completing the weekly financial report. Thursday morning was the meeting,and the rest of the morning was devoted to organizing for the following week, doing some reading (business journals, etc). I had a client once, the CEO of a communiity hospital, who set aside one day a month to spend in the library (pre-Internet era) reading and thinking. Away from the distractions of the workplace, he found that he let his mind go. Bill Gates is known for going away once a year for several days, taking a briefcase full of memos, to read and think about in a hassle free environment. Personally, I find that my seminar trips are a good time to just think. I’m away from home and office, I don’t carry much with me, so projects are left behind. What I do pack are back issues of magazines unread – Fast Company, Business 2.0, Wired. When I can get Internet access (such as the hotel), I can go through back emails from various publications and companies, and check through websites that I don’t get to very often.
Today, I encourage alll of you to schedule time for one of the most important jobs a manager has: planning for the future. This week is a good tiime to really plan out your major projects for the year. Pay for Performance is coming in July with a monetary incentive – will you participate? Income will probably be flat, unless you do something different. What are your options? Do you really understand where you make the highest profit – can you do more of that?
The best way to grow a professional practice is for you to earn a profit from the people who work for you. Start planning now to be able to add a physician or nurse practitioner in by July, 2008. Set a plan to build a full practice that will support a new clinician. Look at doing some lab work or diagnostic testing in your practice. Adding $5 in income per patient visit (on average) can add $25,000 or more in revenue to your practice – much of that as profit. A second location only pays if the first location doesn’t have enough business. Would a better strategy be to recruit a second clinician to staff a second office?
This is the year of electronic health records. Make this the year of study and research product options, and start talking to your hospital(s) about funding your system (now allowed). This is a major undertaking that will effect how you do your work every day. It also opens up more possibilities to use patient information to generate more preventive and recall visits that are an important part of good medical care. It’s said that information is power. Until now, inusurers had the information – use this to for your patients and for you.
Enjoy the week!
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