Create New Years’ Resolutions that Stick
By Carol A. Wilcox
PREFERRED Therapy Providers, Inc.
It’s the beginning of a new year and the perfect time to develop some smart goal setting for your healthcare practice for 2020. Too often, New Years’ resolutions to set business goals fall apart because there are simply too many other pressing matters to tackle. But what if you could set just 2-3 realistic goals and make them stick? If you’re looking for ideas on how to set realistic and attainable goals for your practice this year, read on.
Start with Clear Goals
Business and leadership author Ken Blanchard said, “All good performance starts with clear goals.” Now is the time to sit down with your team and do just that – set clear, accountable goals. Here’s how:
Bring your team together. Include everyone possible from the front office and the back office, to managers and providers. Ask your team to list the top 2-3 things that were successful in their respective departments last year and the top 2-3 things that were unsuccessful, or could have been handled differently for a better outcome. You’ll get a diverse (and quite possibly, an enlightening) response this way and a clearer picture of the top goals to initiate and the steps needed to accomplish them.
Write it down. Use a whiteboard or flipchart to write down team answers. This will be the basis for your master goal-setting document.
Set 2-3 goals for the year. Based on your team’s feedback, including the information you wrote down on the whiteboard or flipchart, as well as your own vision for your business, decide on the top 2-3 goals you want to achieve for your practice in 2020. Be realistic. A lot will depend on the stage your business is in and the number of employees you have. If you’re a newer clinic, your goals may be different than a more established clinic. Your goal setting initiatives might include revenue cycle goals, patient volume increases, staff additions, technology improvements, physical surrounding improvements, additional equipment, marketing and sales initiatives, and patient experience improvements.
Use quantifiable measures. It’s much easier to measure the success of a goal when there’s something quantifiable attached to it. For example, if your goal is to bring in new patients, don’t write down the goal as, “Our goal is to bring in new patients in 2020.” Instead, use a realistic and quantifiable measure such as, “Our goal is to bring in five new patients per week in 2020.”
Share your goals with the team. Share the 2-3 goals you would like to achieve for 2020 with your team. Since they will be involved in making those goals successful, ask them to help you develop a strategy to bring those goals to reality. Take each initiative, one at a time, and brainstorm. Continue until you and your team develop the strategy needed to make your goals successful.
Put your goals in writing. This will be your master goal-setting document. Write each goal down along with the strategy needed to accomplish it. Be sure that the goals are clearly written and easy to understand. Make the document visible to your team.
Set priorities. Depending upon the size of your practice, it may not be feasible to tackle each goal simultaneously, so be sure to prioritize them. This is an important step because if you don’t prioritize, there’s a high likelihood that none of them will get accomplished.
Set milestones and accountability. One person, or a team of people in a department, will have to be responsible for the implementation of a goal. Your entire team should agree on accountability. Have your team set milestones for achievement throughout the year to improve the success of the goal.
Let’s talk about it. Goals are not successful by “setting and forgetting.” It takes consistent communication. Set specific times throughout the year to meet with your team to review the goals – including challenges, milestones and successes. If you need to make adjustments to the goal initiatives, these meetings are the time to do it. That way there are no surprises by the time 2021 rolls around.
- Bring your team together to discuss goals for the year.
- Set 2-3 goals to accomplish.
- Use quantifiable measures.
- Brainstorm goal strategies with your team.
- Set goal priorities, milestones and accountability.
- Develop a communication plan to keep the goals on track.
About the Author:
Carol A. Wilcox is the staff writer and head of marketing communications at PREFERRED Therapy Providers, Inc. You can reach Carol here.
This article is brought to you by PREFERRED Therapy Providers Inc. PREFERRED is the nation’s leading payor management services network. Our expertise is working with physical, occupational and speech therapy practices – from single clinics to multiple clinic locations.