A number of sayings suggest that if we keep doing things the same way over and over, we are fooling ourselves by expecting different results. I'm sure you've heard a few of these. But regardless of how often we hear them, applying them is a different matter.
For 2012 here at Dynamic Chiropractic (MPA Media is actually the publishing company), we are making a conscious effort to do things differently. This is not change for change's sake, but improving and expanding in ways that will give us the future we are looking to achieve. These changes include new staff, better procedures, improved communications and even a foray into new areas, like producing some Dynamic Chiropractic features on video (click here for our first efforts). To see different results, we realized we needed to do different things.
The first quarter of 2012 is almost completed. Thus far, is your 2012 significantly different than your 2011? Optimally, every year should be better than the last. Granted, some years it's all each of us can do to hang on and weather the economic storm. Some years are just like that, but they shouldn't be the norm.
Our goal should be to serve more patients with better care that results in helping them achieve their highest level of health and wellness. In the process, we should see every chiropractic practice, and the chiropractic profession as a whole, flourish and grow stronger. If we aren't able to grow stronger as a profession, our future will ultimately be limited by events and organizations too powerful for us to overcome.
Our chiropractic profession is only as strong as its members. This reality has been more than obvious over the past decade or so and has impacted most of our state and national associations substantially, limiting their effectiveness.
With nine months left to go in 2012, I have to ask: What have you done in the past three months to help your practice grow and increase the number of patients you are serving? There are many things you could be doing, from improving the look of your office to increasing the services you offer your patients. Have you changed anything or are you content with a year similar to last year? If you are, that's great.
Since 2009, more than half of the DCs we've surveyed have told us that they plan to offer additional health products and services in an effort to better serve the needs of their patients. This is certainly one way to broaden the appeal to potential patients who don't yet understand the value of chiropractic care. Another way to invest in your future is through communication to patients and your community. Are you communicating the importance of chiropractic effectively? Do you reach out to explain what chiropractic can do for their health? If someone were to take a survey of your community, would the results suggest they understand the value of chiropractic and how chiropractic philosophy differs from the medical philosophy that is trying to get them to take drugs for every ailment?
Chiropractic is still not the first consideration when most people are faced with a health issue, and most people don't understand the value of continued chiropractic care to maintain health and wellness. We really need to change this, but it will only happen to the degree that we educate our communities.
If you haven't done so already, now might be a good time for you to write down your hopes for 2012. Once you do, you can rewrite them into goals, keeping them simple and easy to measure.
After that comes the list of changes you are willing to make in order to meet those goals. If you aren't willing to do it, why write it down? Take a hard look at your practice. What should be different and what should stay the same?
You will likely encounter some pushback as you deliberately make things different. That's to be expected. But as you explain your practice goals for 2012 and how achieving these will better serve your patients, everyone will get on board and work together.
Keep this in mind: 2012 doesn't have to be an extension of 2011. We do have a choice. If you're not happy with 2011, do something about it. Make this year different.
Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.