Outside the Box Thinking

You are inside a box of knowledge. This is what you already know and feel certain about and are mostly comfortable with knowing. This can relate to many areas of your life including your practice and your position within it.

How the heck are you ever going to grow your knowledge if you don’t look outside the box for more answers to anything? My smartest friends are voracious readers and spend hours doing research online, attending courses, and observing and learning how others do things. They then synthesize all that information and come up with new, completely unique ways to do things.

Out of the 5,000 practices I have analyzed (with their owners, one-on-one), I have only witnessed around 25 that really stand out in my mind as having been truly innovative in the way they run their practices. And I don’t mean by being weird … they and their staff have simply thought outside the box and dreamed up a way of servicing their patients better.

Sometimes it is how to solve administrative problems in this wildly technological world. Here is an example I recently ran across:

A very savvy young lady has an office in a town 3 hours away from her home and has been thinking of closing it since a year ago. So she had stopped marketing it and had no staff there. In the meantime, she started up a new one in her town and started the long commute back and forth between practices, as she still needs the income from the first practice. In her new practice, she has a receptionist (who is very cool).

Here’s where it gets interesting (and this only works for her because she only needs a receptionist at this time for the profession she is in). In the faraway practice, she set up a large screen monitor (facing the front door) and a computer with a printer attached and cameras in each room. When she is over in that location, her receptionist in her home town practice goes on Skype with the faraway practice and can see and greet each patient as they come into the faraway practice. She talks to them as if she is present in body. She can tell the patient which room the provider is in (via the cameras) and that she will be with them shortly and to have a seat. When they are done their treatment, the receptionist (via Skype) talks to them about their next appointment and schedules them, and makes their invoice, takes their credit card information, processes it and prints out an invoice for them right then and there.

While the patients are incredulous at first, they actually love the system and tell their friends about it. Good word of mouth results from this technologically advanced set up.

I am not suggesting that the above be done by anyone else. It is merely a stellar example of “outside the box” thinking.

Have you and your staff ever sat down and put your very bright heads together to figure out how to take your practice to the next level in terms of service and technology?

Start thinking out of the box!

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