If you’ve recently returned from the Institute of Podiatric Excellence and Development’s Winter Focus Retreat, “What’s Next?” or another professional seminar, you may find that on the flight home you were energized and inspired by the new ideas and information you received. When you got to the office the next day, however, you were overwhelmed with patients and paperwork and your enthusiasm began to drain away.
How can you find a way to actually put some of your new found knowledge to use in your practice?
- Organize your ideas—start by creating a notebook to collect the information and ideas you got at the seminar. A three-ring binder provides maximum flexibility to add or remove information as needed. Divide the notebook into sections. The first should be for a Master Action List of items you want to implement. Other possible sections include: Notes (from the workshops or lectures), Protocols, Durable Medical Equipment, Over the Counter Products, Forms, Practice Management/Billing and Marketing. Take this binder with you to seminars and put info you receive in the appropriate section. Make notes of any ideas that come to you while you are there as well.
- Share with your staff—know that when you return you’ll first have to play catch up, so plan to meet with your staff a few days after your return to share information you gained from the meeting. Involving your staff is a key component in successfully adding to or changing your current protocols. Highlight the changes that you think would be most helpful and explain how they will benefit both patients and staff. Understanding that a change will reduce a 5-step protocol to a 3-step protocol will make it more appealing to your team, for example, than just imposing a change. Once your staff understands what’s behind a change and sees its value, they are more likely to get on board. Solicit your staff’s input on prioritizing the changes you’d like to make and get feedback from them along the way.
- Implement small changes gradually—use your notebook to make a “to do” list of changes and break down bigger changes into daily tasks. Don’t try to make too many changes at once. The notebook should be kept in sight and can serve as a diary of changes made and modifications necessary along the way.
At IPED, helping members find ways to share information and improve their patient outcomes and their practices is all part of our mission. To learn more, contact our Executive Director, Ruth Ann Donahue at: 978-296-7634.