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Start this exercise off by answering the following question:

Under what circumstances would you kick a patient out of your practice?

At what point would you rather lose the patient than lose your integrity?   All too often the process of establishing office policies looks a little like this:

“Hey, Dr. Buddy, can you fax me over your office policies. I need some.”

Or maybe this document is the lovechild of a staff navel-gazing session where you’ve word-smithed a collection of rules and regulations that would better be described as a “Patient Policy Wish List”.

Do your office policies really reflect your Purpose?  Your principles?  Do these policies protect the quality of the patient’s experience?  Do they outline what it means to be a great patient? Do they represent what you truly believe to be the best way to care for the patients that you’ve been trusted with? Do they define your core values?

Southwest Airlines is the only airline to be profitable every year for the last 10 years.  Their president, Herbert D. Kelleher, is infamously committed to protecting the company’s core values and brand.  Low cost, Flexibility and Sense of Humor top the list.

An irate customer wrote a letter once that denounced the use of humor during the safety announcements.  Instead of berating the service crew and sending an apologetic letter with a free drink voucher, Kelleher responded with a simple note:

“We’ll miss you.”

Retention has more to do with attraction than concession.  And there are few things more attractive than conviction.

Now go write something worth defending,

Stephen Franson
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