The culture of the medical practice is shifting dramatically: the way we think, the way we work and the way we care for our patients. It’s no longer simply about what’s the matter with the patient; it’s time to focus on what matters to the patient!

The patient-centric practice is in the limelight and being fueled by the Affordable Care Act, which places more emphasis on the patient relationship. The ultimate goals are to:

  1. Improve compliance
  2. Reduce healthcare costs
  3. Obtaining better outcomes
  4. Achieve a higher level of patient satisfaction

This is a major shift for many medical practices that have previously focused primarily on the tasks required to diagnose a patient’s condition and create a treatment plan with the assumption that patients would follow its orders.

Think strategically when it comes to creating a patient-centered culture. Managers and physicians need to accept the responsibility to make the changes required to accomplish this and commit to success. How can you pose issues effectively and what obstacles must be overcome to get team buy-in to changing the way things are done? You start by building the change management team. Determine who will be the champion for this project and increase your odds for success and which team members will contribute to creating an effective plan that will be endorsed by staff.

The champion needs to be someone that is trusted and respected by everyone and believes that the changes the practice makes will lead to greater success in strengthening the relationship between the patients and the practice. The change management team will be required to establish standards and method of accountability that involve everyone. No balking allowed and no sacred cows! The plan needs to be structured and supported by management.

Once the plan is agreed upon and in place, the champion must sell the vision and be the role model that inspires organizational change by leading the efforts, keeping the communication open and celebrating steps of progress.

Check out my free mini-webinar on this topic, presented by the American Osteopathic Association — part of the Power Up Your Practice series.

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