Core Principles for Clinical Practice
In my experience working in healthcare environments — from dental offices to NFL doctors — the most significant medical businesses share three top priorities: patients, patients, and patients. This distinguishing feature pertains to any field of medicine, regardless of specialization or field. Everyone succeeds when medical businesses and organizations are obsessed with the patient experience. Achieving this level of patient orientation takes four core principles.
Accountability: Accountability means that each team member takes personal responsibility for making the medical practice function efficiently and effectively with the common goal of providing a remarkable patient experience.
Communication: This applies to both internal and external verbal and written communication. Clear communication educates patients and delivers a seamless standard of care in coordination with other clinical team members.
Consistency: Operational standards that define culture and clinical practice and consistently adhere to provide a common purpose and a unified standard of care for every patient.
Precision: Every team member must be detail-oriented in their realms of responsibility every day, from caring for patients to carrying out administrative procedures.
While it may seem simple, most businesses, much less medical businesses, need to improve in at least one of these areas. This is evident in the patient experience, from scheduling to communication with front office staff, to rapport with clinical staff, to physical outcomes. I developed the term “Points of Improvement” (or “POI”) to teach senior leadership in medical corporations, medical offices, and medical administration the specific areas that will allow their business to achieve better health. Better health of a business means more profit on both sides, which yields return guests and better services provided.
Putting patients first, second, and third and making a team effort to uphold the four core principles above by finding and addressing POI pave a clear path to excellent medicine and excellent business.