Back in the early days of our practice, when we were smaller, went by a different name, before the days of COVID and Zoom and human disconnection, communication was more natural. Conversations between appointments just naturally occurred in the hallways, in our front office, or around Sheldon or Brutus (the names of our copy machines). Now, we all must be more intentional about large-scale communication, and I must admit that this is not an area where I have natural strength. This note is the start of what will hopefully grow to be a shared conversation. “REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED”
This statement hangs in big letters on the wall in one of our conference rooms. I started the seed practice of Mindfully with very clear organizational goals. Being clear about why I started helped me to be confident in decisions and paved the way for our practice to grow and make an ever-increasing impact. Understanding the “why” creates a clarity of purpose, motivation and engagement, direction and focus, alignment of goals, increases resilience, creates a marker for accountability, and can even foster inspiration. Just ask ChatGPT - I know I did!
In addition to the personal objectives that we all bring to our profession, our practice started with 3 primary goals:
Reduce Barriers to Care
Increase Quality of Care
Reduce Clinician Burnout
As I was faced with choices in growth, software, processes and people, my litmus test was these three goals. Does the choice that I make reduce a barrier to care? Does it increase the quality of care or work towards reducing clinician burn out?
As these three are interrelated and not mutually exclusive, in many cases choices will impact more than one of these goals. Sometimes we have to make difficult choices that temporarily move one of our goals a step back in order to move several additional steps further on others. Unfortunately, we will occasionally fall short of explaining what we are doing in the context of our goals so that we are all aligned on the WHY.
Here are a few high-level examples:
We created Mindfully Academy to increase the quality of the care that our providers give and to arm our providers with information to support their practice and thereby reduce burnout.
Additionally, we implemented scheduling software of our own design to reduce barriers for clients, making it easier to schedule with a clinician who is the best fit for them. We focus on the match to make sure that the clients get the best care from providers who are really qualified to work with them and to reduce the burnout we experience when we work with a client who is out of our scope.
We asked the whole organization to complete training on fraud waste and abuse because it was a compliance requirement for a new third-party payor. Adding this new payor will reduce payment barriers for many clients who are reaching out to our office for assistance that we currently cannot serve.
Moving forward, the Mindfully leadership team will work to do a better job communicating the whys behind choices in the future so that everyone can be more aligned on goals and changes. As we grow, develop, and improve as a practice, I hope that we can be united in why we started to begin with.