South Florida Hospital News
Sunday June 13, 2021

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September 2005 - Volume 2 - Issue 3


Business Muse … Reflections on the Business of Health Delivery

Renew Your Focus

In today’s fast paced, frenetic world it is easy to forget the ideals that propelled us into the healthcare fields. When conversing with a young college pre-med student and we ask - Why do you want to enter the medical field? - the most common answer is because "I want to help people". They’ll say they’re a people person or words to that effect. For many practitioners this lofty ambition becomes beaten down by the realities of daily practice.

Insurance companies, tort attorneys, hospital committees, employee issues and a host of other non-medical (patient care) concerns affect our daily feelings and the mood in which we practice. And, as the old saying goes "merde flows downhill".

Without consciously realizing it, our behavior is mirrored by those with whom we work. Ultimately, the recipients of this "bad karma" are the patients whom we treat and their families. These are the very people who need our help, and the reasons we first espoused for entering this noblest of professions. The pressures that have encroached on our business are not, at least directly, their doing. Nor do they as individuals have much control over these forces. They have little choice given them as to the type of insurance they are offered. They didn’t set up our office procedures or hire our personnel. They didn’t decide upon the hospital we joined as a staff member. By making their choice, entrusting you to be their physician and your practice to service their needs, they too can become caught in the pressures these outside influences exert on you and your staff.

By re-awakening our involvement with "helping people", we can focus on the most important of business concerns, that being Service - with a capital S. The backbone of all businesses, including healthcare, is about service. The people that come to you are in the most vulnerable of positions, and all you and you staff can do to service their needs will be rewarded in many ways. Some are obvious such as continued use of your medical services and recommending others patients to your practice. Others are more intangible such as trust, loyalty, and sensing your desire to care - resulting in a less likelihood of liability should an untoward event occur.

Look at your business and see if there are methods by which you can improve and track the many ways you service your patients. Place yourself in your patients’ position in dealing with your office. Have your office procedures and personnel become so inflexible that you wouldn’t want to utilize your own office? Try and compartmentalize your well-justified negative feelings engendered by those outside parties who strive to influence you and how you practice. Don’t let them interfere with how you service your patients’ needs. Focus those feelings at they who are guilty of causing them, not at your patients. Make the effort to focus positive feelings and superlative service on those who have put their trust and life in your hands. You will find this rewarding to both your spirit and your bottom line.

J. Steven Kaufman, MD, CEM is with Phoenix HealthServices Consulting, LLC. PHC solicits and appreciates questions of a business nature relating to the health services industry to address in future columns. Please address your questions to Phoenix HealthServices Consulting, LLC at and fax (561) 799-4092.
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