Recently I was reading an interesting book by Tom Ferry called Life By Design. In the book, the self-help guru talks about how many people in this world go through many aspects of their life without a plan. They simply go through the motions, living parts of their life by default. The book walks the reader through self-assessment and development of a solid path forward for success. Naturally, my thoughts began to consider how this could be utilized in the approach we take to Patient Care. During the self-assessment portion, the book speaks about what people are secretly addicted to which holds them back. Let’s put that same mirror on your organization’s patient care approach: Are you and your team secretly addicted to the past, too set in your ways to really change? Are you addicted to the opinions of others? Are you more concerned with what your competitors are doing than how you can positively impact your patients and their families? Next, look at all the elements in your organization which can have an impact on patient care and objectively rate them. If you don’t think you and the team can be objective, ask someone independent and whom you trust to help. Only after a true self-assessment is it possible to know where you are and where the organization needs to go. All too often, we approach patient care by default, simply dealing with things as they come up and hoping for the best. Take time this year to reflect, plan and start approaching all aspects of patient care by design! May 2017 be your best year yet!