Have you had this experience? You come into work Monday morning and your doctor comes up to you and is so excited and says “I went to this class over the weekend and I bought a … (fill in the blank with any new equipment) and we are getting it next week!”
What do you do next? You are probably thinking: “Another expensive piece of hardware that we don’t need, and that’s going to turn into a treadmill collecting dust.” No! We need to change the way we think about technology. We need to embrace and learn to integrate it into our daily practice lives. New technology equals practice growth and remember, only technology that is not implemented will collect dust.
As the office manager, you are an integral part of the integration and implementation of that vital new piece of technology. Your practice looks to YOU to be the expert on how the new equipment equates into dollars and how it impacts the patient experience. You are responsible for supporting the team and making the change a successful experience.
Change can be very scary for most people. It is so easy to maintain the status quo, to never upset the apple cart. Meanwhile, change is happening all around us! Let’s learn to open our minds to the immense growth potential of accepting change and adapting.
When I came into my doctor’s office and started changing how they operate, it was very scary for the team but I led them and maintained a positive work environment. I had to make sure I kept the pressure and stress manageable for everyone. The office manager is the bus driver. It is our responsibility to help our doctors integrate new equipment and procedures with 100% of our attention and support. In order to do this successfully, you need to use the resources you have to learn everything you can about the technology.
There are four main phases of change: First, we start with the introduction of a new idea.
1. A New Idea
For example, “Add a CEREC.” This usually starts with the doctor but can start with you. If you think that integrating a new piece of technology can be beneficial to the practice, you can start the process. This is when you start researching the equipment as well as that crucial ROI.
2. Kicking and Screaming
In this phase, the team starts objecting to the technology. You start to hear the “Yeah buts.” Yeah but it won’t work, Yeah but the doctor isn’t really going to use it on every patient, Yeah but it’s going to turn into the treadmill, Yeah but the patients aren’t going to like it. The team is going to come up with all kinds of excuses as to why this isn’t going to work. You have to stay strong and positive so you can answer all of their objections. Use the vendors of your technology to help with these objections.
3. The Benefit
The third phase is the “I can see the benefit” phase. As the team gets more comfortable and they learn the benefits of the new technology, they will start to embrace it. They see the positive ROI and benefits to the patients.
The final phase is the “I never want to go back to the way it used to be.” The team realizes that the technology makes their lives easier and they love it. If you and your doctor stand together and support the team when they are going through these phases, they will embrace the new technology.
There are amazing resources online and the vendors can also help you research the new equipment. You need to become an expert in how to market, present and integrate the technology. If we want our doctors to be able to successfully integrate the new technology, it is imperative that the office manager believe in that technology.
Change is hard for most people, especially if they are not the choosers of that change. People need to feel that they have had some say in their destiny, even at work. Helping the team work through their concerns and reassuring them that they are not alone and that you are supporting them will help the process be more positive.