Doctors: Top 20 Signs Innovation is Toxic To Your Own Practice

dr. cheng ruan Feb 13, 2022

**CME Link for reflecting on this post available at the end of this post**

Innovation can be bad for your medical practice, espeically if you are moving too quickly, it can cause issues within your practice in regards to communication and development opportunities.

There are a number of warning signs that can help you identify whether or not innovation is toxic to your own medical practice.

1. You may be moving too quickly for your team to keep up.

Your team is constantly complaining that they need more resources, time or training/development opportunities to keep up with the changes you are making and it is taking away from patient care.

2. Ineffective communication- your team is constantly confused or lost.

No one knows what's going on, even after you explain things to them. Your employees are constantly asking for more training/development opportunities to better themselves and their roles in the company.

3. Provoking unnecessary stress that causes discomfort and diminishes attention 

Your staff looks constantly worried, unhappy and irritated. Employees are leaving the practice on a regular basis and you're having to hire new people constantly to keep up with patient care.

4. Ambiguous goals cause confusion.

Your employees don't know exactly what they should be doing or where they stand in the company at all times. There is no clear development/training opportunities for your employees and career paths are unclear.

5 . Employee turnover is high.

Your team is losing valuable people constantly and you're having to constantly replace them (and pay for new training opportunities, etc.). Employees are leaving the practice on a regular basis and you're having to hire new people constantly to keep up with patient care.

6. Patients become perplexed with distracted messaging.

You're constantly changing messaging and this is confusing your patients. Your website has been out of date for weeks/months now and you haven't been able to update it, leading to a lot of frustration from your patients.

7. Late delivery of services- your company is constantly behind.

Your staff members cannot keep up with work and your company is always playing catch-up. You don't have a set schedule of when things should be done and this makes it unfair for everyone in the office and leaves people scrambling at the last minute to get everything done.

8. Low company morale - the energy in the office is terrible.

You get high turnover rates because employees are burned out . You feel like there's no point in staying with your company because nothing ever changes, no matter how much effort you put into it. Employees are unhappy and disgruntled about their work situations.

9. Employees are tired and struggle to stay focused.

Your team has been working for countless hours and they're exhausted. It's impossible to get even the smallest tasks done because so much work is being piled on everyone. Employees have been staying late every night this week and nobody knows when the company will finally let up.

10.  Training New Staff is Expensive turnover

The amount of money your company is spending on training and development opportunities is too high . You're constantly having to replace employees because they do not work out, this is leaving a huge hole in the company's budget. Employees are finding better positions elsewhere and you feel like there's no point in staying with where you are now.

11 . You Notice A lack of productivity

Your team is constantly putting out fires, they can never get ahead of things and everyone's always running around trying to catch up . Employees are unable to see the bigger picture because there are too many distractions in the office. Nobody knows what true progress looks like because they're not getting anything done.

12 . Employees become indecisive throughout the day, leading to confusion

There's this cloud of confusion everywhere you work, nobody knows what they're doing and making mistakes is extremely common . Employees keep asking for direction because they feel lost , managers don't know how to respond to the employees' needs . Nobody knows who's supposed to be taking care of things and there is no structure in place.

 

13. You do not have enough time for planning and execution.

The amount of time you spend in meetings is causing a huge problem, nobody knows what is going on and the company's mission is in jeopardy . It's difficult to get things done because everyone needs someone else to approve their plans and they keep getting shut down. There aren't enough resources allocated for the tasks that employees need to complete and the deadlines keep getting pushed back.

14. Your team can only focusing on one area of the business at a time.

Because there are lack of processes and procedures that are adequately documented, moving toward success may feel like moving through molasses.

 

15. You as the business leader feel burnt out, depressed, stressed, and stuck

Everyone's counting on you, but you feel like you're drowning . You haven't been able to get a moment of peace in a while and you're losing sight of what is important . It feels like there's too much going on at once and nobody is keeping the company afloat.

16. Your team focuses on TOO MANY areas of the business at once and loses productivity.

There are so many different things going on in your company it's hard to keep your focus . You have a ton of different projects that everyone is working on at the same time. Employees are finding better positions elsewhere and you feel like there's no point in staying with where you are now.

17. Your team leaders shows lackluster energy compared to when they first started.

People are getting burned out, the team members who don't know what to do are taking advantage of their co-workers . Bosses are getting overwhelmed and it's gotten hard to tell if employees are giving full effort when they say they will . The people who really care about the company have already moved on because things aren't working anymore.

18. Lack of motivation across all team leaders.

It's like people are just going through the motions , it feels like nobody shows up to work unless they have to . You've given your team leaders lists of what needs to be done but nothing ever gets checked off.

19. Your team is bringing you complaints about other employees or departments .

You have a feeling that people are being deceitful or withholding information. It seems like your team is always complaining about the same things over and over again. Employees are finding better positions elsewhere and you feel like there's no point in staying with where you are now.

19. Your practice is going into financial crisis or bankruptcy.

You can't pay your bills, you haven't been able to get a moment of peace in a while and you're losing sight of what is important. It feels like there's too much going on at once and nobody is keeping the company afloat. When you look back over the past few years it seems like the company was always spending more money than it was making.

20. No one can name your company's core values nor do they care.

Nobody knows what the company culture is, it feels like people are just going through the motions. You have a feeling that nobody shows up to work unless they have to. Nobody seems proud of their role in the company. The morale is so low it's sickening and you can't even name what your core values are.

 

Here are suggestions on what to do about all this:

Suggestion 1: Be sure not to go overboard when changing processes, processes should always come second to patient care. Your employess complain and look exhausted and overwhelmed all of the time.

Suggestion 2: Be sure not to make changes too quickly, your employees cannot keep up if they don't know what's going on. Have an open line of communication with your staff at all times, send out weekly updates on examples of new processes , etc. This will ensure everyone is on the same page!

Suggestion 3: Slow down! Your team might not be able to handle so many changes at once. Make sure you give your employees time to adjust, don't change things too quickly, stick with an initial plan until it has been thoroughly tested. Your employees will thank you for giving them time away from stress and pressure!

Suggestion 4: Your team needs direction, look to implement regular employee reviews, have a quarterly training and development plan with your employees, this way everyone is on the same page and has a clear idea of what their roles in the company are. This will save everybody time and energy! My favorite tool to execute this is Trainual

Suggestion 5: Suggestion: Your team needs a break, look into scheduling a team-building event so your employees can relax and recharge, take some time off. You need to give your employees the time they need to adjust, don't change things too quickly , stick with an initial plan until it has been thoroughly tested. This way everybody is on the same page and knows what's going on!

Suggestion 6: Your employees need direction, look to implement regular employee reviews, have a yearly training and development plan with your employees, this way everyone is on the same page and has a clear idea of what their roles in the company are. This will save everybody time and energy!

Suggestion 7: Make sure that you keep everyone accountable with real actual numbers, facts, and statistics - not just what someone says is happening. You should schedule regular team meetings, this way everyone is on the same page and has a clear idea of what their roles in the company are. This will save everybody time and energy!

Doctors, if your integrative medical practice is in the need of a massive overhaul, join our community at the Integrative Practice Builder

This content in this Journal / Blog Post Reflection is not approved for credit by CMEfy, however, you may reflect on how it applies to your day-to-day and engage to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ from point-of-care learning activities here: https://earnc.me/kvqo4X

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