This week, one of my new craniofacial patients brought in her occlusal night splint that was made by a respectable practitioner in my town.  I ask her how she likes the splint.  Is it comfortable?  Does it reduce pain and improve the function of her jaw?  Is she wearing it consistently?    

She said, “I paid $3,600 for this plastic, so I definitely wear it every night as prescribed.”  She stated it is comfortable and she feels it is helpful. This got me thinking; what if she got the exact same splint, but it was $36. Would she be compliant? Would she value it?   Would she get the same benefit?  

I recently sent a survey in my recent What is Value? Post.  The answers were very different.  All the respondents were clinicians like you.  Some answered that  clinical expertise was most valuable,  others said customer experience was most valuable. Still others said listening and understanding what the patient feels value is.  The reality is that value varies from person to person.  

All of these answers are valid, and serve as a compelling case as to why each of the options could be rated as most valuable.

So, how does your team create value for your patients?  A team that understands how to communicate and how to discover value is not optional in today’s competitive health care world – epecially if you are going to ask your patients to reach into their wallet and pay cash for services. 

The simple answer is that it starts with trusting and inspiring your team.  Stephen M.R. Covey, son of the late Dr. Stephen Covey, is an expert on the topic of forming trust.  He teaches us why building trust and inspiring others is the optimal way to lead your team, instead of the command and control leadership styles of the past. Trust creates value that allows your business to thrive.

  1. Our world is in the midst of knowledge worker age; this requires their heads and hearts 
  2. The type of work we do requires collaboration
  3. The workforce is multigenerational; they must be inspired  

If we are going to create high trust and high value with our patients we must do it in a collaborative way within our teams.  It starts with our own perspective as leaders, and how we view our staff.  Do we believe in them? Give them a voice? Create a clear vision of a brighter future? Do we empower them? 

Be honest with yourself; how do you view your team?  Do you look at their shortcomings, their flaws, their lack of understanding and knowledge?  

You must affirm them as valuable and acknowledge their loyalty, their talents, and their abilities.   


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Grateful to be on this journey with you,

Dr. Matthew Harkness

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