If there is one true constant in the healthcare industry today, it’s the fact that we continue to face change. No matter your role or your segment within the ever-evolving world of healthcare delivery and administration, the need to adapt is a critical professional skill.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind as you face challenges and seek opportunity in the ever-changing healthcare environment.
1. Anticipate change, recognizing that it is part of the norm. Patient and consumer behavior, staffing demands, payor approaches, tightening compliance, clinical protocols, regulatory evolution…all of these things will continually evolve around us. Expect the unexpected and recognize that you can’t control many important inputs to your desired outcomes. There are no longer excuses for allowing ourselves to be surprised.
2. Consciously manage the personal stress that change can cause. This starts with recognizing when environmental challenges begin to stress you out. As a topic or situation consumes your mind, makes you feel physically tense, or gives you the sense that you’re losing control, take a moment. Pause, breathe, and reflect on good and best responses to the events that are affecting you. Draw a mental path to the outcomes you need to see, and put yourself back in control.
3. Leverage those around you for advice and support. Quality relationships are often most important during times of intense change or uncertainty. When you face change, whether good or bad, seek collective wisdom. This may come from friends, colleagues, board members or others. Additionally, never discount the value of seeking perspective from those outside your industry.
4. Look forward before looking back. By nature, we tend to reflect and remember the way things were with a certain bias. The past is known, making history less unsettling than a future in which we have limited control and certainty. Be open minded about what can be when you’re tempted to over-focus on the way things were. Remember: many of our common practices and relative viewpoints were formed in past crises.
5. Make change happen. If you dislike the feeling of not being in control, solve for it. We all have things in our lives that we tolerate, accept, or observe that we know are going to result in change events at a future date. Some of those things can be productively dealt with today as opposed to allowing them to happen to us at unpredictable times. When practical, accelerate and get ahead.
Being prepared for change can make all the differences in managing stress, maximizing personal attitudes and outlook, and achieving the positive outcomes you want and deserve. Take advantage of today and prepare for the unknowns of tomorrow!