Kickstarting 2018: The ONE Key Exercise that Will Propel Your Practice Success (and a giveaway, too!)

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Happy New Year to you! And so begins another year of improving patients’ healthcare system outcomes in one way or another, and realizing we are making a huge difference in people’s lives!

We’re going to dive right in to the new year looking at the ONE imperative exercise I have come to believe will make you successful.

Can you commit? WILL you commit? It won’t cost you money (well, OK, maybe the cost of a latte.) It will cost you some time. And it will make all the difference in the world to your practice-building, the patients who need you, and our profession, too.

The truth is:  if you want to be successful, your commitment is imperative.

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Top 10 “Best Of” APHA Posts: 2017 in Review

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As 2017 comes to a close, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the blog posts you, my readers, considered to be most worth your reading time. Using post analytics, I’m able to see how many of you have read each of the 44 posts from 2017. Then, accommodating for the fact that some posts have been online for 11+ months, while others were just posted recently, it’s easy to tell which ones captured your imagination (or google’s search interest) to make the assessment.

So here are the top 10 posts (well – OK – I did have trouble counting again), in chronological order, the oldest to the newest:

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Mr. Pareto, Mr. Juran, Mr. Koch, Garden Peas, and Your Care Management Practice

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Chances are you’ve never heard of the three gentlemen named in today’s post title: Vilfredo Pareto, Joseph Juran, or Richard Koch.

Nor can you imagine how they – and garden peas – relate to advocacy.

Yet, the principle they have in common affects your work and ability to succeed, especially in the early days of your practice building. Unfortunately, most newly minted advocates not only don’t realize that, but they ignore it – at their peril.

So what principle am I talking about?

This post is intended to light a fire under you if who can’t figure out why you aren’t succeeding in practice despite the fact that you know you are a great advocate. Your excellent advocacy abilities may be getting in the way of your success if you think you can rest on them alone.

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The Most Expensive Business to Start

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It’s entirely possible to start a new business on a shoestring. We know this, because every publication worth the paper or website it’s published on tells us so:  Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur, all of them.

It requires time, grit, determination, attention to detail, great word-of-mouth – oh – and money! More about this in a minute.

The truth is – the concept of starting a business on a shoestring depends on the size of your shoes and therefore, the length and strength of their laces. It certainly doesn’t hurt if they are made of solid-gold, and you can sell them for your seed money.

If you hear a sarcastic edge in this post, it’s for good reason. It’s born of frustration, the feeling that I’m shouting into an empty cave.  I’ve just heard from one more person who has closed up her advocacy practice because she can’t afford it anymore; this on the heels of a conversation last week with one of our APHA Mentors who asked me, “Why do people think they can start an advocacy practice with no investment? Why do they think they can do it for free?”

Good questions. GREAT questions. And sadly, representative of too much reality and too much failure. And, for today, it means I’m going to try to provide this reality check one more time.

Let’s look at that shoestring for a minute. 

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Part IV: The Dirty Dozen Skills, Abilities, and Attributes of Successful Health and Patient Advocates and Care Managers

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And, finally, the fourth and last in our series of skills, abilities and attributes that all successful advocates and care managers must.

We’re wrapping up with 3 additional concepts that are important to the success all private advocacy and care management practices.  Yes – I know the total will be 16 (and we promised only a dirty dozen!) – see Part I about my inability to count 🙂 )

Which of these describe you and your abilities?  Which of them do not?  Where do you go from here?

Do your own assessment! 

 

14.  Never forget  your Allegiance. Allegiance is the foundation of a private, independent advocate’s or care manager’s work; that is – because the patient or caregiver (or someone else whose sole allegiance is to the patient) hires you, your entire focus is on what’s best for him or her.

That is the one major distinction between private, independent professionals and those who work for an organization that profits from the healthcare system. Hospital advocates, insurance advocates – their allegiance is to the companies and systems they work for. While their hearts may be in the right place, and patients may THINK they are being helped, these system-paid advocates are too often, even frustrating to them, unable to offer the best help.

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