Health care is sick.
Obviously, we’re in the business of helping sick people, so we’re not strangers to illness.
But health care as an industry, as a profession, as a vocation is sick. And will continue to get worse unless we implement real solutions.
We’ve already seen other industries implement these solutions, & they’re working. It’s time to make it happen for real in health care.
Joe Sanok is a licensed professional counselor & psychologist, thyroid cancer survivor, & author of Thursday is the New Friday. In today’s conversation, we really get into just how broken American health care is, but it doesn’t stop there. We actually get into real strategies you can implement at your own work place to truly start fixing our broken system, to better help our patients.
- Ways to better structure your work week for you, your patient, & *your boss*
- How to use your time most efficiently to get allllll your tasks done
- How automation helps your practice & ways to implement automation in OncoPT
Tune in ASAP for this practice-changing conversation.
“It is very difficult to implement healthy habits within health care.”– Joe Sanok
Nobody wants a surgeon who has already been awake for 22 hours to perform their mastectomy. Similarly, nobody wants a PT who’s distracted & tired to treat THE WRONG BODY PART (hello, it’s me).
Personal awareness is so critical to understand your own natural inclinations when it comes to time management & work efficiency.
Joe emphasizes the need to slow down and highlights the benefits of taking a more deliberate approach, backed by brain research, to achieve breakthroughs rather than simply pushing through tasks.
Joe also touches on the concept of the four-day work week and its potential to optimize productivity and work-life balance. It’s well-documented that excessively long working hours in healthcare negatively impact health outcomes, patient safety, & work satisfaction. He points out examples of human error in healthcare and contrasts it with the efficiency and automation seen in other industries like e-commerce.
Furthermore, Joe raises concerns about the systemic issues in health care that hinder the implementation of healthy habits and work-life balance, emphasizing the need for logistical improvements. Health care professionals, including OncoPTs, must lead by example in promoting health and well-being.
How to realistically implement a 4-day work week in OncoPT
To be clear: this is not a structure you can implement overnight. It takes time, experimentation, & creativity. But it IS possible, even in health care.
Joe recommends starting with a small team of team members who do similar things (think PTs & OTs). Get your supervisor on board for a 3-month experiment, using the same key performance indicators (KPIs) that are already established & used to measure performance.
During the 3-month experiment, you need to have a standing weekly meeting on the first day of your week to discuss KPIs & trends or norms the team observes.
At the end of that month, compile the data into a one-page report to provide to your supervisor. Don’t just include hard numbers: also bring in qualitative data, like how this is improving the team’s quality of life & delivery of patient care (patient testimonials, anyone?).
Once the initial 3-month experiment ends, it’s time to assess:
- How does this affect business?
- How does this facilitate cost savings or cutting some costs?
- Do we continue the 4-day work week experiment for another 3-6 months?
- Do we expand the 4-day work week experiment to other teams?
Capture, Schedule, Do
As a PT, you’ve got a lot on your plate at all times: documentation, calls, inservices, extra paperwork, all on top of your typical patient caseload.
Writing ideas on endless sticky notes just creates more clutter. Plus, those sticky notes usually don’t translate into actual solutions for you & your patients.
So how do you take your brilliant ideas & put them into action without overwhelming yourself?
Joe recommends the Capture, Schedule, Do method.
When an idea pops into your mind, have a designated place to capture it. This could be a sticky note or an electronic method such as Google sheets, Trello, or even Alexa.
You must have a regularly scheduled timeblock on your calendar to review your brilliant ideas. Block off 10-20 minutes each week to review your ideas. Look ahead on your calendar to schedule time to actually bring this idea to life, aka the “Do” part.
Even if you don’t know how to bring this idea to life, this method of preventative scheduling makes sure that your ideas don’t slip away into oblivion.
When your scheduled timeblock comes around, it’s time to DO the thing! Remember: do not wait for perfection. 80% is good enough, so hop to it.
How to Make Automation Happen in Your OncoPT Practice
First, ask yourself what tasks you do repeatedly. One of the most common things I do in my practice, day in & day out, is educate patients with lymphedema on cellulitis risk factors.
A great way to make sure I deliver the same basic information to all my patients is through a handout. Instead of spitballing on the fly, a patient handout is a great method to ensure you’re delivering the most crucial aspects of this education without forgetting anything.
Plus, you can still customize your in-session education for the patient in front of you, using the handout as a springboard.
Documentation is another great place to utilize automation in your OncoPT practice. For some free templates, check out my free Documentation Templates.
About Joe Sanok:
Joe Sanok is the author of Thursday is the New Friday: How to work fewer hours, make more money, and spend time doing what you want. It examines how the four-day workweek boosts creativity and productivity. Joe has been featured on Forbes, GOOD Magazine, and the Smart Passive Income Podcast. He is the host of the popular The Practice of the Practice Podcast, which is recognized as one of the Top 50 Podcasts worldwide with over 100,000 downloads each month. Bestselling authors, experts, scholars, and business leaders and innovators are featured and interviewed in the 550 plus podcasts he has done over the last six years.