Every year there is this bizarre pressure to set goals with the changing of the calendar. It’s as if flipping that number at the end of the year give some power to our willpower. As if we are stronger because there’s a more monumental change. As if the changing of the month — or the day — doesn’t matter as much, because it’s the year that matters.
But, inevitably, these goals flounder. We do them for a day? Maybe a week? Some people manage to hold onto their new behaviors for a month or two, but who really keeps a new year’s resolution all year?
(And before I get a boatload of responses from people who do successfully accomplish their new years’ goals, please just pause; we’ll get to that in the next section.)
Why Goals Fail
Many of us have heard of the SMART goal setting framework. We really shouldn’t be setting goals unless they’re:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Time-bound
This is true. I cannot count the number of times I’ve sat down with a patient who comes to me with the goal of being healthy. What does that mean? And can one attain “health?” How do we measure it once we get there? And can this person really, actually get to that point — and on what time frame?
If we don’t drill down to answer these elements, we don’t ever accomplish our goals (because, frankly, we set terrible goals to begin with). So if you’ve set some new year’s goals for yourself, take a long look at them and make sure they make sense!
If you’re wanting accountability for your goals, we’re hosting a 6-week class, the Pursuit of Wellness, focused on setting goals that allow us to move toward a better state of health in the new year. Space is limited, and though each session is $30, we’ll refund the cost of the entire series for any current KCDPC member who attends all 6 sessions. (Which would make it free; who doesn’t like free?)
Our Goals for 2019
Let’s put our money where our mouth is, shall we? In a recent blog, we shared the data we received from our 2018 Patient Survey. It was telling and gave us perspective on where we want to set our course for the next year.
Goal 1: Expand Hours
In an effort to expand our clinic’s hours, we will be hiring staff to be present on Fridays to answer phones, help with scheduling, and to be available for vaccine administration and medication pickups. Our target date is to have someone hired by February, and we welcome any suggestions for fantastic medical assistants and RNs out there.
Goal 2: Improved Online Scheduling
We currently offer online scheduling via the AtlasMD app; however, there are 3 big hurdles: our app only allows one account per billing account, those who use it find it glitchy, and it’s only for iOS. By June 6, we will create an online calendar on our website for patients to book appointments.
Goal 3: Increase Staffing
- We will hire a full-time registered nurse or medical assistant to be present Monday through Friday in the KCDPC office. They will help expand hours, as noted above, coordinate refills, coordinate referrals, and develop a system for better management of preventive visits. We will hire with start date of January 2019.
- We will hire a nurse practitioner to be available at least 2 days a week to help improve same-day, next-day access for current DPC members by January, 2019. This NP will also provide consistent coverage to other providers when they are out of the office.
- We will bring on a second physician with a start date of August 1, 2019 to lessen the strain on Dr. Edwards and to allow us to continue to care for more patients with a focus on continued, high-quality care.
Goal 4: Location and Decor
We will undergo significant change in the next year to accommodate more providers and services. By May 2019 we will have finalized plans for a more permanent location that will allow us to continue to grow while eliminating year-to-year increases in rent. Our goal is to be moved into a new location that we own by November 2019; we will enact a cohesive decor scheme with the move.