Real-time patient feedback program at Western Sydney LHD nominated for Best Digital Transformation project

The successful implementation of Energesse’s ‘MES Experience’ real-time patient feedback platform at Western Sydney Local Health District earned a nomination as an Award Finalist for Best Digital Transformation project at Australian Healthcare Week.

This achievement comes after the patient survey program at Western Sydney Local Health District known as ‘My Experience Matters’ also won the Chairman’s Award and the Bob Leece Award at the Western Sydney District Quality Awards in 2017. Energesse is now implementing a second district-wide implementation at South Western Sydney Local Health District.

At Western Sydney LHD, the platform has now been rolled out across all major hospitals in the health district including Westmead, Blacktown, Mount Druitt and Auburn Hospitals. Key outcomes have included improved scores in the Friends and Family Test (now at 87%) and The Patient Experience District Wide Score which rose to 86% from 72%. Impactful and visible strategies have also been implemented using more detailed data on the patient experience. For example, an internal ward competition (the Ssshh! Challenge) aimed at reducing night-time noise helped staff improve this score by up to 19%.

The Energesse program has also seen similar accomplishments in the private sector. Genea, the 3rd largest chain of IVF clinics in Australia has seen a 15% improvement in their Net Promoter Score in their first year of implementation across their nationwide chain. The platform provided more granular depth in reporting on patient experience, which empowered front-line staff to make meaningful changes in their own units. The improvements to phone communication and targeted nurse training helped increased satisfaction in a sector with higher consumer expectations.

One of the key success factors for Energesse’ programs is the integrated delivery of a customisable IT platform with expert advisory and training capabilities. Dr Ratnanesan, CEO of Energesse stated “one the major reasons why Energesse has been successful with its IT implementations is its specialist consulting methodology to helps clients achieve outcomes and to continuously innovate on the solution’s user experience. This proprietary formula has helped our clients succeed in a challenging yet important priority in healthcare”.

The MES Experience solution provides real-time data to managers and front-line staff through patient surveys. In addition to quantitative data on patient experience, the platform also comes with a sophisticated PanSensic natural language processing algorithm. This AI tool analyses and translate free text into human emotions and automatically theme patient issues and concerns.  Highly useful data analytics on actionable root causes prove to be valuable in informing quality improvement initiatives for the front-line staff and managers. The tool received a High Commendation last week at the prestigious Health Service Journal Partnership Awards in the UK. In the future, the MES Experience platform is offering real-time staff surveys, providing significant synergies and cost savings to hospitals.

 

Jessica Evans, Project Officer in the Patient and Carer Experience Team at Western Sydney LHD will be delivering a presentation on the Western Sydney LHD implementation on 22nd March 4pm at the Australian Healthcare Week conference.

Reward and Recognise Patient Experience Champions

Western Sydney’s win of the Bob Leece Award at the recent Quality Awards, is a great way to recognise those involved in transforming the patient experience in Australia. Watch this video below about the My Experience Matters Survey and the Patient and Carer Experience Team that led the way…

These awards inspire and motivate staff to continue on in their journey of experience improvement but it is not the only way of recognising staff who are making a change in an organisation. Here are 5 simple ways to celebrate staff:

  1. Recognise them at team meetings – put their names on the agenda as a key item and hand out a simple reward. The Trinity Health System in the US managed to pin-point ‘simple’ rewards by asking staff what their favourite candy bars were in a motivational assessment survey. 1
  2. Match the reward to the achievement. For a smaller achievement, managers or the executive could send a thank-you note. For a high-performing staff, link these notes of appreciation to their annual performance appraisal, as was part of a Reward and Recognition program in the US.1
  3. Involve patients in celebrating a staff member or awarding a patient experience ‘badge’. The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust UK launched a reward scheme last year that saw patients themselves award badges to staff for standout examples of quality care.3
  4. Getting colleagues to recognise each other’s efforts. A hospital in Pennsylvania mounted a ‘Caught You Caring’ initiative to reinforce extraordinary customer service behaviours through peer recognition. They found that asking employees to recognize and document acts of extraordinary customer service had a twofold effect: increased attention to the contributions of co-workers, along with enhanced collaboration and teamwork.2
  5. An ‘I appreciate what you’re doing’ conversation as you pass a staff member in the corridor does wonder for staff esteem. 🙂

Sources:

1http://education.healthcaresource.com/employee-recognition-5-ways-to-satisfy-staff-patients/

2http://www.healthstream.com/resources/blog/blog/2014/12/08/best-practices-for-healthcare-rewards-and-recognition

3https://www.nursingtimes.net/roles/nurse-managers/patients-given-badges-to-reward-quality-nursing/7001586.article

Recognising staff is very much a part of the third E (ENGAGEMENT) in our 6E framework – a holistic guide to improving patient experience in a health setting. If you want to find out more about how the 6Es can help you transform staff culture and patient experience, just call or email us.

Collaboration is the New Black in Healthcare

These last few months, I’ve been working on an industry White Paper called “Future Solutions for Australian Healthcare”.

The intention of this White Paper is to identify unique insights that exist within the Australian healthcare system in order for us to really look at areas where sub-sectors of healthcare can collaborate with each other in order to solve common problems.

The White Paper’s  intention is also to identify potential strategic alliances within different areas of the healthcare industry and this also includes the wellness industry.

It is time to identify, approach, and develop models outside traditional healthcare models in order for us to achieve solutions to the problems that we currently experience.

It was Albert Einstein that said “We can’t solve the problems of the past with the consciousness that created it.” In essence, what Albert Einstein was saying is we need a new way of thinking in order to solve the healthcare problems of the future.

The government currently spends in excess of a $140 billion a year in Australian healthcare. That’s a lot of money and yet we continue we continue to have problems where the industry is fragmented, not everyone receives an equitable level of healthcare and there are many people that still don’t receive the value in healthcare that they actually deserve. At the same time, the government is faced with costs that are spiraling.

In Australia, the problem is moderate but becoming worse with the nation’s spending about 9.4% of GDP in healthcare. In the US, the problem is increasingly acute where the spend is about 17% of GDP, a phenomenon that is unsustainable.

Things have to change.

I have worked as a clinical doctor in the UK as well as Australia, I’ve worked in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, I’ve worked in wellness and alternative health and I’ve seen many different areas of healthcare. What was really phenomenal to me was that everybody is in it for the right reason, everybody wants to make a positive difference, everybody wants to make changes.

But what’s interesting is that all these different sectors are still working in silos. They are all trying to achieve similar objectives and wanting to improve patient outcomes but not really coordinating with other parties in doing so. And if they are, then they’re not doing it very strategically or in a way that can make the most impact.

Now, maybe I was lucky. May be all the people that I worked with in all those different sub-sectors were good people and I missed the ones that were in it for profit or to harm patients or to make things in the healthcare system worse.

I have to be honest I didn’t really come across too many of those people in all my 15 years of healthcare.

If they do exist, they’re in the vast minority. However, that’s just my humble opinion.

You may call me naïve or ignorant. I, on the other hand, choose to see the flip side of the coin and look at the opportunities for those that have similar visions, passions and beliefs to come together to solve some of these problems in the healthcare industry.

I believe that health insurance, pharmaceuticals, doctors, nurses, allied health, alternative health can come together to work things out and share resources, work synergistically and work more efficiently to solve the problems that we currently face in the healthcare industry which are primarily still lack of equitable care, average patient outcomes, and rising costs that are unsustainable.

I don’t believe the pot needs to get bigger. I just think it needs to be shared around a lot more.

As such, my organization Energesse as an independent specialist consultancy in healthcare and wellness is developing an industry White Paper in collaboration with several other consulting agencies. This industry White Paper is dedicated towards identifying those synergistic opportunities with different sectors of the healthcare industry and to solve common problems.

Thus far, we have already identified and secured 8 of the top 20 leading authorities and thought leaders as well as CEOs in Australian healthcare to combine their knowledge and expertise in one solid voice.

I’ve now learned that we also now have the opportunity to present the findings of this White Paper at the “Future of Medicare Conference” in Sydney in August of this year.

Along the way, I will be presenting similar ideas and looking for collaborators at the various conferences I speak at such as the “Future of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Summit”, the “Health Insurance Summit” in Sydney, as well as the “World Congress of Prevention and Wellness” in San Diego.

And so my question to you is this- how can you as a healthcare provider collaborate with another provider within your sub-sector to deliver better patient outcomes and to do things more efficiently such that you can share resources and actually reduce the costs of the healthcare system?

I think everybody’s ideas are required at this point in time and so is yours. Let me know what your thoughts are and what your ideas may be, the future of the healthcare system needs it.

Do you have the ‘Entrepreneur’s Curse’??


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In my role, I help CEO’s and Entrepreneurs in the Healthcare and Wellness industry, often when times are very rough. In some cases their companies are financially cash strapped and they are almost broke.

For the CEO’s of larger companies, stress management is just as important as strategy management, and so I help them in both of these areas.

However, for the smaller organisations, I note a very similar behaviour pattern or condition that I have noted several times in the past. In fact, it’s a condition that I have also been afflicted with in the past.

The condition is called the ‘Entrepreneur’s Curse’.

To understand this curse, first you have to understand the mindset of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is often someone that is optimistic and full of bright ideas. A true entrepreneur has the courage to take some of these ideas and turn them into viable businesses.

However, what happens very often is one of two things:

1. Before Business no. 1 becomes a success, the entrepreneur has already started working on business no. 2 (and possibly even business no. 3)

2. Within business no. 2, the entrepreneur has already dedicated his or her limited time to a multitude of projects, tasks and activities, all of which are ‘good ideas’ to him or her, but do not necessarily align the with cash flow requirements of the business

3. The entrepreneur has spent so much developing new ideas (the exciting stuff), that he or she has not focussed on the MOST IMPORTANT AREAS OF FOCUS and developed that ONE BUSINESS to become the greatest source of income and success.

In short, the entrepreneur has spread himself or herself too thin, to point that the business never really succeeds and occasionally reaches a point of failure of bankruptcy.

In effect, this curse is actually a ‘blessing’ or ‘gift’ as the ability to continuously generate great ideas is a special ability to be cherished. However it does have a major downside if it is not checked.

In the last few weeks, I have particularly come across several entrepreneurs that are experiencing this ‘curse’.

One entrepreneur in particular had experienced a repeated set of failures, from office supplies, to property failures and subsequently wanted to start a range of healthcare products.

In most circumstances, while I strongly encourage greater entrepreneurship in the wellness industry, in this case
I actually advised him not to do it. It would have made his problems (and his debt) even larger and he needed to focus on more near term business growth opportunities.

Here’s the thing – if you haven’t learnt your lessons from past failures, the universe will keep hitting you over the head with the same lessons until you learn them!

Everyone has a unique set of stories and business experiences when they come to me and its important to identify what an entrepreneur really wants in their business and in life, before providing advice of any kind. So here’s a few pieces of general advice if you think you may be suffering from the healthcare ‘entrepreneur’s curse’.

1. It still surprises me how many business owners, particularly in healthcare, have not set themselves a financial goal. One tip I can provide here, is make sure you have set financial targets that are aligned with your business values as well as how you truly define success and happiness in life.

So many start up entrepreneurs want to create a business dollar company, yet very few actually do. If you have set a big goal – great, but ask yourself – does it really have to be a billion dollars?

Start with a more short term goal and work your way up from there. Your financial goals will help you determine a more focussed strategy for your health business.

2. Get OBJECTIVE advice on how your personal performance and business style affects your business. There is a tendency to rely on friends or family or occasionally, one-off advisors and whilst this can be helpful, solving these issues, especially when the business is in financial trouble, requires more intense support.

In my experience, a solid Advisory Board can help but more importantly I have found regular business coaching or mentoring to make the most difference. The reason for this is that entrepreneurs can get distracted VERY QUICKLY, even daily, and such there needs to be that sounding board to be there as regular as possible to get this back on track.

A good coach can save you millions and help make you millions, depending on the size of your business. Therefore I strongly recommend paying for a professional that is willing to accompany you on your business journey long term.

3. Finally, I would also strongly recommend mapping out all your projects , major tasks and activities on a simple project mapping tool like Basecamp (hyperlink to www.basecamp.com).

It is incredibly insightful to observe how many projects & activities you may be currently in, what may bring you short term revenue and which are the longer term options, in order to strike the right balance for your cash flow forecasts.

I recall conducting this exercise with Energesse and at one point we found that we were way overcommitted on the number of initiatives that we were involved with and actually ended up scrapping or holding off half of them!!

So, in summary know that your entrepreneur’s curse is also your gift. However, be sure that if you want to help as many people as possible with your healthcare and wellness organisation, then you need to be AWARE of how you are managing these sides of yourself and how it affects your business.

When was one time when you experienced the ‘Entrepreneur’s curse’?

What is the ‘Wellness World’ coming to? With Michelle Bridges from ‘The Biggest Loser’ Show

Over this last weekend I travelled to Melbourne for the Australian Health and Fitness expo which gave me some deeper insights into the world of fitness and wellness – and what an EXPO-SE it was!

It definitely was like anything I was expecting!

I initially thought I would be surrounded by gym equipment and companies. However, there was much more to it than that – so where do I begin?

Well, let’s start with my highlights- the main one being meeting Michelle Bridges, the celebrity personal trainer from the Australian version of the Biggest Loser and hearing her speak. Whilst she is an exceptionally motivating speaker, her message is also very simple and clear.

Michelle has clearly worked hard over the years to not only stay in shape, but also stayed dedicated to keeping her clients fit and healthy whilst growing a multi-million dollar career. Her story was so inspiring as she had moved from a small town to Sydney in a small car that had all her belongings in the back, aiming for a bigger future as a personal trainer.

She even started her career in fitness training at the age of 14, when she convinced the owners of a local tennis court that she should be providing fitness coaching to all their members.

Indeed, she has a determined mindset. A sense of self belief that seems to be the trait of all successful people. And with all successful people that I have met in this space, they all say the strength of our minds, comes well before the strength of our bodies.

Michelle’s message to her audience was simple. If you are wanting to get fit and healthy, firstly figure out what you really, really want in life. Her example was that many overweight people complain about the negatives, and focus on what they don’t want, such as the displeasing look from others, the health problems and the affect their weight has on social relationships. Many are “stuck in a rut” and their eating habits get worse but they subconsciously prefer to stay that way than change and get healthy.

Michelle’s solution for this is to then MAKE A PLAN for how to get what you really, really want. Figure out a way to get there, and if you don’t know, ask for help, either from personal networks or professionally.
And finally, her advice is to TAKE ACTION. Of course, this may seem rather simplistic but it where everyone falls down. She has the 3 C formula for success. And the 3 C’s are:

1. Consistency

2. Consistency

3. Consistency

I was so surprised, an in fact, quite startled at how obvious this piece of advice is. If you want to become successful at anything, you have to change your behaviour pattern so you adopt A PATTERN for success that is repeated over and over again.

This is a mantra she has adopted in her 12 week Body Transformation (weight loss) program which several people I know have tried and delivered remarkable results. For a nation that tallies first or second in the world for the obesity epidemic, programs such as these are a much needed non-medical solution.

Her pattern of success involved waking up at 5 am every morning and going for her run. Despite her longstanding fame and success, I could see that she was still in very good shape and very conscious of her diet. She also mentioned the trials and tribulations of working with clients to adopt such success behaviours, sometimes which drove her to tears more than her clients!

I am not surprised that Michelle is such a successful entrepreneur in the wellness industry as well. Her messages are very similar to philosophies I teach wellness business owners when it comes to growing their businesses.

Having the mindset to persist across business challenges is paramount and success behaviours you need to have as an entrepreneur in the health and wellness space include working the hours necessary, ensuring you have a solid business plan and being consistent with calling potential clients and ensuring the quality of your service is CONSISTENT.

My one biggest takeaway was ensuring that I was more consistent with making calls to potential clients, and moving it to the first thing in the morning. For my business, I know that the more conversations I have, the more successful my healthcare business becomes, and the more health leaders I am able to help. That gives me a lot of fulfilment.

As for you, what success behaviours do you need to adopt to make yourself a success?

Do you suffer from “If Only I had….” Syndrome?

Some people are very interesting – aren’t they? Throughout my life, I’ve been involved in the healthcare industry for over 15 years and this has given me a great insight into people.

Having grown up and studied in Malaysia, Singapore, UK and Australia, I met and befriended all kinds of people from eastern and western cultures. And they’ve had a diaspora of beliefs that confronted each other but often also coalesced in harmony.

Working as a doctor in hospitals in the UK and Australia, I treated them when they were sick and depressed and saw them heal and go home in good spirits. And then there were those that I could not help even with the best of medicine, and died with their families around them or sometimes alone. I witnessed their attitude to life in the best and worst of times.

When I moved into the business of biotech and pharmaceuticals, I saw the big picture of healthcare, how financials shape the world and how governments and businesses interact to create a ‘healthcare ecosystem’, which ultimately was also driven by people and their opinions.

In my time as a filmmaker and entrepreneur, I heard their stories and learnt how to tell theirs as well as my own. I developed a courage that I had not needed before, a courage to brave the world under my own ‘brand’, the wits in my head, the passion in my heart and the clothes on my back. No big brand like “Pfizer” to support me. And I saw a different side of people then.

And in all that time, I found that there are really only 2 kinds of people in this world.

This may seem very simplified, and yes we can shift between these two kinds of people, particularly in our 7 Areas of wellbeing, particularly areas such as Career and Finance.

Type V – People who believe that ‘the world happens to them’

Type H – People who believe that ‘they happen to the world’

What do I mean here?

Well the Type V as I call them, are the ones that suffer from “If only I had….” Syndrome. They are often ‘victims’ of how the world (other people, employers, God, natural disasters, family members, ex-husbands/wives, etc) has them wrong and their problems are always somebody else’s fault.

While they may be proactive in some areas of their life, such as their social life or physical wellbeing, they are often reactive and disempowered in others areas, such as with their business, work or money.

When they don’t get what they want in those areas of life, they often tend to say “ Ah, if only I had an investor, my business would be going great” or “if only I was better looking, someone would hire me” or “if only I had white skin, I would have more friends” or “if only I didn’t have this disease, my life would be great”.

For these Type V, there is always a reason why they did not get something and it was due to their own bad luck and there was nothing they could do about it (or at least they thought). Interestingly they may not have this attitude in all areas of their life, just in the areas they appear to have been unsuccessful in achieving their desires.

Then, there is the Type H, which are the ‘Heroes’. Type H are the masters of their own destiny. They are often very positive and successful in business and in life. They are happier (or at least appear to be), because no matter what disaster, tragedy or illness happens to them and knocks them down for a period of time, they find a way to bounce back.

They also get along better with others and do the best with whatever God has given them. These people aren’t better looking, they don’t necessarily have more money nor were they’re the best academically. They believed in how well they were, even when they were sick.

They just made the most of what they had, they believed in going out and getting what they wanted in life, despite the odds and making their business successful, no matter how dumb, ugly or ignorant the world thought they were.

I admired the Type H people. They were still human, and had the usual flaws of being perfectly human. And they are times when they got depressed and defeated through life’s challenges, but they have heart, and they are persistent in getting to their goals, especially if their goal is as simple as daily happiness.

Now I know that this may seem a little judgmental or even controversial, however it is just my own observation of people having worked across many careers, countries, cultures and organisations.

But here’s the secret…..

Being Type V or Type H is a choice.

We are not born this way nor were we made this way.

At some point in life, and in some areas of our life, we chose to be either Type V or Type H. And we can change at any time……

So, which one you rather be?

Have you met anyone with “if only I had…..”syndrome?

My Business Coaching Secrets – Exposed!!

For a very long time, I never knew what a business coach really did. Furthermore, I never even really saw myself as a business coach – ever!

So how have I now become one of the leading business coaches for the Healthcare and Wellness industry???

Well, let’s first take a look at what a business coach is – Business coaching is a type of personal development of your business skills, mindset and expertise. A good business coach or mentor provides positive and constructive support, feedback and advice to an individual or group basis (such as in a mastermind group like my Health Leaders Mastermind to improve their personal effectiveness in the business context and fast-track business growth.

Business coaching includes executive coaching, corporate coaching and leadership coaching, all of which can be incorporated in solid mentoring program.

What really interested me was that according to a MarketData Report in 2007, an estimated 40,000 people in the US, work as business or life coaches, and the $2.4 billion industry is growing at whopping rate of 18% per year.

Furthermore, according to the National Post in the US, business coaching is one of the fastest growing industries in the world! To me, that sounded like not only a great opportunity, but a very resounding message that the business world is waking up to having a credible sounding board for advice and that is can deliver substantial business benefits.

After having been a CEO of 3 companies and learning a lot about success and failure in business, I looked back at my diverse career and made a decision that was more aligned with my personal vision and mission, which is to help 1 million with their health & wellbeing by 2022 and 1 billion people by 2032.

That meant that I needed a model to build and grow not just one health & wellness company, but many of them. Business coaching for the Health and Wellness industry was the answer – this way I could support CEO’s, Entrepreneurs and Executives develop their products and services to enable greater global wellbeing.

When the idea was presented to me by one of my own business mentors, James Schramko, who is one of the world leading internet marketers,it made complete sense.

You see, I have pretty much been the “wise old one” all my life, giving sound advice to family members, patients and then in business, even to the CEO of Pfizer in Australia, helping him grow the business strategically to over $1 bil a year in annual revenue. I’ve always had a great gift for solving problems quickly, particularly in the business setting and also predicting future trends.

So how do I do it?

Click here to sign up for my next webinar or read on.

Well much like when I was a doctor, whenever I see a client, I have a 3 step approach:

  1. I make a Diagnosis (of where the individual and the business is currently at). I identify the goals and objectives and particularly get into the metrics of success this is often the financial bottom line.
  2. I prescribe some Treatments (or business solutions). For this process I use a Mind Map, which looks at key areas of the business.  You can check it out hereHealth Business Growth v1
  3. Follow up mentoring and management – This is the most critical piece as ongoing management is vital to sticking the proposed ‘treatments’, making sure the business solutions are implemented correctly. Sometimes I help the individual deal with mindset or physical issues that may be holding them back from achieving their best results in their business. Apart from strategic guidance and direction, I have found that the emotional support to help with the ups and downs of daily business challenges is also absolutely vital.

So that’s my first secret.

However, in my experience, when you want to grow a business and you have multiple business leaders with a common set of issues, a business mastermind group in one of the best ways to solve it.

And that’s why I created the Health Business Mastermind. The advantages of the Mastermind group are that not only do the leaders receive my mentoring it also gives access to a very select community of senior Health & Wellness business leaders.

Many of them also have the opportunity to collaborate and form Joint Ventures, Strategic Alliances and Partnerships to benefit their business. It’s also a place where they can be safe and accountable to their actions, while remaining focussed on their goals.

Leadership can be lonely, and in a mastermind, you get that mental and emotional support that you need, no matter how senior you are. It’s been getting great results and is open to Healthcare and Wellness CEO’s, entrepreneurs, and business owners who are also practitioners such as doctors, dentist, pharmacists, allied health professionals and even fitness and health coaches. You can read more about the application process here.

And if you’d like to get the benefit of my coaching at a free webinar, just click here.

What was the best business advice that you ever received in your career?

Have you ever heard of ‘DreamStorming’ to lift your mindset???

Brainstorming is an age-old exercise in the business world where a number of people get together and postulate various ideas on how to solve a business problem. It starts off with an immediate flurry of ideas which are at a later stage refined, analysed and implemented if considered appropriate.

This week, I came up with an exercise called Dreamstorming. I must confess it was not an original idea as one of my coaches, Sheevaun had shared this with me and all I did was give it a fancy name! In fact, this fancy name has also been used in different ways in the art of creative writing, but I felt it would be a good name for this mood-uplifting exercise.

However, I wish to use this term “Dreamstorming” in the context of business mindset. More specifically, I want you to use it to lift your mindset when you are feeling down, in the blues, when sales are poor or if you are generally having a shitty day!

This last week was a shitty week for me. My dad was in the initial stages of recovering from cardiac surgery when he had a lung collapse which had me concerned. I was hit with a viral illness followed by a bacterial illness which knocked me for six.
I was also exploring a new personal relationship with someone and the long distance was making it unworkable, and hence we decided to “just be friends”. In the mean time, I was also running my first webinar to help Health Business grow their profits, and whilst the turnout was good, it was less than the 1000 people I had wished for or expected.

As such, my mood was lower than usual and I was not feeling as positive as I normally am. In fact, I was downright depressed.

However, this “Dreamstorming” exercise changed my mindset and perked me up pretty quickly. In particular, it perked up my mindset about my work and got me closer in my usual flow. I also felt happier about what I was doing and felt ok about having a shitty day.

What to know how to do it? Here you go!

Objective:

This is a simple Positive Mind exercise, when you have experienced a failure or you are feeling down or dejected in your business. It will help reset your mind and energy into a positive force where anything is possible.

Instruction:

On separate pieces of paper or post it notes, write down 100 loud, ludicrous, crazy, statements of things that you want to happen in your business or your life right now. They can possibly even be unrealistic in your mind – though nothing is ever unrealistic.

Write them down in BIG, BOLD font. You can stick up these affirmations around your home or workplace, or throw them away after. The intention of them alone creates a powerful mindset shift (and they CAN ACTUALLY MATERIALISE).

Examples:

1. I want Richard Branson to hire me for 1 million dollars to do ……
2. I want 100 new clients to appear tomorrow on my doorstep……
3. I want to be invited to dinner by the Prime Minister of Australia to be asked for advice on ……
4. I want to be in joy with my work, every day of my life
5. Someone just paid me $100,000 to do a job that I can easily complete in a week!
6. I am surrounded by people I LOVE working with
7. I have the perfect business partner to appear and help me grow my business to $10mil a year in revenue
8. And so on……

Just let the writing flow. Once you are done, read through the list and sit in silence for a moment. Soak it in. Observe how you feel. You will notice a positive shift in your mood and mindset afterward.

Did it work for you? What affirmations did you write down in your Dreamstorming exercise?

6 Reasons for the Fear of Selling in Healthcare

Last week I ran my first webinar in my Health Business Masterclass series. We had over 70 registrations which I was pretty happy with considering it was the first time we were educating healthcare and wellness industry professionals on how to grow their business.

I’d also received some good feedback about the content that I presented and received interest from a few people who wanted to talk to me further about my Health Leaders Mastermind program. It’s a program that coaches CEOs and business owners on how to maximise their opportunities and help them deal with the challenges in their business, under my mentorship.

It’s incredibly powerful, especially when other members help each other.

For some people, after listening to the webinar, you may be at a fork in the road. Go left, and you stay on the path you’ve always been with your business and expect the same results. Go right, and you explore the benefits of joining a Mastermind group, to help you accelerate your personal development and business success.

Either way, you live and you learn. And so I offered 30 minutes of my time to freely coach anyone with a health & wellness business, on opportunities to immediately improve their fate. And I know I do this very well.
One of the major issues I’ve seen in healthcare though is the fear of selling. Very often, practitioners are often reserved and almost apologetic when it comes to asking for a sale or even asking for payment.

There is a belief that “Selling” is inappropriate in healthcare, even when it clearly is not.

You see, in my opinion, we are selling all the time.

Selling, in a manner of integrity, is merely influencing another party to make a decision that you honestly believe is right for you and right for them. It is a win-win.

These situations occur all the time, every day, and we are constantly getting by in our daily routines, being sold products and services, etc. and buying those we need or want. We almost don’t give it a second thought when we go to the local supermarket or fuel station and the person at the counter asks us if we want to buy another item from the counter.

So why does this become an uncomfortable decision in healthcare? Especially when you, the practitioner, knows that your health solution can solve the problem or illness that your customer, client or patient may be suffering from?

I was speaking to my personal trainer the other day, and she said she found it difficult to ask for more than $65 per hour. She didn’t feel confident she was worth it. Even though, I mentioned to her that she was doing a great job and $70 per hour was the minimum I had seen other personal trainers charge in the local area.

So here are 6 of the main reasons I find some people fear “selling” in the healthcare and wellness industry:

1. Fear of rejection

Many people fear rejection and fear the client saying “no”. This fear is so bad that it stops the practitioner from even picking up the phone. In the practitioner’s mind, they have created every reason possible, why they should not be selling, why their product or service is not good enough, why something can go wrong in the call or they may offend the client by calling them.

This is sometimes reinforced by a past experience of rejection, perhaps in another context. Sometimes the fear of rejection is so strong that some practitioners choose to outsource the sales function, perhaps to a receptionist.
This is a good idea if the receptionist has a stronger sales background, but not a good idea if they too have a similar fear.

Other times some practitioners fear that they will lose the relationship with the client forever, if they called them out of the blue to inquire if they want to make another appointment. What these practitioners should realise is that additional sales (products consumed or services utilised) by your client, patient or customer actually strengthens the relationship and bond with them.

2. Lack of self worth

In certain cases, the fear of selling comes from a lack of self worth or self confidence. This occurs when the self esteem of the practitioner or health entrepreneur may be affected for any particular reason, such as a personal crisis or illness.

Or it could be a function of upbringing. This may then translate into inability to sell their service, even though it may be a great health service.

3. Poor History with money

There are some practitioners, CEO’s and even entrepreneurs who are unfortunately not very adept at managing money. Perhaps there is a history of struggling to make ends meet, bankruptcy, constantly being cheated financially or paying excessively for unnecessary items.
You usually know if you are or if you aren’t good at managing money. When this is the case, there is usually an underlying emotional charge attached to money, and it is a negative one.

This has to be dealt with, either through psychological coaching or energetically, to remove the limiting beliefs around money.

4. Lack of proper training

Certain healthcare practitioners who are not keen on selling have often been turned down many times due to their lack of ability in communicating the benefit of their service, in a way their patients or customers can understand.
Sales is a skill and it can be trained.

You can improve your communication skills and there are specific techniques you can use to open a call, close a call and make a sale. Your personal development in the area of sales and marketing is one of the greatest investments you can make in improving your communication with your patients.

5. Overextension of the “Self –sacrifice” mentality

Workers in the healthcare sector do sacrifice a lot to help others. It is commonly acknowledged that doctors and nurses work long hours and aren’t always highly remunerated, especially in the early years – I’ve experienced this first-hand.

This becomes a self-perpetuating prophecy in healthcare, where we actually start to believe that we have to sacrifice our livelihood or wellbeing or even personal relationships, etc in order to do our jobs.

This is not an accurate reflection of how it needs to be when it comes to the financial aspects of your health business. There are many healthcare businesses with owners that thrive, personally and professionally, and with plenty of free time to enjoy life. It does start with changing your mindset.

6. Conforming to social standards or peer pressure

One final reason some people fear the selling process is because others have told them it is not the right thing to do. It becomes almost a cultural industry understanding, that it is “not cool”, “not appropriate” or “not meaningful” to sell a health service.

I disagree with this notion completely – if you are genuinely wanting to help someone and know you can do it with your product or service, you should be able to sell well, and I would even argue that you are wasting your time and that of your client or customer if you have not learnt to do this properly.

If you are in a social circle that reinforces negative beliefs about selling, and there is a collective financial distress, I strongly suggest exploring if that social circle is right for you.

In the last Health Business Masterclass that I did, I pitched our Health Leaders Mastermind program. Whilst I did provide a significant amount of free education, at the end, I also ensured I SOLD the program and interestingly some people were interested in buying. It is the nature of providing a service, sales is a critical element to get right.

To me, I am comfortable knowing that my Health Leaders Mastermind program is one of the best solutions to help grow a business in this sector and I have absolutely no problem “selling it” because my program helps people. And it does it well.

Bottom line, is that we have to overcome these issues because as they say FEAR = False Expectations Appearing Real. Most of the time, we set false expectations of what other might be thinking without actually knowing what they are thinking.

And if we can actually summon the courage and overcome that fear, we not only help others, we also help ourselves.
What about you, have you ever experienced the ‘fear of selling’?

Who is the world’s most famous medical practitioner?

Type in “I am sick” into Google and you will find 499,000,000 search results. It’s no secret that many people go online today whenever they have a pain, illness or a medical symptom of any sort to try and ascertain what the diagnosis might be. It’s the easiest thing to do and can be done very quickly and for some people, they get the answers they need.

For others, many patients actually consult the world’s most famous medical practitioner – “Dr Google” even after they see their own doctor.  Often this is to understand more about their illness or what their doctor or health practitioner actually said to them. Occasionally, it is to find out all the side-effects of the drug they have just been prescribed or seek a second opinion, especially when they are in denial of their recent diagnosis, which is sometimes very understandable.

Approximately 25% of Australians regularly seek health information online. It is expected that this will increase as more people use the internet to supplement their doctor’s advice. The Victorian Government in Australia set up website to provide credible medical information that I find very useful. It reports that a 2010 Nielsen study showed that searching for health and medical information was among the top 10 internet activities for online Australians over 16 years of age.

Apart from the reasons mentioned above,  patients go online to find out about alternative medical treatments, which practitioners of modern medicine are often not aware of. This is a tricky scenario of people who are desperate yet find it hard to distinguish what is credible. Organisations like Unity Health are doing great work in this area, by developing a database of interactions, including with alternative therapies. Their platform is called IM Gateway.

  • Seek support from other internet users who have the same kind of medical disease or illness (via ‘chat rooms’, online discussion forums, blogs or communities, or social media such as Facebook)
  • Find relevant patient support groups or other healthcare services
  • Resolve conflicting health information.

Interestingly, while all drug companies have their ‘Consumer Medicines Information” and “Product Information” documents available online, they are not usually the most read documents when searching online. In fact, you are most likely to come across articles or blogs about the product from other patients as well as banner ads for competitor drugs.

I attended a bloggers conference last year and it was very clear that patients are very used to consulting “Dr Google” , they apparently really trust “Dr Blogger”.

What do I mean by this?

Well at a conference for bloggers last year called Healtivate, several speakers mentioned how many patients admittedly search online prior to coming in to their clinics. Some even have printouts from the pages they have conferred with and asked their practitioner questions about it.

However, while many patients do refer to factual information and statistics, there are those that particularly relate stories from other patients who have experienced the same condition, trying the same drugs, having the same emotional, mental and physical challenges in their own life.

In these situations, they are more likely to resonate with whatever has been advised by the blogger, rather than their own medical practitioner on some occasions. After all, there’s nothing the doctor can do once the patient has left the clinic.

This form of storytelling by ‘patient bloggers’ can be very useful and emotionally supportive for others in similar situations, however it can also be dangerous as whatever treatment that may work for one person, may not work for another. If taken out of context, medical advice from bloggers may translate to adverse consequences for other patients, who may have very different variations of their own medical condition.

I do believe we need more credible healthcare info online and it has to be easily found on search engines. I also do believe we should introduce storytelling into how we present that information, as it is a very powerful medium to resonate with patients, and it is far more interesting to read than list of facts and statistics.

The lesson here is that credible health experts or ‘thought leaders’ in healthcare need to get their message out there through blogs. They need to get good at disseminating their content online so they get solid traction from people needing that information. 

For example, an expert on childhood Diabetes should have an online presence that is easily found by parents who have children with diabetes, and provide the right information for them. This may include the different types of diagnosis, forms of treatment, potential complications etc. It should also be a ‘real person’ experience on how to deal with the day to day issues affecting someone suffering from diabetes.

I look forward to seeing expert health and wellness professionals stepping up their game to become the next Dr Blogger and get the word out on the best health choices; this is information that is much sought after by Dr Google.

Do you have a favourite online site for your health information?