Optometric Management Tip # 574   -   Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Go the Extra Inch

I had the pleasure of attending an educational conference at Disney World two weeks ago. It was a fantastic meeting with a great sense of sharing of ideas among the doctors and staff who attended. We enjoyed an excellent keynote speaker from the Disney Institute, Chris Caracci, who specializes in applying the Disney principles to health care. Chris shared a concept that I absolutely loved and I introduced it to the staff in my practice when I returned. The concept is that many companies and staff members say they go the extra mile for the customer, but it is far more effective to go the extra inch.

We have all been saying that phrase in my practice frequently ever since I heard it. Go the extra inch. The beauty of this concept is that we can all do some small thing for a patient that will be meaningful. We can actually make the small things happen. If we think of providing very big things, like an extra mile, we probably won't do them at all. We can go the extra inch many times throughout the day and we can do it many times in various ways for many people. And the small details make a huge difference in the patient's experience.

Here are a few examples of how our practice goes the extra inch: After introducing this concept to your staff, ask them to take note of the various ways your practice goes the extra inch and to bring them to the next staff meeting. When you see a staff member doing a nice thing for a patient or co-worker, tell her "Way to go the extra inch!" Encourage all your staff to say that phrase to their co-workers when appropriate. Make "Go the extra inch" your new mantra in the office.
Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management