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  • Janice Janssen, RDH, CFE

Are you ready for change?

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”-Winston Churchill

If you would have talked to me 15-20 years ago, I would have told you I am not a fan of change. It stressed me out to have to make a change in my personal or professional life. I wanted to avoid it at all costs. This is mostly because I like structure and a change seemed like it would alter the structure. For all of us control freaks out there…IT’S OK! Change is good!

Change is stressful at times, but it is a good kind of stress. It means you are growing as a person and as a team member. Where would we be if we all did the same things day in and day out? We would be stagnant. Change is required for any type of improvement or growth.

How you handle change is the important part. Included here are some tools to help make changes with a smoother transition than may have happened before. If you use these 5 questions as your guide, your steps will seem easier.

  1. Why? Why are we doing this? Was there a problem with the old way or is this going to help us be more efficient? If we understand the reasons for the change, we will have more drive to make the change happen. For instance, we are getting digital x-rays for the office. The reason for this is because the images are much better than film and can be enhanced if needed. The doctor will be able to diagnose a patient’s needs much easier with the digital x-ray system. And may even be able to see some things that could have been missed on the processor system.

  2. What? What kind of change is happening? Also, what is the goal for the change? We find this to be one of the pushbacks in many offices. The teams don’t always know exactly what is going on because the communication in the office is lacking a bit. Ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands what is happening.

  3. Who? Who is in charge? Who do you go to if there are any questions? This is important information because we need to know who to go to with any questions. We also want to ensure that everyone on the team is participating in any changes that are made. This will create the buy-in that is needed for the new protocol, equipment, etc to be successful.

  4. When? When will the new equipment arrive? Or the updates to the computers come in? There should also be a deadline for completion. If I do not have a deadline to aim at, then it takes a lot longer to get things accomplished. Give yourself a timeframe for each step of the process.

  5. How? This is the most important question. How are you going to implement the new equipment? Is there going to be training so we know what we are doing?

Most of the stress occurs because of the unknown. That is the real reason we do not like change. We want to know what to expect. Answering these questions will help alleviate some of those unknowns and provide a better transition with whatever change you are making.

Change still stresses me out at times, but I know that it is a good kind of stress. Whether you are getting a new software in your practice, new equipment or changing the verbiage when answering the telephone…embrace it. You will be better for it in the long run.

Janice can be reached at:

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