Ever been stumped by a patient question or objection and wish you had done a better job with the answer? I meet doctors all the time who repeatedly struggle with that same issue everyday – what is the best answer? Many are stressed and live in a low grade fear of those questions coming up and that can take a lot of the fun out of practice. If you collect enough of those issues, the practice is no fun at all. If this ever happens to you, I have a solution for you.
Write up the hard questions, write up or craft a good answer, and practice (role play) the answer with a staff person. Practice the answer with confidence until it flows smoothly. It’s called scripting. And scripting in it’s highest form is creating a tool to make your job easier and more enjoyable. Here’s an example: I had an office on the 75th floor of the Columbia Tower that had a problem with the wiring. I called maintenance and they sent a tech who had a tool belt full of small and unique tools that I had never seen before. I saw him use three of them to quickly solve my problem. It was slick.
Since his tools were unlike any collection I’d ever seen, I asked hem where he found them. “I’ve made all these myself,” he told me. “Every time I’m faced with a new challenge that a better tool will solve, I go make that tool. I keep making, collecting and discarding a few. Right now I figure these tools make my job easier and are fun to use. It’s a hobby of mine.” What a great metaphor!
Now to understand the parallel: MY tool making story. I spent a short time customizing a money script (I was making a tool) for a client. She had been having the common trouble of explaining what I call “the money” on her care plans and she wanted to polish that up and take care of it for good. It was a pleasure! She had the framework in one of my scripts, but had a unique concern. It just took a couple of minutes. Then we role played it back and forth a couple times. It was smooth as silk. We drilled on it for a moment and she went away happy as a lark. Hey, making scripting tools is a hobby of mine.
Since I know this doctor well, I can tell you that she has a whole “tool belt” full of scripts that make her practice easier, more enjoyable and at least one that now will make handling “the money” a lot easier as well.