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Part 2 Management Tip #24

Measure and Monitor Your Practice

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Tip 24: Measure and Monitor Your Practice

Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can't measure something, you can't understand it. If you can't understand it, you can't control it. If you can't control it, you can't improve it.
- H. James Harrington

If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.
- Peter Drucker

The most important things cannot be measured.
- W. Edwards Deming

I know a thing or two about measurement. When I became diabetic more than twenty-five years ago, I started to measure and monitor my blood sugar daily. Believe me that's a much bigger commitment than monitoring your supplies and new patients. Actually having access to that kind of information can be fun. Blood sugar monitoring, for me, became a habit. That habit led me to monitor my daily exercise, my blood pressure and my food and water intake. I am a measurement junkie. And that, as James Harrington says, leads to more control and more understanding.

I took those habits into my practice, and twenty-five years later I can think of nothing else that has kept me disciplined and in as much control as a person can have over life and practice.

Today there are apps for everything. I sync my iPhone to my Apple Watch and know exactly what I have to do—sit, stand, run. I'm just kidding because there is something known as analysis to paralysis…and you don't want to go there. Besides, staffs can only handle so much micro-management. Honestly I believe in what Deming says, that the most important things cannot be measured. Those things are about people and relationships.

The lesson: use monitors to guide your practice…especially the money.

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