How to Help Your Team Achieve More than They Think They Can


Minda Zetlin, Inc. Magazine Online

Reviewed by Michael Vacon, PT

Author Minda Zetlin interviews Dan Schoenbaum, chief executive officer of the software company Redbooth, about his tips and techniques for getting his team to achieve more. Not only is Dan Schoenbaum the CEO of Redbooth, but he is also a former sniper in the Israeli paratrooper force. He relates how the intense training he had when he joined the military has helped him develop some techniques with his team. In his first day in the military, he learned that the culmination would be an 80-mile march with a 50-pound pack on his back. He shares how no one thought it would be possible at first, but after a gradual buildup of intense training it ended up being very attainable.

Overall, he has four simple tips or principles he uses with his employees. Although simple concepts, these can be very helpful in our industry—or any industry for that matter. If you own a private practice, you realize the importance of having to build an efficient team; one that knows how to pull together, multitask, meet sudden deadlines, and still provide a superior product. Here is how Dan Schoenbaum helps his people go beyond their limits:

1. Break it down into manageable steps. He summarizes that having the long vision of your plan is good for your employees, but many people need things broken down into smaller, more digestible steps to keep them from getting overwhelmed. In some cases, you may not know how to break things into smaller steps, but if you share a grand vision with your team, they might actually help come up with smaller, attainable steps to help you get there. He believes that his job is sometimes to be the rudder. While his team is working on the smaller tasks, he is making sure they are staying on the overall course he has set.

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2. Rally the troops. Achieving goals, especially grand ones, can be a daunting task. We would like to believe that all our employees are endlessly motivated to succeed at any cost, but the truth is people can lose focus on the big picture when they are “in the weeds.” Schoenbaum relates a situation in which his group was constantly losing contracts to a competitor and how he pulled everyone together for a motivational meeting to get all the departments working together to overcome the competing company. Having a sense of comradery can be vital in situations like this; rather than feeling like you are letting others down, you now realize that you have a supportive team around you.

3. Use rewards—the right way. Schoenbaum is not a big believer in “pay-for-play” where you incentivize a team by offering financial rewards for achieving a goal. He believes that people should be paid appropriately for doing their jobs without constantly dangling the potential of extra money for motivation. He does believe in offering rewards that bring a team together to accomplish a goal. He relates a scenario in which a development team was tasked to come in ahead of deadlines for a project and he offered them a huge party for the whole company if they succeeded. They met the deadline, had the party, and it really showed the team the power of collective effort.

4. Clearly define roles and responsibilities. Schoenbaum believes that not micromanaging a team is important; however, being specific about who owns what responsibility and when specific deadlines or checkpoints are, is vital for success. Overall, he believes that teams are not good at setting goals, roles, and responsibilities; however, a team that has this established from the start has a much better chance of excellent execution. He believes it is the leader’s role to “map out the goals and responsibilities…and then get out of the way.”

Overall, I liked the simplicity of his leadership plan. We all have teams of different sizes, but following these basic principles can help us lead our team to greatness. I know they hit home with me and gave me some great ideas for leading my team into the challenges that certainly face us ahead. 

The article can be found at:

Right Time, Right Place


Physical therapy on Capitol Hill.

By Jerome Connolly, PT, CAE
April 4, 2015

The Private Practice Section (PPS) conducted its third successful Capitol Hill Lobby Day this past February. This year, our forces were fortified thanks to collaboration with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), which brought 25 additional physical therapists to Washington, D.C. Members of the APTA’s board of directors and the Payment Policy Advisory Committee joined the 72 PPS Key Contacts in walking the halls of Congress, conducting 185 meetings discussing the Medicare beneficiary therapy cap, payment rate, and locum tenens. Forty states and 105 unique House districts were covered by the total 97 attendees, many of whom met with their actual representative or senator.

The timing for this meeting, which was optimal, was established by the PPS board of directors and was heavily influenced by the looming March 31 deadline when the therapy cap would be fully implemented and Medicare reimbursement for outpatient services would be cut by more than 20 percent. The payment reduction is due to the expiration of the waiver of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) used to calculate the conversion factor for the Medicare physician fee schedule under which outpatient physical therapy services are paid.

Choose Wisely


Management reports—make sure they are able to tell your story.

By Scott C. Spradling

Whenever we talk about electronic health records (EHR)/electronic medical records (EMR) in physical therapy, the conversation always seems to trend toward the complexities of documentation or scheduling and billing. A well-rounded review of any software out there should include a thorough demonstration of the practice management section. How capable is the software you are about to purchase (or already have) of accurately and easily reporting on all the data that is necessary to tell the story each month about the health and wellness of the practice.

Many of the products currently on the market offer a variety of canned reports. These reports are intended to provide you with instant information, already formatted and totaled. Just because a product has a larger variety of readied reports does not necessarily mean that these reports will be useful for you or your practice. Perhaps they are missing information, or calculating a number that is irrelevant to your practice. It is kind of like being on the new car showroom floor and the dealer says, “Just look at all the buttons and lights,” and you are thinking “Oh yeah, I have to have this one.” The reality is, once you drive it off the lot, all you really want is that one button that makes that one thing turn on. The key is quality over quantity.

Private Practice: The How-To Manual


A Concise Guide for Physical Therapists Opening a Private Practice

Published by the Private Practice Section | Reviewed by Kelly Sanders

The second edition of The How-To Manual is a comprehensive work written by seasoned veterans of private practice physical therapy. While this text is written with the soon to be or relatively new private practice owner in mind, there is also good content for the experienced practice owner.

The text covers multiple topics involved in running a private physical therapy practice. Each topic is broken into its own chapter and written by an author with specific expertise in the given subject matter. Chapters, each a stand-alone primer on the given subject, provide a sound reference to keep close as you navigate the world of private practice. The 13 chapters include:

Before, During, and After


How to re-engineer the patient experience in your practice.

By Nitin Chhoda, PT, DPT

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.” —Charles Darwin

Small changes to your patient experience, as opposed to sweeping, groundbreaking transformations can yield a significant benefit for your practice over time. In fact, the right patient experience begins even before the patient has stepped into your practice, and it continues well beyond discharge. The entire patient experience consists of three main components: before, during, and after (BDA). Collectively, these are the components that form the patient BDA continuum.

The “before” patient experience consists of the patient experience before they set foot in your practice for the first time. It includes the initial inquiry phone call, the scheduling process, the eligibility or insurance benefits verification process, the potential waiting room experience, the patient intake experience, call center phone conversations, and any experience the patient has before they see the clinician for the first time.

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