Defining Value

By Stacy M. Menz, PT, DPT, PCS

When I went to write this letter, and stopped to consider the theme of this issue, “Defining Value,” I realized it was an ideal topic for closing out 2016. We have talked about so many topics throughout this calendar year, and as I look back over each of them, I see the idea of value being a central theme. What does value mean to your customer, to your staff, to your business, to our profession, to you?

I have had many opportunities to look at that very question over the course of this year. My business structure has changed over the years based on how my employees and potential employees are defining value. We have adjusted the focus of our evaluations, treatment approach, and programming based on how our customers are defining value.

I don’t often discuss clinical approach in this venue, but I thought I would share one way we are tying value to our evaluations and treatment. We have implemented the use of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, which is an assessment that looks at participation and self assessment of activities/tasks including their importance, performance, and satisfaction with performance. The use of this tool has allowed us to open a dialogue with our patients and families to find out what is important to them. Now rather than hearing that they want their child to stand on one foot for a longer period of time, we discuss that they want their child to be able to get dressed by themselves—and the fact that they can’t stand on one foot easily is limiting that ability. This tool allows us to target our approach to make meaningful changes in the lives of not only our kids but also their families. We are working on the goals that they have defined as valuable to them.

A similar application is with your clinic teams. I am not always the best at taking the time to show my appreciation, despite the fact that I am appreciating my team and their hard work. I found a book called The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, and I have been using it as a guide to show my appreciation in ways that my staff define as meaningful and valuable. Before I was doing what I thought they would want, and that turned out to generally be the method that meant the least to them!

How are you determining what value means to your customer, to your staff, to your business, to our profession, and to you? We would love to hear!


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