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Reimbursement and Practice Management

Napkin Planning for Medical Businesses

Napkin Planning

Following the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” one way to birth a great idea for your clinic is to draw an image of it. Taking a complex idea and simplifying it on a napkin can help focus on the essentials of your idea — whether it’s establishing a new clinic, improving patient access, or exploring partnerships.

Try it with an idea that’s been percolating in your head. You don’t have to be an artist and the ideas don’t need to be detailed. Take a cocktail napkin and a pen to draw boxes, circles, arrows, and a few words to visualize your idea.

Next, share the napkin with a trusted colleague. Use feedback you receive to refine your drawing on another napkin. Evaluate how the idea fits the overall business strategy for your medical group. Take the napkin vision and convert it to doable actions. Consider using business planning software or an app to structure the concept into a format useful for establishing partnerships, procuring resources or securing funding.

Generate excitement with key people by sharing your “napkin plan” and encouraging them to come up with a plan of their own. Keep an image of the napkin for historical reference, too. It can be a reminder of how you started the initiative, with a simple drawing on a napkin, while celebrating the success of your idea once it’s implemented!

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