Guest Blog: Disruption and other painful things

Posted by Debbie Boone,BS, CVPM on May 9, 2019 10:00:00 AM

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There is a door in my bathroom.

Not hanging on the frame… It is sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall.

There are tools in the hall and paintings in boxes. I have had plumbers, delivery men, electricians and insulation installers invade my home and made more trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot than I care to remember. Why? Because my husband is remodeling our house. This has been going on since December 1st and to be quite honest, it is really getting next to both of us. We are living in a state of disruption.

Anytime we make a change to something that takes us out of our comfort zone we experience some level of mental anguish. The simple reason. Our brains are naturally lazy, energy conservators. When we have to move out of our routine habits, otherwise known as neuropathways, we have to work harder mentally. We hate that! If you think about the time you drove to work and can’t remember a thing about how you got there…you have experienced a neuropathway.

These pathways are very useful. Who wants to concentrate on how to brush your teeth every morning? No one, right? But neuropathways are also harmful when we continue in the pattern that keeps us smoking, or overeating unhealth foods or refusing to move forward in our job because “we have always done it this way.

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Working with veterinary teams I encounter the comfort of the familiar. Everyone on the team wants change – as long as it is the other guy that is changing. There are even those who embrace the change yet slip back into old habits. Some don’t believe new ways can be an improvement over what they do now. The thought of adding an app like VitusVet to send reminders, or telemedicine through a company like VetNOW puts practice owners in lockdown mode, even when their managers are seeking new efficiencies.

Sometimes this is reversed because the manager is already overwhelmed, and one more new thing is going to tip them over the edge. There are practices who are still using paper charts in conjunction with their practice management software even though this redundancy is a time suck and completely unnecessary with today’s backup systems and reliability. I even encountered a specialty practice that had no internet access for anyone but the manager because “she was afraid they would get a virus”. So rather than embrace technology, she basically hamstrung her practice.

I like change.

That is why my house is currently a minefield of men and tools. But in my experience, with the pain of disruption also comes improvement.

The floors were finished yesterday, and they make me smile when I look down the hall. The new refrigerator is rocking the temperature of beer (a necessary staple if you are remodeling). My cabinets are really organized, and old unused clutter has been culled. All in all, I feel the great disruption to my life is going to be worth it. I hope you will embrace disruption and create “better” for you and your team.

Now, if I can just get that door out of the bathroom….

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