I wonder how many hoops a dental practice has to jump through today?
I’m sure if you started to think about it you could name quite a few, CQC, HTM01 – 05, GDC, CPD and so the compliance list goes on. There are constant discussions about these issues on social media and dental forums and I’m sure these discussions will stay hot for some considerable time yet as these systems seem to cause a considerable amount of stress for every dental practice.
So what can you do about this stress in your own practice?
Of course you could decide to let Future Health Partnership deal with it all for you but let’s assume at this stage you want to deal with the stress of these systems in your practice by yourself.
So I expected that you are now preparing yourself for a barrage of new systems that I recommend you implement in order to cope with the other systems of CQC and HTM 01 – 05 etc, but guess what, I’m not, I’m going to suggest something completely different.
Of course there are many companies and systems that have sprung up to help you cope with the compliance issue and so I’m going to leave that for them to help you with; what you can do is to deal with the stress that these systems bring to you.
Think about it, it doesn’t matter what you practically do you are never going to get rid of CQC or HTM01-05 so the starting point for dealing with the stress that they cause is to understand what is going on in your own head and to deal with that. Then outsource compliance if you feel you need to.
These compliance systems are a result of what Chris Cowan and Natasha Todorovich, in their Spiral Dynamics classification, call Values Level 4.
Values Levels are themes which shape the way we look at the world. Values Levels are ways of thinking which represent patterns recognisable in all human cultures and in every individual.
The society in which we live is firmly rooted in values level 4 (the system), this way of thinking has certain key features:
- The good book/manual. (think religion, CQC, HTM01-05)
- Delayed gratification. Work now and benefit later. (think payment in arrears at the end of the month, pensions at the end of your life)
- Acceptance of a role and position in life.
By way of contrast let’s briefly look at the thinking behind values level 5 (the entrepreneur):
- I am not going to wait for reward in the future, I want it now.
- I will work with the competition, so long as it is in a win/win situation
- I do not accept my role and position in life, I can work for more
Most entrepreneurs are thinking in a values level 5 way, after all they have ditched their employers organisational manual and decided to create their own. The typical dental practice owner has decided they are not going to work the whole of their lives to get a pension at the end – therefore the typical dental practice owner could easily be in values level 5.
So what does this mean? How can we use this new enlightened way of thinking?
The first step is to acknowledge that CQC and compliance is just a way of thinking, nothing more. It is a way of thinking which does not allow for the individual to take responsibility for those things themselves, rather the system is there to ensure that everything works okay.
It’s possible, is it not, for a dental practice to work exceptionally well without CQC and all other compliance? All that is required is for the individuals to take the full responsibility for patient satisfaction, cross infection control and all of the other areas which ‘compliance’ encompasses. If at this point you are screeching NO at this blog post then you are probably a values level 4 thinker, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
Now that you know that ‘compliance’ is just a way of thinking and the reason you are stressed is because you have a different way of thinking it becomes easier to let the stress go.
There is nothing that we can do to make compliance go away, so the easiest thing, from a stress management point of view, is to realise that it is just an alternate view of the world and accept it as such, with all of its flaws which may be apparent to you.
If you flip it around the other way and view the entrepreneurs way of thinking (values level 5) from the perspective of ‘compliance’ (values level 4 thinking) then wanting to get rewards now, taking full responsibility for everything that you do and working without those compliance manuals seems equally weird… It’s just a different viewpoint, that’s all.
I’m pretty sure that all those working in Whitehall are expert values level 4 thinker!
As soon as you decide to stop putting all of your energy into battling AGAINST the culture of values level 4 and compliance and decide to work TOWARDS what you truly want you will find that your goals become easier to achieve and that stress levels reduce.
So what can you practically do?
The stress that we believe is caused by some of these issues is not really caused by them at all. It is caused by our own mindset - and once we realise that we are in control of our own mind there is no need to be stressed any more is there?
The thoughts, ideas and concepts presented in this post are those exclusively of Mark Oborn.