Whether or not you’ve written one out, your healthcare practice has a mission. Maybe you want to equip patients to develop sustainable eating habits. Maybe you’re providing counseling and hope for families in crisis. Maybe you’ve committed your work to helping injured athletes get back on the field or the court. In any case, you started your practice for a reason.
Now, it’s time to clarify that reason and condense your values, purpose, and passion into one cohesive mission statement.
What is a mission statement?
Your mission statement is a formal declaration of why you started your company, and what you value. For example, Google’s mission statement is, “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Tesla’s mission statement is, “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” And Uber’s mission statement is, “We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.”
These simple, clear, and powerful phrases let the reader immediately know what the company is about, and where they’re going. But a mission statement is about more than bragging rights; it also:
- Keeps your company envisioned and aligned with core values;
- Unites all team members under an umbrella of purpose;
- Captivates potential clients and customers by presenting a clear benefit.
Ultimately, a mission statement helps any company–including your private healthcare practice–define their own journey….and shows people where they’re taking them.
How to write your own mission statement
Writing a mission statement may seem like a simple task, until you sit down to actually do it. The truth is, crafting a single phrase that captures the heart of your business takes some deep thought, a bit of brainstorming, and careful strategy.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you hone in on a clear, cohesive mission statement:
Identify your values
Your mission statement won’t necessarily dive into the specifics of what you do (for example, develop weekly nutrition plans, make regular chiropractic adjustments, etc.). Instead, it will take a high-level approach to the mission of your practice. To step back far enough to get that bird’s eye view, you’ll want to identify your values.
One productive strategy for identifying the values of your practice is to ask yourself what your top priorities are when it comes to serving your customer base. Do you want to make your patients feel seen and heard? Are you committed to restoring holistic balance? Or is your primary role to offer compassion?
Make a list of 3-5 values that communicate why you started your business and what you want to offer to patients. This list will be the foundation to your mission statement.
Hone in on your long-term vision
Now, take a moment to think about the future of your practice. Where would you like to be in 5 years? What about 10 years, or 20 years? When Google got started in 1996, it was just a research project by two very smart guys at Stanford. They hadn’t yet “organized the world’s information” or made it “universally accessible and useful.” And yet, that’s what their mission statement claims. Fast-forward nearly 25 years, and Google has, in fact, transformed the global landscape of how we communicate, learn, and exchange information.
Ask your employees and office staff what they feel about your values, your mission, and your future as a healthcare practice. Not only will they offer unique perspectives that can help you craft a better statement, but they’ll appreciate the fact that you value their input.
Write it out
Now, time for a little wordsmithing. This is the challenging part: Capturing your heart and purpose in just a few words.
First, choose a powerful verb that tells the reader how you achieve your purpose. Here are some examples of verbs that you might use for a mission statement:
As you might notice, most of these verbs are “others-focused”–they communicate an action performed for others.
Then, think through your core audience. Your practice may have a more general audience–such as your community at large, or even your entire city or state. Or, you might have a more targeted patient base–such as the elderly, low-income families, children, or patients with a specific type of chronic illness.
In any case, you’ll want to pair your verb with an object and your target audience. For example, you might be committed to…
- Providing compassionate care to the elderly
- Educating the community on mental wellness
- Building a healthier tomorrow for today’s youth
- And so forth….
Finally, don’t be afraid of using metaphorical or figurative language to make your point. Phrases like “heart,” “helping hand,” and “soul” communicate that you are an others-focused practice without getting too specific.
Now, for brainstorming: Write out as many ideas as you can for your mission statement. Don’t worry if some of the ideas aren’t any good; write them down anyway. Ask your employees for ideas as well, and see what they think of your own.
By the end, you should have 10-20 statements to filter, tweak, and revise. Give your top five ideas some time to “marinate” and revisit them after a few days. Then, say them out loud. Which one sounds the most clear and powerful? Which one gets to the heart of why you started your practice? Which one grabs your attention? That’s your new mission statement–a statement of purpose that communicates to others why you do what you do.
Advertise your mission statement
You’ve done the hard work of crafting your statement; now, think about creative ways you can advertise your mission statement so that your existing patients, employees, and new potential clients know what you’re all about.
Your mission statement should be clear and visible on all of the following:
- Your website
- Any paper marketing material, including brochures, handouts, and your business card
- Somewhere in the interior of your office
- Training guides and protocol used for intra-office admin
- Your social media accounts
- Your email marketing campaigns
- Your intake forms (which we’ll learn more about in a second)
Finally, incorporate your mission statement into team meetings, one-on-one trainings, and new patient onboarding. Your team and patients should hear, as well as read, your statement. Repeating your mission statement (when it makes sense to do so) will help get everyone excited and ready to work hard, deliver amazing care, and reach more patients.
Customize your content
As mentioned above, customizing your content–including your intake forms–can be a powerful way to advertise your mission statement and educate new and existing patients on your values and vision. IntakeQ is an electronic paperwork platform that will allow you to customize your own digital intake forms, including patient onboarding forms, questionnaires, and release forms. This powerful tool will also allow you to create a more customized, patient-friendly experience with:
- Convenient, time-saving online scheduling
- Personalized patient portals and private patient-to-provider messaging
- Text-messaging appointment reminders to decrease no-shows
- Patient surveys to give you greater insight into patient satisfaction and loyalty
- And more
To learn more about IntakeQ–and how you can get a free 14-day trial–click here.