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2020 marks the 15th year we’ve been in business. It has been an eventful journey, to say the least. Yet at the end of the day we are so thankful to come into work each morning and love what we do and value those we do it with.
This month, we thought we would share our top 15 lessons we’ve learned over the past 15 years. It has been a decade and a half of growth and perseverance, but our staff, patients and community are what make this experience worth it.
#1: Take Your Work Seriously, But Not Yourself
Without a doubt, we care first and foremost about excellent patient care and successful outcomes. We take health and healing very, very seriously. However, we also find joy in what we do every day. We like to have fun. Without that connection, and frequently a spark of spunk with patients and coworkers, we would not thrive as people or a business. Job satisfaction makes for a job well done.
#2 Know Thy Patient
Our patients are what it’s all about. Word of mouth is what got us off the ground, and we are eternally thankful to patients old and new for their trust in our team. Understanding their diagnosis, their favorite hot beverage, and knowing their birthday creates a better relationship between physical therapist and patient, which in turn leads to better care. One size does not fit all and good service comes down to the right relationship from one person to another.
#3 Serve Your Community
Our tried and true physical therapy knowledge is not something we keep to ourselves. By lending our expertise to community members during free seminars or up and coming clinics looking for advice, we create more connections and strengthen the reputation of ourselves and West Michigan. Most of us grew up here, chose to raise our families here, and want to see our communities thrive.
#4 Always i’mprove
We challenge ourselves and our patients. i’move is not afraid to take on new treatments like our BFR machine, nor help patients walk again when surgery was thought to be the only option. Through continuous self-assessment we are able to grow as a practice and as people.
#5 Small is Mighty
We do not need to be a multinational corporation to know what we’re talking about. i’move has some of the most manual therapy and functional movement fellowships on its staff in Michigan. With our current numbers, we can focus on giving the best experience to the patients we have without cutting any corners. Our practice is not about more staff. It’s about the right staff.
#6 When You Care, Your Team Will Too
We do not hire our staff based on their credentials. Well, we do, but it’s also more than that. Human beings have an inherent ability to pick up when another person cares, is attentive, and wants to help. i’move makes sure each staff member has a heart that wants to make a difference and the drive to do so. When we show that same respect for our staff, they care. And when they care, they do a better job.
#7 Stay in Touch with Your Field
Many of our clinicians serve on boards that help us keep our finger on the pulse of our industry. Clinic owner Marty Sytsema has served on the board of the Michigan Physical Therapy Association and stays closely involved with that organization. Clinic owner Jeff Clark is currently a member of the Michigan Board of Physical Therapy. Director of Athletic Training Mike Braid is currently a member of the Michigan Board of Athletic Trainers and our employees have been members of both of those boards in the past. Working with some of the most well-respected clinicians in our state helps us stay current in our industry. We strive to not just be book smart, but continue to incorporate modern research and methods into our practice.
#8 Strong Commitment to Ongoing Education and Learning
One of our Core Values is a commitment to educate. By encouraging our staff to further their education, we have helped countless physical therapists on our team advance their training to optimize and specialize their physical therapy careers. Most of our physical therapists have added credentials, certifications or specialties. We support our staff’s dreams and cheer for them when they succeed.
#9 Health Goes Beyond Physical Therapy Treatments
We really do more than “check in” with one another because our work is more than treating your physical condition. It’s how you feel in the morning, what you eat, or how motivated you are to reach your goals. By being there for each other emotionally as well as physically, we help our patients and staff improve their overall health and reach their goals.
#10 Be Transparent
There is no underground lab of i’move medical secrets. We explain our practices to our patients, fellow workers, and community in a language they can understand. From our treatment options to our comprehensive payment plan, patients know exactly what they’re walking into at their first appointment. This transparency builds honest relationships. When it comes to healthcare, the less surprises there are, the better.
#11 Share Your Knowledge
i’move patients not only understand what the problem is, but why it is occurring. Our physical therapists understand the biomechanics of the whole body and know how pain in the foot relates to pain in the knee or hip. By understanding all pieces of the puzzle, our patients have a better comprehension of their care.
#12 Celebrate Each Moment
Throughout 15 years in business, we’ve found it really is the little things that matter. Every milestone deserves to be appreciated, from birthdays to breakthroughs in treatment to babies to completion of treatment to celebrating wins big and small. To keep spirits up, we always inject some fun and a little weird into our clinics and gym. We love celebrating with all members of the i’move family.
#13 One Size Does Not Fit All
Even the same injury between two individuals will have different forms of treatment. The best care for our patients is what’s comfortable, what motivates them, and what works. Customized care isn’t a perk; it’s a necessity.
#14 Try New Things
Expanding our services over the years has led to some of the greatest joys of our business. From our own FIT training to Women’s Health and Worksite programs, exploring all areas of health and fitness has led us to a better understanding of the body. To succeed as a business means adapting to what your patients and workers need. You cannot be afraid to grow.
#15 Move Daily
However we can, we find ways to move daily. From sneaking in some stretches at work to bringing in new ideas to the clinics and gym, we push ourselves to build upon what we have. These little steps are what founded our 15 years in business. Each and every day, we keep moving forward.