Saturday, February 27, 2010

Referral Karma

I give and get a lot of referrals. In fact, just this week I referred a company I had just met to my business banker, who has been a great resource for us. I was happy to do it, happy to be able to help my new contact, and certainly happy to give my banker the opportunity. Now in the interest of full disclosure, the new company is a prospect, but I have done the same, many times before, for companies and individuals that were not prospects.

Recently we’ve had three different people ask about compensation for referrals that lead to business. I have to confess, I was a bit surprised – I had never thought of doing that before.

I’m happy to give referrals without any expectation of getting something in return. Especially, in the kind of economy we’ve had for the past year or so, I feel like anything any I can do to help a good business prosper is a positive contribution, and besides, it just feels good! We’ve gotten so many referrals over the years, so I also feel a bit like I’m paying it forward. I also like to refer business in which I have confidence.

I wonder, is there a “conflict of interest” if you are receiving payment? I can’t help but wonder, what do others do? Do you pay for referrals? Do you expect something in return?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stop Trying so Hard

Last year one of our big initiatives was to find strategic partners – companies we could work with, offer more to both of our clients, and help both business grow. We really did look hard and didn’t have much success.

When doing our business planning this year we decided to try other things. After all, that did not work out so well.

Well funny thing is happening – all those valuable strategic partnerships we were dreaming of seem to be falling into place. Who knows where they will lead, but it sure is funny that they’re happening now. Maybe there’s something to the theory of relaxing and letting things happen. Sure seem to be working for us!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Can the iPad help to usher in a new age in medical record keeping?

Now that the dust is settling and millions of words have spewed forth over the eventual “success” of the yet to be sold iPad, I would like to weigh in. Most of what I have read about the product and its potential has to do with the consumer. I am confident that Apple’s marketing clout will make the iPad a hit among consumers even considering the relatively high initial price. I feel I am in good company here, since many analysts are predicting millions of units sold in 2010 alone!

However I am more interested in the use of the iPad as a business application device. This is the first hand-held “tablet” which in my opinion could really facilitate the transition from a paper based medical community to a digital one. There are many reasons why I think this product may be a game changer.

PC based tablets have been around for a number of years. They are typically small notebook computers with a touch screen that can be inverted and lay closed over the keyboard. A typical weight is about 3+ pounds. Kind of heavy to carry throughout the day up and down the halls of a typical hospital while making rounds. They are typically pen or keyboard based. A bit clumsy to use when on the go.

On the other hand the iPad addresses several of the negatives preventing widespread adoption of the PC tablet. Here are some of the major ones. It is a relatively light-weight (1.6 lbs) device with an amazing display. User interaction leverages the multi-touch iPhone/iTouch gestures that are familiar to millions of users. When needed a virtual keyboard facilitates data entry. The 9.7 inch screen with 132 pixels per inch resolution screen (1024 by 768 pixels) is sufficient for viewing medium resolution medical images along with patient information. WiFi and 3G connectivity allow access to medical data from anywhere.

With the creation of novel medical software applications, the iPad may just accelerate the change over to the digital age replacing the medical profession’s clipboard and paper based systems