Success Story

Learn how Novus Clinic used The FISH! Philosophy to boost employee morale, increase referrals and work hard to make every patient’s day.

Novus Clinic

Novus Clinic, based in Tallmedge, OH, offers a full range of eye and skin care, including eye exams, cataract and LASIK surgery, and facial cosmetic procedures.


Several years ago the clinic faced big challenges. The quality of their clinical services was high but employee retention, staff morale and patient referrals were low. Doctors sometimes handled their frustration by yelling at staff. Kim Hoch, the clinic’s vice president, believed The FISH! Philosophy could improve their culture. The first step was getting physician leadership on board.


  1. Increase employee morale, retention and teamwork
  2. Create a responsive, warm experience for patients, leading them to recommend Novus to others.
  3. Improve relationships between physicians and staff.
  4. Grow the business.

FISH! Approach

  • The physicians realized that if they wanted to see changes in employees, they had to start with themselves. “They saw that by changing their tone, especially in stressful situations, and looking for positives, staff went above and beyond to help them,” Hoch says.

  • Hoch introduced FISH! in a series of two-hour meetings, focusing on one practice a month, starting with Choose Your Attitude.

  • Novis set up committees, led by staff, to find ways to bring the FISH! practices and spirit into their daily interactions with patients and colleagues.

  • Because patient wait times were too long, physicans agreed to pay fines when they arrived late. Staff used the money to pay for a refrigerator with juice, beverages and snacks for patients so they were more comfortable when they did have to wait.

  • When surveys showed patients felt they didn’t get enough quality time with doctors, Novus found most doctors stood during the exam. To Be There for patients, doctors started sitting with them, eye-to-eye. Though they did not spend any more actual time overall with patients, later surveys showed patients felt doctors were spending much more time with them.

  • Staff collected gift cards to make the day of patients ojn their birthdays and other special occasions.

  • New employees were assigned a veteran staff member to mentor and Be There for them when they needed help. Beside building relationships, this prepared staff to move into manager positions.

  • Novus displayed The FISH! Philosophy in every exam room, telling patients what the staff was committed to. If patients saw staff living the FISH! practices, they could fill out a card describing what the staff did and leave it in a fishbowl. These cards were read at staff meetings to recognize and thank employees; Novus also created gift bags for them.

  • Hoch used FISH! when interviewing new employees to let them know that “This is our culture and what we believe in here.”


  • Patient satisfaction and referrals soared
  • Employee satisfaction and retention increased
  • Novus responded to its growing patient load by opening two new clinic locations.

“Fish! has become a way of life for us. Our staff is happier and our patients are happier. I can’t imagine where we would be today without Fish!”

– Kim Hoch, clinic vice president

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