Optometric Management Tip # 268   -   Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Top Ten Misconceptions in Practice Management

Conventional wisdom is often wrong. In this weekís tip, I will present ten commonly accepted management strategies that I generally disagree with. I admit that there is more than one way to be successful in practice, so some of these concepts may seem to be working for you. But thatís really the point of this article; read over this list and see if you are surprised to find something you believe strongly in may not be as effective as you thought. Granted, these are simply my opinions and nothing more, but I assure you that I have strong evidence to lead my thinking.

Taking the contrarian approach to some management theories can sometimes yield excellent results. With all due respect, many optometric practices are not doing all that well, so following the usual procedures that are prevalent in our profession may not lead to outstanding results.

I wonít go into details here as to the reason I think these ideas are misguided, but see if you can infer why I take the opposite point of view. If there is enough interest, future tip articles may focus on the theory behind each point.

My top ten misconceptions in practice management

10. I donít need a larger frame inventory.

9. Pre-appointing is the best recall strategy and is the key to building a busy practice.

8. Delivering glasses in one hour or one day is no longer important in practice building.

7. Annual employee evaluations are an important part of staff management.

6. Saturday hours are not that important to practice growth and they are inefficient due to no-shows.

5. A good bonus or incentive program for staff is a smart way to increase optical sales and improve performance.

4. For a fee increase to be well accepted, it should not be greater than 10%.

3. Using scribes in the exam room would drive payroll costs too high and it is simply not practical.

2. Medical billing and coding are the keys to financial success in optometry today and itís smart to have a higher fee for medically-based examinations.

1. It is smart to bring in an associate to buy into my practice earlier in my career so I have a secure exit strategy.

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management