Optometric Management Tip # 59   -   Wednesday, March 05, 2003
Want to delegate more? Not sure how?

Delegation is one of the single most important management strategies that leads to success in practice - yet many optometrists resist it. I've heard all the reasons that are offered, but they never make much sense to me. But I won't discuss the pros and cons of delegating in this tip; I'd rather concentrate on how to do it if you decide you want to.

First, we must realize that the very nature of delegation involves staff support, so an optometrist who is already in practice and wants to delegate more should meet with the existing staff to discuss the idea and formulate a plan. We want to get the current staff to support the change and see it as a positive move. That should not be too hard, because the principle of delegation is good for the practice. Here are some points to consider in your plan:

Doctors are often concerned about the additional salary costs that delegation may cause, as they hire additional staff. I have always found that the increased productivity of an additional employee more than makes up for this increased payroll cost. Seeing a few more patients per day has a dramatic affect on the top line and bottom line. Even if your schedule is not fully booked with patients, seeing them more efficiently will allow you to use other days of the week to work on management issues and marketing.

Best wishes for continued success,

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