Article Date: 9/1/2007

Find the Right Practice for You
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Find the Right Practice for You

Personality often determines the success of your practice.

FROM THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR Jim Thomas

Read between the lines in Optometric Management, and you'll find that there is no single path to success in optometry. One practice increases its volume, becomes more efficient, satisfies more patients and increases its income. A second practice reduces patient flow, spends more time with patients and also increases patient satisfaction and income.

On the surface, these appear to be conflicting messages. How can each practice succeed when they move in opposite directions?

What works

In practice, the answer is fairly obvious. As the first practice sees more patients, it generates greater income. Shorter wait times and shorter visits can make a lot of patients happy, especially those who must navigate busy schedules. Young professionals often fit this demographic.

The second practice spends more time with patients. This is an advantage for the patient who is not hurried and would like a longer consultation with the doctor. The practice may take its time explaining the benefits of a particular recommendation to the patient who needs to be "sold."

Can we say that if you spend more time with the patient, the patient will be more likely to accept your recommendations? Absolutely not. A longer visit can discourage the patient who wants to get in and out of the chair as quickly as possible. To be most successful, the practice must provide a level of care that coincides with the patient's personality.

What about the practice?

The profile of the doctor and staff must also fit the direction of the practice. Some practices are most successful when they have chatty staff, while others achieve this success by being terse. Without the right environment for their particular personalities, they become less effective. Imagine how the "social" staff would throw off the schedule of a high-volume practice.

With both the patient base and staff in sync, you must consider other factors. A practice must align its marketing programs with personality. E-mail recall is efficient, but if your practice provides care for patients who are technologically challenged, you may be disappointed with the results. In addition, furnishings and equipment must also support and market your practice personality.

While no single formula can guarantee success, your personality, the personalities of your staff and the personalities of your patients can provide a clear direction for attracting loyal patients who look forward to returning to your practice. OM

OPTOMETRIC Management
www.optometric.com
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jim Thomas
MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Boyles
SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jennifer Kirby
SPECIAL PROJECTS
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Virginia Pickles
SENIOR EDITOR Judith Springer Riddle
SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR Angela Jackson
OPTOMETRY
CHIEF OPTOMETRIC EDITOR Walter D. West, O.D., F.A.A.O.
CLINICAL DIRECTOR James Thimons, O.D., F.A.A.O.
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
EDITOR Richard S. Kattouf, O.D., D.O.S.
CONSULTING EDITOR Jack Runninger, O.D., F.A.A.O.
PHARMACEUTICAL EDITOR Bobby Christensen, O.D., F.A.A.O.
CE COORDINATOR Neil A. Pence, O.D., F.A.A.O.
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Marilee Blackwell, M.B.A., Gary Gerber, O.D., Jerry Hayes, O.D., Richard Hom, O.D., F.A.A.O., Sheldon Kreda, O.D., F.A.A.O., Bob Levoy, O.D., Gregg Ossip, O.D., Jay D. Petersma, O.D., Eric Schmidt, O.D., Jerry Sherman, O.D., Donna Suter, Gil Weber, M.B.A.
EDITORIAL BOARD
Edward S. Bennett, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O
Irving Bennett, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Ernest Bowling, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O.
Norma Bowyer, O.D., M.P.H., M.S., F.A.A.O.
Charlotte Burns, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O.
Shelley Cutler, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Robert L. Davis, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Eric D. Donnenfeld, M.D.
Elmer Eger, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Neil B. Gailmard, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O.
Alan Glazier, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Deepak Gupta, O.D.
Andrew Gurwood, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Terry Hawks, O.D.
Janice M. Jurkus, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O.
Paul Karpecki, O.D.
Kelly Kerksick, O.D.
John Lahr, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Bob Levoy, O.D.
R.Whitman Lord, O.D.
Carla Mack, O.D.
Dominick Maino, O.D., M.Ed., F.A.A.O.
Pamela Miller, O.D., J.D., F.A.A.O.
Scot Morris, O.D.
Gary Oliver, O.D.
Robert E. Prouty, O.D.
Frank Puzio, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Kim Reed, O.D.
Rhonda Robinson, O.D.
Bruce Rosenthal, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Julie Ryan, O.D., M.S.Ed., F.A.A.O.
David B.Seibel, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Leo Semes, O.D.
Donald R.Smith, O.D.
Rene Soltis
Gale Stoner
Loretta Szczotka, O.D., M.S.
The opinions expressed in Optometric Management are those of its contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Optometric Management staff or its publisher, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins VisionCare Group.
OPTOMETRIC MANAGEMENT (ISSN 0030-4085) is published monthly by Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins VisionCare Group, 1300 Virginia Drive, Suite 400, Ft. Washington, PA 19034. Periodical postage paid at Ft. Washington, Pa., Bolingbrook, IL 60440 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Optometric Management, P.O. Box 3076 Northbrook, IL 60065. Copyright 2007, Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins VisionCare Group. All rights reserved. For subscription information/address changes, please call 1-800-306-6332 or FAX 1-847-564-9453. Missed issues must be claimed within 45 days of publication date, 90 days for those abroad. Subscriptions: U.S.: $37/one year; $59/two years. Canada: $48/one year; $72/two years. Foreign: $85. Back issues: Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins VisionCare Group, 1300 Virginia Drive, Ste. 400, Ft. Washington, PA 19034. 215-643-8000. Canada Post International Publications Mail Product (Canadian Distribution) Sales Agreement #IPM0601527


Optometric Management, Issue: September 2007