Article Date: 9/1/2009

Oh No, Not The Questions Again
viewpoint

Oh No, Not The Questions Again

OM asks for feedback any number of times each year. Here's what you told us.

FROM THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR, Jim Thomas

Countless times each year, we ask our readers to tell us the practice-critical information they'd like to receive. From “scientific” research to focus panels, to individual, anecdotal comments, we try to leave no stone, or source, unturned, and you've always responded. I thought it might be valuable to present a few top-line results of our recent queries into your needs.

An eye on employees

The economy may have sparked a greater interest than before in how to manage a practice, but even in the best of years, the highest readership marks are associated with the issues surrounding practice management — planning, finance, operations, inventory and fees. It's hardly a surprise that a practice's greatest investment — staffing — occupies the top spot in most surveys. But if we look closer, we find that staffing isn't a one-dimensional subject. Staffing issues include hiring and retaining talent, time off (among other benefits), employee manuals, training, benchmarks and delegation. And some readers get even more specific, asking, for example, how to set policy regarding employee salaries or cell phone use.

A medical calling

In the last few years, readers have asked that we include more medically related editorial in OM, but again, there's more than one side to this topic. Readers have asked how to optimize a medical practice in terms of workflow, billing and coding, staff training, diagnostic equipment, disease states and comanagement. Once again, we can dive deep. For example: How do you determine when it's best to acquire a new piece of diagnostic equipment?

It's about the patient

In addition to medical care, patient management scores high. This interest goes beyond diagnosis and treatment into the areas of communications, patient retention and how to manage “tough” patients.

Two sides to technology

Put simply, technology can be summed up in two areas: How to become more efficient and how to meet the federal government's requirements for electronic medical records.

A final thought

Hopefully, this summary will provide you with a snapshot of the profession and an indication of what OM will cover in the coming months. If I didn't mention your critical topic, feel free to e-mail it to me at james.thomas@wolterskluwer.com. It may just tilt the scales of readership in your favor. OM



Optometric Management, Issue: September 2009