Article Date: 11/1/2009

Walking The Walk … And The Floors
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Walking The Walk … And The Floors

Does your practice exhibit a healthy obsession with detail?


Brian Gullbrants, the general manager of the Encore Hotel, in Las Vegas, recently spoke at our national client meeting during Vision Expo West. He mentioned that one of his company's core values is their attention to detail and cleanliness. To illustrate his point, he pointed out that the floors of the Encore have hundreds of marble mosaic butterflies. To ensure the butterflies are absolutely perfectly clean with no missing tiles, the Encore has two full-time employees whose only job is to inspect, clean and repair the tiles of those butterflies. That is not only attention to detail but true commitment to that attention.

If you have yet to visit the Encore and see the butterflies, you should. And of course, you'll immediately notice that their obsession with attention to detail seeps through every fiber of their property, making your stay there incredibly positive and memorable.

Attention to business details

As O.D.s, we're obviously concerned with detail. For instance, we know there is a profound difference and clinical outcome between a prescription with an axis of 180° vs. an axis of 80° or prescribing a drop once vs. twice a day. Yet, most of us don't pay attention to detail on the business side of our practice.

Take a look around your office. Is it clean? I mean really clean? Vacuuming last night and emptying the wastebaskets doesn't count as attention to detail. What does? Making sure the wastebaskets themselves are clean, not scuffed up and placed back in their correct place. Do you have ceiling tiles that are stained, carpet that is worn or chairs that are frayed? That is the sort of detail, that taken together, makes a negative impression on your patients.

But this article isn't about replacing your carpeting. It's about committing to something in such a way that it becomes an undeniable part of your practice's culture. Cleanliness and attention to detail are only two examples.

Unwavering tenacity

The point here is that the Encore management doesn't just say they pay attention to detail — they actually do it. The perfect butterflies are only one of literally hundreds of examples. Your practice can only thrive to higher than average financial status if you exhibit the same unwavering tenacity, commitment and perseverance in sticking to your core beliefs and values. For instance, saying you provide "a comprehensive exam in a relaxed environment" is one thing — doing it, every time with every patient and never ever missing a beat is another.

The benefits of staying singularly focused on your core objectives are many. For one, it makes staff management much easier since your staff sees repeatedly — not just through your words, but through your actions — what is important to you. There is a clear and obvious understanding of what you want done and how you want it done.

Working at your practice becomes easier since every system and process is centered on your core beliefs. Also, practice development and marketing is easier to execute than before since you know sooner rather than later if a proposed idea is in sync with your directed and focused energies.

This concept isn't only about "walking the walk." It's about recognizing that all successful companies, be they hotels or optometric practices, actually benefit immensely by staying singularly focused on their core objectives. Walk the floors at the Encore, and you'll see the benefit. OM


Optometric Management, Issue: November 2009