Article Date: 9/1/2010

Got Video?
tech time

Got Video?

Here are three reasons a video system benefits your practice.

SCOT MORRIS, O.D., F.A.A.O.

Ever wonder what's going on in your office when you're not around? An in-office video security system may be your answer.

Here are three reasons you should consider one.

1. They deter consumer theft

People who walk into your office with the intent to steal will be the first to look around for security cameras. In most instances, once they see a series of security cameras, they will move on to the next store, only stopping to steal from the facility that isn't as well protected. As a result, this technology can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars a year from loss of merchandise that "walks" out the door.

2. They discourage staff theft

Secondly, a video security system acts as a deterrent from staff theft. Whether it be merchandise or just wasted time, a security system announces to your staff that you are watching, even when you might be back in a dark room refracting a patient.

Every few months, have a staff meeting in which everyone watches a 15- to 30-minute random excerpt of the video. You may be quite amazed at what you see when your staff doesn't think you're watching, in terms of staff-to-staff interactions and staff-patient interactions.

Interestingly enough, in most instances, the office work ethic seems to change for the better after your first such staff meeting.

3. They allow consumer study

They allow consumer study The third (and best) reason for a video security system has nothing to do with security, but instead with your practice revenue. An inoffice video security system helps you record and study how your consumers move through your office and interact with various staff people. This video can be used to analyze patient-staff interactions, particularly when an unhappy customer is involved. It can also be used to observe where bottlenecks occur in the office and where adjustments can be made to make your practice more profitable.

The most impactful use of consumer study is to examine where consumers look, how they move and where they congregate. Think of this video as your new merchandising tool. Do you have your signage in the right place? Can your consumers see it, and do they look at it? Do you have your accessories in the right place, and do consumers actually pick products up to look a them?

Simply moving a few things around in your office can have a significant impact on your sales. If consumers don't see products and/or don't have access to them, they probably won't buy them.

Investment and return

The cost of a mid-level video security system is in the $500 to $1,000 range. This is inexpensive when you estimate the cost of revenue that walks out the door because of theft, poor staff productivity and poor merchandise placement.

Most systems pay for themselves in less than six months through decreased product theft and more efficient work flow.

Look for a system that has an audio component. Also, look for one that comes with a DVR so you can record the audio-visual file as evidence or for practice management purposes. Many systems even allow you to watch what is happening in your office remotely via the Internet.

The aforementioned three benefits illustrate that an in-office video security system, keeps your practice safe and profitable. OM


DR. MORRIS IS THE DIRECTOR OF EYE CONSULTANTS OF COLORADO, LLC, AND MORRIS EDUCATION & CONSULTING ASSOCIATES. E-MAIL HIM AT SMORRIS@EYECONSULTANTSOFCO.COM.

Optometric Management, Issue: September 2010