is on Your Side
... Yes it is
improvements in your practice can add up to impressive results.
THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR Jim Thomas
practice improves for any number of reasons: Your staff gains experience and expands
their skills. Your practice invests in new equipment and technologies. You gain
expertise as a clinician and practice manager.
Some of the changes are easy to quantify,
such as when you calculate the profitability of a new line of frames. Others are
not as visible. For example, staff may become more efficient at operating a piece
of equipment or more effective in their patient relations skills. These scenarios
beg the question, if your practice offers you benefits and you do not take advantage
of them, then do they really exist much like the question posed by the sound
of a tree falling in the woods when there's no one to hear it.
Is it worth it?
You can certainly argue against measuring
such minor improvements. Maybe you feel you have a lower volume practice where a
few minutes saved here or there don't amount to much. Besides, if your technician
becomes more adept in handling equipment and saves a couple of minutes, isn't the
confidence the technician builds reward enough?
Recent work in practice management
suggests that these small savings can be put to work in your practice. You might
ask, what can you do with an additional few minutes? Here are a few suggestions:
Increase morale. Take a moment
to recognize that an employee, or several, are doing a good job and how their good
works impact your practice. This personal acknowledgment can go a long way.
Call a patient. Imagine the impact
on your patients if you, their doctor, gave them a phone call. You might check in
with them when they receive a new prescription, if they've been diagnosed with a
new condition or even when a loyal patient fails to schedule an appointment. You
might take a moment to tell appropriate patients about a new service or product.
One call per day quickly adds up.
Educate patients. You just added a
new line of frames. Why not take two minutes to explain to each of your patients,
especially those with children, how these new frames twist, bend and contort without
breaking? How valuable would those two minutes now become in terms of patient satisfaction
and increased revenues?
The next step
I'm sure you can add countless examples. And
if you agree that even two or three minutes a day can add value to your practice,
then isn't it time to evaluate, in a new light, those processes, products and systems
that save even a few moments?
Optometric Management, Issue: July 2006