Finding the Perfect Holiday Gift

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Finding the Perfect Holiday Gift

Rather than searching for a single hit, consider a more lasting gift.



Looking back at holidays past, those gifts that didn’t work out so well are often the most memorable. The elf doll with flashing Christmas lights — it seemed like a good idea and it was a numbered limited edition, but was it the right gift for a 30-year-old? Judging by his puzzled expression, probably not. (Here, let me acknowledge those recipients who make the gift giver feel like a million dollars by acting with unbridled enthusiasm each time they open a gift.)

Planning for the right gift

Unfortunately, this month’s OM can’t help you find the right holiday gift. But it can point you in the direction of a “gift that keeps on giving year round” to staff, patients, family and you: a financially healthy practice where patient care is priority one and the staff is challenged and engaged in their work.

Most of our features and columns this month incorporate business planning, our issue’s theme. Our reasoning is simple: We have yet to come across a successful practice that didn’t spend a good deal of time on planning. As Dr. Raymond Brill notes in his feature, beginning on page 12, the first step in planning is to identify the total scope of the practice. This branding provides direction in overcoming short-term challenges and identifying long-term opportunities.

Drs. Jason Miller and Walter Whitley discuss four areas of practice planning that potentially provide big gains: staff delegation, efficiency improvements, strengthening IT and placing a greater emphasis on billing and coding (see page 16). In addition, John Rumpakis, O.D., M.B.A., offers five coding tips to jump-start your practice in 2014 (page 64). For thoughts on planning your merchandising efforts, Dr. Gina Wesley presents a top-10 list that begins on page 32.

When staff believe. . .

Much of our content revolves around your most important resource: staff. Where managers often focus on results alone, Gulroop Hansra, O.D., notes that planning steps must be consistent with staff beliefs and experiences (page 18).

As a leader when you promote this consistency, you create staff engagement and a culture of excellence, gifts all businesses strive to attain. The elf doll pales in comparison. OM

On behalf of the entire Optometric Management staff, let me extend our wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season and a prosperous new year.