Article

O.D. to O.D.

OCTOBER: A TIME OF REFLECTION

Take a moment to see what you can do to make a positive difference

Wow! It is hard to believe that 2018 is winding down. My grandparents used to tell me that as I grew older, time would go by faster. As a child, I thought that was impossible — after all, time is time. I understand now that what they were trying to tell me was to make the most of every moment because it will be gone in the blink of an eye.

Looking back, I find that the regrets I have had are not in the things I have done, but in those I haven’t done and that could have made a difference.

EVALUATE AND PLAN

And so, my challenge for us all is to take a moment to evaluate our practices, and look at the things we can do to make a positive difference in them. In October, we can still effect change in the current year and begin to set a strategy for the next.

When planning, it’s encouraging to keep in mind that the optometrist’s role in medical management continues to be tremendous. Our patients rely on us to be their gatekeepers for their vision and eye health. We take them from their first pair of glasses to their first contact lenses. We diagnose and treat their dry eye disease, as well as identify systemic diseases that manifest first in their eyes.

In the optometrist’s office, patients first hear of presbyopia (and the option of multifocal contact lenses) and then, eventually, cataracts. We reassure our patients that the day they have surgery will be a wonderful day due to all the advancements in premium IOLs and the benefits they offer.

Often, the improvement we can make is as simple as perfecting patient conversations regarding cataracts or options for correcting presbyopia.

Another area to evaluate is the technology we need to improve the efficiencies and medical management of our patient’s eye conditions.

MY OCTOBER CHECKLIST

My checklist for October looks a lot like this:

  • Send out weekly “use it or lose it” emails regarding health care plans. Continuing emails until the end of the year.
  • Create a marketing calendar with action steps and a timeline
  • Make final decisions on technology to purchase.
  • Have year-end discussions with my tax accountant regarding purchases, inventory, investments, office improvements, etc.
  • Have a year-end investment discussion with my financial advisor.
  • Evaluate year-to-date metrics to see what was done well and what can be improved.
  • Evaluate insurance policies for completeness, and re-evaluate for accuracy and cost.
  • Have disaster relief plan.
  • Plan an end-of-year or beginning-of-next-year office team event.
  • Plan at least one vacation.
  • Schedule at least one leadership seminar to attend next year.
  • Determine what office improvements are needed.

Join me in making October a time to reflect on the past and create change for the future. Enjoy every moment by making each one count, including those spent with our patients. OM