All practices have staff turnover at some point. Larger practices have more employees and therefore more turnover. The whole process of interviewing and hiring new employees is very time consuming. So here is an idea that will immediately make the task easier: as you train the next new employee in your office, use your smart phone to make a series of video recordings about each procedure. You or a staff member are going over each job function anyway; it takes no more time to tap record and make a video.
Don’t worry about making it perfect; these videos are for your internal use only and they don’t need to be perfect. The recording will be just like real life, and it is not perfect. The next time you hire an employee, you will have a library of short training videos that are customized for your practice.
Most practices assign the training of new employees to senior staff members. This works well, but some staff do not enjoy the process of training others. Making videos will reduce the need for current staff to train newcomers, so the idea should be well received.
Start with a list of job duties the new employee needs to be trained on. This depends on your practice, but it could include:
Front desk duties like scheduling an appointment on office software
Preparing files and paperwork
Clinical technician duties like taking retinal photos
Measuring visual acuity
Performing visual fields and OCT
How to use electronic health record software
Optical dispensing duties like frame selection
Measuring PDs and seg heights
Writing up an eyeglass order
Pricing with vision plans and billing
Making the video
The important thing about the video recording process is to break the files up into separate topics. It is better to have more videos and make them shorter. It is also important to name the file accurately by using the name of the job duty or instrument that is being trained.
Ideally, you will have a senior employee showing the newbie how to do something and a third employee may be present in some cases to act as a practice patient. In this case, the third employee can record the video and act as the patient at the same time. In some cases, the new employee can handle the smart phone camera and pay attention to being taught at the same time.
Another idea is to move the camera (phone) far enough away that it can record the whole area and prop it up using a device on a table. Inexpensive phone and iPad holders are available online and in retail stores. Then just hit record and leave it alone. This method does not allow for a close view of a screen or other target and it does not allow for panning, but it still gets the job done.
Store the videos on a hard drive in your office computer or server and keep a backup. You can make the videos available to any staff member and they can watch them as many times as need.
Best wishes for continued success,
Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Editor, Optometric Management Tip of the Week
Dr. Gailmard's new book, Practice Management in Optometry: A Blueprint for Success Based on the Optometric Management Tip of the Week, is now available on Amazon.