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New Competition for Optometrists/Ophthalmologists & How to Beat It!

Posted by Ilena Di Toro | Posted on August 2, 2016

Times are changing! In the new world of Internet everything, there are services such as Blink and Opternative.com that offer vision exams either by computer or via specialized tools. These services stress convenience since they allow people to get vision exams at their home or office.

While these services have their downsides, they are definitely competition. So, if you still want to be in business twenty years from now, you have to look at your practice to see how you can improve and grow. Things you can do include:

Office layout
Look at your office layout. Where is the check in area? Where are the exam rooms? Display cases? Does the layout help workflow or are there bottlenecks? If you can re-arrange things or even eliminate some things you can help improve workflow, decrease bottlenecks and ultimately increase sales.

Staffing
Are your staff being utilized effectively? You don’t always need more people working in your practice to make it run smoothly.You just need to have the right people on hand at the right time to facilitate the patient experience. Is the receptionist checking the insurance information and making sure the necessary forms are filled out? Is the optician helping the patient pick out the right frames for his or her needs and making the necessary adjustments when the glasses are ready? Can a staff member take on extra work during busy times? Look over who does what and when to see where changes can be made. You don’t have to do anything drastic. It can be something as simple as having someone go around the office to collect the stray pens every so often so that there are enough pens for patients to fill out forms.

Smart Use of Technology
With electronic health records, patients don’t have to fill out form after form. Also, see if you can utilize tablet computers when forms have to be filled out. Give your patients the option to sign up for email alerts, text messages or even phone reminders when it comes to appointment reminders. Utilizing electronic or phone reminders have been proven to reduce no-shows and that increases revenue. And be sure to keep your eye out for the release of Gulden’s new patient compliance system in January 2017, ComplyNowMed. Not only does this system solve the critical problem of low patient compliance due to forgetfulness, it also presents an opportunity to differentiate your practice and add another revenue source.

Full Scope Practice
Think it is enough to just practice refractive eye care? Think again. There’s contact lenses, ocular allergies and dry eye. Talk to patients, use your clinical skills and find out how you can solve any problems that the patient is having. Once you do that, the patient will return to you and possibly recommend you to others. As you know, repeats and referrals are always good for business.

Sometimes it takes just a small change to make a big difference in your practice. So look around and see what you can do to improve things.

Sources:
http://optometrytimes.modernmedicine.com/optometrytimes/news/how-your-practice-can-learn-successful-companies

http://www.aoa.org/news/practice-management/4-tips-for-growing-your-practice?sso=y

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