Personal Branding For Corporate ODs

We live in a world that is highly digitalized. Whether it’s buying daily groceries, a new car, or even buying or selling real estate; everything is being done online. And we aren’t exaggerating when we say people are finding the diagnosis and even the treatment to with “Doctor Google”

The search for medical services and healthcare has become easier than ever thanks to the internet. The use of digital media will continue to grow. How your personal brand is represented on the web is critical for your future success as a Corporate OD. Whether you are a corporate OD in some market giant like Walmart, Costco, or Luxottica or someone practicing in a comparatively smaller optical , personal branding has become an important element more than ever if you want to ensure that you continue advancing in your career path. You want to be know as ” Dr Smith” not the Doctor inside Walmart.

In the field of corporate optometry, needless to say, patients are not just customers, but the sole decision-makers as well. Based on the information they do or do not find about a service, they decide whether to chose you or another provider. Your “reputation” on the web will guide those decision-makers to seek care from you. Your reputation online is the new word of mouth referral. Carefully monitoring what you want others to say and think of you online will continue to elevate your personal brand. A strong personal brand will help you get a promotion, next career move and leadership positions. If you want to outshine in your field and stand out both online and offline, you must follow these essential tips for personal branding.

Take the lead

The work you do is valuable not just to you, but also to your existing as well as any other potential patients in the future. Highlight some of your most important achievements and philosophies in a decent yet noticeable way.

Employed Corporate ODs can display their diplomas and other accomplishments at your corporate optical.  Share them on your own profile online or company social media accounts. Be confident about your skills and the way you practice, people are more likely to trust you for their care.

You should also feel free to share other things that you cherish most in your life. Be it your hobbies, personal interests, awards, charity work, research project or even memorable events with your friends and family. You can gain people’s trust by ensuring they feel familiar with you and can link to you on a closer, friendlier level.

Rise from the competition

With the rise of technology, there exist more and more online platforms where you can make your presence known. Corporate ODs can have their own social media pages that is affiliated with the corporate optical . Providing quality content about eye care will improve your standing and thereby, your viewers as well. Moreover, you will also develop you as an eye care expert in the community. It will strengthen your patient base but will also create networking opportunities with other Doctors that can lead to future careers advancements.

Create opportunities

With a diverse outreach in corporate optometry and additional help from your colleagues, you can create opportunities for yourself. Partnering with the eye care director or regional manager will help create opportunities for yourself. Being on advisory boards for corporate opticals will help open doors for yourself if you would like to have a leadership position.  Their recommendations can help build credibility to your name and make your personal brand a brand which people will be proud to endorse.

With proper personal branding, you are sure to be clearly visible  to your patients and future career advancements.

The Psychology of Business in Corporate Optometry

Corporate optometry is quite an interesting field for ODs, employees, patients and businessmen alike.

You would know already that this industry is dominated by only a couple of large organizations so we’ll avoid dropping names here. Many industry professionals will go from one company to another and utilize the same strategies and business tactics. Understanding the differences between strategy and tactics will help guide you through your career in corporate optometry.

This is the power of influence.

Corporate optometry is a field where charisma and similar tactics are often employed to influence ODs into making certain decisions. Even the employees in this field have to tread carefully because corporate optometry practices can be quite manipulative at times. When it comes to corporate optometry, this is just how the business works. The way things are shown is not always the reality. Many times younger ODs are influenced into thinking that working more hours or seeing more patients per hour would increase revenue for their offices as a solution to managed care plans. Yet careful calculations indicate loss in revenue with increased staffing, decreased insurance reimbursement and increasing chair costs.

Understand that corporate opticals are in the business of selling glasses. The optometrists is a part of the puzzle that needs to fit in their plan. Finding ways to elevate their business is sometimes done at the expense of the employed or sublease OD. These tactics are sometimes completed in a charismatic way to influence the OD that it is in their best interest when in reality it is just a way to get the OD to cooperate in a strategy to sell glasses

Here’s what you need to know about the psychology of business in corporate optometry.

The awestruck effect

Charismatic people have this endearing ability to almost hypnotize their audience. Their personal energy, aura and the manner in which they convey their message can persuade you to make the decision they want, without you even recognizing it. It is not until later when you walk away from them and the effect fades away that you realize you have been manipulated.

For employees in corporate optometry, the awestruck effect can occur for instance when they accept to work for the job that they soon realize is not what they were looking for. When a recruiter promotes a location for its work life balance, medical model and flexible schedule, an OD should also question the regional manager and store manger. Ask other ODs in the area. Many times if it is to good to be true it is. The “honeymoon” stage can only last so long. Understand what you bring to the table for that location and the value that you provide the corporate optical and the staff at that location. What was presented to you at the time of signing should be consistent throughout your time there.

As for sublease ODs, many are painted a picture of a high volume practice, that are turn key and potential of expanding to multiple locations. Optical sales will not directly reflect OD income, there are many factors that shape this. Leading on a sublease OD about additional locations and potential perks is another tactic to pursued ODs to do things that is in the best interest of the optical. Learning to see these tactic trends will help you target the right sublease.

The effect of compelling storytelling

Stories are known for the lasting effect they can have on the audience. A great story not just captivates the listener’s attention, but can also impacts their decision-making ability because the events stick to their mind and influence their actions.

When you interact with a regional manager about telemedicine or increase hours , if they are manipulative then they can lure you into taking an action that might not necessarily be in your best interest. How a story is told can help you differentiate between what is best in your own interest.

Consider the possibilities that corporate optometry can offer you. The stability, potential to grow a business, income and security. Yet listening to a regional or eye care director might have made you feel like you can pull this off for the numerous ‘benefits’ that it offers. There are many “stories” to the chapters in corporate optometry some you might have to skip.


Attention is (not always) a good thing

Corporate ODs who want to be satisfied with their job. Corporate opticals offer recognition awards for the ODs that have excelled in a regional or nationally. Some provide Doctor of the Year award while others receive accolades via email or social media.

If you are an OD, a corporate giant might initially make you feel welcomed in the workplace by adjusting your work hours, posting you at a location that’s feasible for you and so on.

However, despite the possible relaxations, being burnt-out is still very common in corporate optometry jobs because the rules and regulations are rather binding.  So, if you too are getting stressed at work then it’s time to evaluate what’s wrong and take the appropriate measures if required.

Sometimes attention is given to the younger ODs to sway them to work more hours, help recruit younger ODs or just because that specific location is hard to find OD coverage.

Manipulative tactics can be subtle or obvious so whether you are a sublease provider or an employed OD in corporate optometry, the key to ensuring that you don’t fall prey to such techniques is to always stay clear about what you want.

Whenever in doubt, step back from the situation, analyze and evaluate the circumstances and then regain control by asserting yourself more tactfully.

Is Your Head in the Clouds? Well Your Practice Should be in “The Cloud”!

Is Your Head in the Clouds? Well Your Practice Should be in “The Cloud”!

How cloud-based EHR & automated practice management will transform your office, save you time, and money.

By Adam Stelzer, O.D.

If you want to become a better optometrist, you should be using an EHR/practice management system in an effort to streamline your practice and optimize patient care. However, the key is getting the right system because you may risk setting yourself up for extra work, lost data, and even compromising patient information.

For years, optometrists have dealt with these frustrations. That’s why it is important to find an EHR/practice management system that is built by developers who understand the direct needs of their fellow colleagues. For optometry, there are solutions available that were built by optometrists, specifically for optometry. These solutions are better formatted for the flow of an eye exam, with short cuts to simplify common norms and medical reference databases, as well as auto-fills to quickly complete common procedures, impressions, and plans. There are even systems that integrate with labs, so you can order contact trials during an exam with the click of one button. You can trust that optometrists have a first-hand understanding about what tools would help streamline an eye exam and allow attention to be given to the patient, rather than data entry.

With such rapid advances in technology, we can all see that “the cloud” is extremely useful today and will be indispensable in the future. Soon enough, we’ll find that it will be utilized in every facet of life for securely warehousing all of our data.

A major benefit to a cloud-based system is that you greatly reduce the security risk that a local server system inherently has; where information can be stolen, damaged, or corrupted by it’s need for physical storage space. With a high quality cloud-based EHR/practice management system, your information is encrypted, so it cannot be stolen or compromised. It is virtually backed up, so the risk of losing data is greatly reduced. It is also accessible instantaneously from any location in the world. This allows the doctor to complete charts or access reports at any time. Your system needs to be fully secured and HIPPA-compliant.

The cloud doesn’t limit you to a room in your office, where you likely have limited storage capacity. Even if you previously saw a patient and charted their exam on paper, you should be able to scan and upload those charts into a cloud-based system. In a system with unlimited storage capacity they’ll be stored within that patient’s profile indefinitely. All of your past and current patients’ records are available to you conveniently within one system, even if they are at a different office location within your practice group. This eliminates the need for paper, boxes, storage, and makes it so much quicker to access.

Patients are now looking for health care providers that give them easier access to scheduling appointments online, getting appointment reminders via text messaging, the ability to complete paperwork in advance (eliminating time in the waiting area), as well as the ability to access their data online, and at any time. A modern system can offer a unique link to an online scheduling feature, with the ability to customize available appointment time slots and intervals between appointments, and integrate directly into your office schedule. Some cloud-based EHR/practice management systems can give patients access to a private portal where they can fill out their paperwork and medical history, which can significantly reduce patient check-in times. The patient can even access their prescriptions, invoices, and referrals after their appointment through their portal. This feature gives you and your staff back invaluable time to focus on more important things, such as patient care.

One of the biggest cost and time savings is from an integrated patient text messaging feature. You should look for a system that is fully comprehensive, so you can eliminate the high-cost third-party SMS services. With that feature included, it’s as if you’re hiring another staff member to do all of your patient recalls, but at no additional cost. You’ll want to find a system that gives you unlimited text messaging and two-way patient communication that can be done right from within the system. A great system will allow you to maintain and keep unique communication contacts and securely e-Fax them from within the system. This allows you to easily manage your patient information sharing; with pharmacies via e-Prescribing, other health-care professionals via patient referrals, with labs for optical material orders, and with third-party payers and clearinghouses for billing. Communication should be simple and automatically recorded under the patient’s profile.

Another major benefit to an EHR/practice management system is the ability to track analytics and generate reports. It is important to consider the analytics feature of a system not just as an “extra”, but as a powerful and necessary tool to help you track the statistics about your practice. These reports can show you the growth of your practice, in number of patients and sales volume, and even help target specific markets, products, or clients. You can also use the reporting to correct mismanagement and check the performance of staff, or even certain inventory items and products. It’s important to get daily summary reports, and a good system will allow you to create customized reports when you want them.

If you are not using a cloud-based EMR/practice management system, you need to reconsider your reasoning for not jumping on board. There are systems that are robust, completely customizable, and inclusive of all of the aforementioned must-haves, for as low as $99 per month. Explore your options, and be sure to recognize when a system is over-priced. Many times, you’re just paying for the markup and hidden fees of outdated systems, where those unnecessary costs are pushed onto you, the practice owner. There are great systems that offer new state-of–the-art platform designs with no contracts, no sign-up fees, no charges for updates. A select few will even give you and your staff training, as well as directly assist you in getting your data transferred from another system, at no additional charge. Take the few minutes to do a free demonstration to see how a system can fit your needs. With the right EHR/practice management solution, you can trust that you’ll find yourself less stressed with a more streamlined and efficient optometry practice – at least, it did for me!

 
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