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Top 10 Optometry Practice Management Mistakes

To have a successful optometry practice, you need to have goals for the practice and implement systems to complete those goals. However, the hardest part about managing an optometrist clinic can be to stick to the action plan. While trying to implement the plan, there are some common optometry practice management mistakes you could be making.

Here are the 10 most common optometry practice management mistakes that are made.

1. Failure to Take Control

If you fail to take control of your practice, your personal life and happiness can be affected as well. You need to make a total commitment to the practice. When you set out to make changes in the clinic, you may notice a dilemma that the staff is not really ready to make these changes. If they aren’t willing, nothing will happen.

If the staff is not committing to the new program and the new culture it initiates, they will not understand the dedication that is necessary to take the office to a whole new level. If you really want the optometric office to make those changes, you need to step up. The cost begins with creating goals for the clinic, implementing them through action plans, and measuring the result.

Take support from your family and your staff. The staff should carry your program on their shoulders and become partners in moving the practice along. Be assertive and take control!

2. Bland Office Image

The first impression your office gives is crucial to making the patient see value in your office appearance. By offering them a comfortable and appealing appearance, you are ensuring that they look forward to getting the care they need. Having a visually aesthetic clinic that you take pride in is necessary to provide the staff support in offering patients good-quality care.

3. Under-Utilization of Techonology

Hi-tech equipment can help make patients perceive the clinic as a state-of-the-art practice and result in optimal performance. Equipment can help create a more efficient and effective system that helps you provides better care. Investing in such equipment can be a step in the right direction.

4. Unable to Project a Positive Image

While your office décor and environment can be aesthetically pleasing, it may not project a positive image as you intended. Your patients should know that they stepped into the right place when they enter through the doors. The office needs to have a ‘successful’ look; hence, all the staff needs to look professional too.

5. Not Treating Staff Members Are Partners

If you want a successful and productive office, you cannot get one without a group of strong people who give you support. Treating your co-workers with the utmost respect and professionalism is necessary. Treat them like partners in the clinic and initiate a bonus plan to keep them motivated.

6. Lack of Control of at the Front Desk

If you don’t pay attention to how your staff is dealing with patients, you are making a very common optometry practice management mistake. You need to be in control of front desk training and interactions. Your staff must be trained to properly greet and accommodate patients.

7. Failure to Emphasize and Understand New-Patient Experiences

Every patient that walks into the practice has a monetary value. Have you calculated this value so that you know the exact value of new patients? Knowing these metrics and be very important for your practice.

Their experience of the new patient begins from the first phone call they make to book an appointment or ask for details. How are the calls handled at your practice? Do you ask so much information that you drive the patient away, or do you tell them you are happy they called you?

Making a patient feel welcome and special can be quite a game-changer when it comes to having a successful practice. Make sure you are able to accommodate walk ins and same day appointments.

8. Failure to Cultivate a Proper Team

You need to have the support of a group of dedicated, talented people who believe in the goals you have made for the clinic. While it can take serious effort and time to develop such a team, it can be totally worth it to have such a team.

The team members need to think that the optometrist can deliver the best care to sell it to the patients too. This attitude and self-esteem of believing in the practice can make it fulfilling, exciting, and fun. Remember your vendors are your partners as well. They will help to grow your team as well.

9. Lack of Great Attitude

Optometrists need to believe in their practice and have a great attitude as well. They may have a tendency to become too comfortable in the current environment. This can limit their ability to make any necessary paradigm shift. However, the world is constantly changing around you, and the clinic needs to keep up with it. Materials and procedures that worked 2 decades ago may not be the best options right now.

Hence, you should believe in yourself and your clinic.

10. Confidence

The biggest optometry practice management mistake to make is to have low self-esteem. Some optometrists don’t feel confident or good enough to do a lot of things they would like to. They may even have trouble trusting other optometrists. The lack of confidence in their results or technique will be felt by the patients too.

While optometry school may have given them adequate knowledge to run the clinic, it may not be enough. They may lack communication skills that can make patients not want to talk to them. An optometrist who can share the treatment plan, value, and benefits of the plan clearly will be perceived as valuable by patients.

If you want a successful practice, you can’t make optometry practice management mistakes. If the management is perfect, everything else will fall into place as well.

Is Private Equity another form of Corporate Optometry?

Is Private Equity another form of Corporate Optometry?

Private Equity has become very popular in our industry. Many older ODs find it have found great benefits with private equity as an exit strategy. Many ODs can sell their practices and not worry about the administrative tasks and still be able to practice the way they want and focus on what they love the most and that is patient care. There are many similarities and differences among practicing optometry in a private equity firm and corporate optometry. Ophthalmology went through it before and maybe the same can be said about labs being bought out over the years. PE is a tough conversation. Some might differ on this comparison, here is what some ODs think about this question.

There are the pros and cons of private equity in optometry

Some Private Equity are investing in new technology in their practices, from EHR to diagnostic equipment. They are building a practice to help with increased costs with low reimbursements. The new investment in technology allows ODs to practice the highest scope allowed. It can be a good employment opportunity for many young ODs that are tied down because of high debt and can still have that private practice feeling with higher than average salaries.

With the pros come the cons. Some of the negatives that ODs expressed were that there would not be any practices for the next generation of ODs to purchase and move the position forward. Some concerns were that these private equity firms would purchase these large practices hold them for a short period of time and sell them to a larger entity in the industry. ODs were concerned that optometry was being lead the way that pharmacy was taken. Being employed might be something that young ODs would like at the beginning of their career, but after a few year many desire to have their own business.

We asked the industry what they thought about if private equity was good for the future of optometry.

Dr Joshua Woodland from Dyerville, Iowa

“History doesn’t repeat, My point isn’t about current status of VCPs but, it’s about allowing something to take hold that allows for short sighted gains but is bad for the profession in the long term.”

Think about how other factors have affect our industry over the years. Use that information to help guide you on new trends and disruptive technology for the future of optometry.

Survey taken in the corporate optometry FB group, many of the members feel that private equity is another form of Corporate Optometry.

From this survey many ODs feel that private equity is another form of Corporate Optometry

It is not Corporate Optometry

Not all corporate opticals are the same, why would private equity firms be the same? There are different models and strategies. Leadership styles can vary in the direction they want to take that company. It is hard to make direct comparisons.

Stan Peacock- Walmart sublease holder in Marianna Florida.

“Not really, it depends on ones definition of what corporate optometry is. And also now there are different types of PE. So different definitions of PE also, especially how the OD is treated-in different PE settings.”

Private Equity is an alternative form of Corporate Optometry.

There can be a blur in being able to differ ante between the two in optometry. When the owner is not an OD sometimes it can be classified as form of corporate optometry. Usually in private equity ODs are employed by the firm. Private equity firms make the decisions on OD schedules, hiring, products for the optical, equipment and other decisions that ODs are not involved with.

John Wiener Costco leasehold in Cincinnati, Ohio

“It is meta corporate optometry. Equity is buying up everything. OMDs included. If you are working under a private equity firm, you are clearly not private. Your livelihood is at the mercy of market forces and corporate decisions that might be far removed from optometry.”

Only time will tell on what specific companies will do and what their strategy is. What is your opinion? Join the conversation on Facebook Corporate Optometry group!

Podcast

Open your Eyes Podcast: Dr Richard Hults.

Dr. Richard Hults has been practicing optometry for over 30 years and resides in the Cleveland area.
Topics covered include: The history of contact lenses, refraction, astigmatisms, bifocal and multifocal contact lenses, side effects of contact lenses, how to clean contact lenses, and more!