What exactly is meaningful use and how does it relate to your practice?
It may surprise you that these two things have more in common than you think. Just a deeper look into how meaningful use can save your eyecare practice thousands from the incentive program! Below is a special guest post from our friends at VitalHealth Software giving you all the details of adopting meaningful use at your practice!
According to the latest market research reports, close to 90% of general family medicine physicians have adopted an EHR, or are in the process of doing so. The rapid increase in adoption – up from perhaps 25% no more then four years ago – can mostly be attributed to the promise of meaningful use incentives, and the looming reduction in Medicare reimbursements for those that opt out of the program.
The adoption rate amongst ODs is starting to ramp up as well. Perhaps you haven’t taken the plunge yet, and are taking a wait-and-see approach, hoping that things will become easier as early adopters work out the kinks. But the window of opportunity is not open much longer. ODs that want to benefit from incentive payments will have to start participating no later than 2014. So perhaps we can help alleviate some of the concerns you may have, based on what we have heard in the field.
1. An EHR Will Slow Me Down
This concern is by far the most often voiced concern by medical professionals. And for some solutions, this may be true. Many EHR solutions available today are based on older technologies, and perhaps designed for large practices with dedicated personnel to input data. These solutions offer a myriad of features and functions with complicated screens and workflows that require a lot of experience and simply don’t fit well with more agile practices. So take a little time to research your options. Look for an EHR that can support your workflow, with screen designs optimized for quick and easy data entry. Avoid solutions that tie you down to using a mouse and keyboard only. Once you give it a try, you will find that many consultation types benefit from the ability to directly face your patient, using an unobtrusive tablet device to document the visit.
2. Attestation Seems Complicated
True, it DOES seem complicated. But fortunately, an EHR that has been certified for Meaningful Use should do most of the work for you. When researching your options, look for solutions that can generate the exact reports you will need to submit in an easy to interpret format. All you’ll have to do is simply enter the data generated by that report into an online submission form. And starting 2014, the Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) will have to be submitted electronically directly from the EHR. No effort required on your part other than initiating that process.
3. Is It Really ‘Meaningful’?
That is a fair question. Does a certified EHR really help improve quality of care? According to ONC, 88% of practices report that EHR adoption produces clinical benefits for them, while 75% of practices report that adoption has led to better overall patient care. These benefits can be attributed to several reasons. The four reasons most often mentioned by our customers are: instant access to patient medical history from anywhere, reminders for preventive care as well as acute care alerts through clinical decision support, improved care coordination through electronic exchange of medical data, and the ability to stimulate patient engagement through patient portal access. Of course some practitioners claim to do all these things without an EHR, but having a meaningful use certified EHR just makes the process easier.
4. Can EHR Software Benefit My Practice As A Business?
This is NOT a requirement that ONC uses to qualify meaningful use. But we have yet to meet a practice owner to whom this is not a concern. We have already established that the right EHR should not slow you down in documenting a medical exam. But it should also help you streamline the process of coding your visit for billing purposes, prescribing medication, generating reports, and transferring the appropriate data to your eyecare practice management software for ordering products. So make sure you don’t overlook these concerns when choosing your EHR.
5. How Does EHR Implementation Benefit My Patients?
This question is somewhat related to meaningful use. Studies show that successful EHR implementation helps improve quality of care. And based on our experience, it also greatly increases patient satisfaction. Modern EHRs allow patients to directly access select data from their medical record, and interact electronically with their care providers. And MU certified EHRs enable the exchange of data between different care providers, avoiding the need for patients to provide medical history information multiple times, with all its inherent inconsistencies.
We recommend that providers initially focus on getting the correct workflow implemented for optimal use of an EHR within a practice. Once that is done, focus on improving the patient experience by providing direct patient portal access.
6. Are These ‘Cloud-Based’ EHRs Really Safe And Reliable?
We hear this question quite often. Many ODs have probably used a locally installed software product for years, and may be a bit skeptical about moving their private data to the cloud. We recently released an eBook on this subject. Long story short… for small and medium sized practices we recommend a cloud-based solution over locally installed software. Cloud-based technology solutions are reliable, more secure, easily scalable, and far easier to maintain than any local solution can ever be, with a predictable cost pattern. Cloud is the way to go.
The road to Meaningful Use is not necessarily easy. But it is actually not as hard as you think. With the right EHR, most of the work is done for you. There is still an opportunity to benefit from financial incentives, so the time to act is now!
Ready to get started on the Meaningful Use Incentive Program? Our eBook, A Beginner's Guide to Meaningful Use, will tell you everything you need to know to get started!
It’s that time again! The fourth edition of 10 for 10: Ten Questions for VisionWeb’s Tenacious 10 is back and ready for action! Here you’ll meet 10 of VisionWeb’s Directors, Chiefs, and overall amazing individuals. Don’t you want to learn about VisionWeb’s company culture, our experts’ observations and predictions of industry trends, new projects, and much more? Get ready, get set, and read on my friends!
Series 4: Chris Rice, Director of Sales
We can’t wait for you to meet the man in charge of building close relationships with optical suppliers, laboratories, and manufacturers; VisionWeb’s very own Director of Sales, Chris Rice! Chris is a stand-up guy and has an unmatchable personality! Everyone adores his charisma and humor. But, don’t let his comical side fool you, Chris has been working in sales since 1997 and is extremely adept. In fact, his former colleagues describe Chris as having “the ability to drill down to tasks and strategies that help achieve solid results” (Joel Goldstein, MFV Expositions), and regard him as “an asset to any company” (Jacqueline Micucci, Amazon). The positive comments about him go on and on. So come and meet Chris behind the scenes. Spoiler Alert: learn how to boost your sales with his expert recommendations and tips!
1. What exactly do you do here at VisionWeb?
My responsibilities at VisionWeb include overseeing our insurance team and leading efforts to grow the use of our services, like claim clearinghouse solutions, by working with our various partners. These partners include manufactures, laboratories, and associations. While my title says “Sales”, I actually act more as an ambassador to these groups helping them better understand the services that we offer. By better understanding what we do we generate opportunities that lead to greater efficiency for our partners, increased productivity for ECP’s, and more lens and frame ordering flowing through VisionWeb...Win/Win/Win!
2. Do you have any tips for eyecare practices trying to boost sales?
What I have seen as the key to success is to have each member of the staff understand and have ownership of their role. Successful practices understand the value of the optician in particular and the relationship that they have with patients. The optician has an interesting role since they not only need to address the patient’s vision, but also the function and fashion of the eyewear they select. To be able to go about managing eye care tasks effectively, the practice must make sure that their staff keeps up with the latest lens technology and frame styles through continuing education and trade publications.
3. In your opinion, what can opticians use as selling points?
Opticians need to take time to educate the patient about the various products available and new technology that may help them see and look better. The more knowledgeable the optician is, the more comfortable the patient will be investing in better eyewear. The key is not to push, but rather to clearly explain the benefits and the value of the investment to the patient.
4. What qualities should managers look for when hiring a salesperson?
I think integrity is number one. Your sales people are the face of your company to the customer. What they say and how they act is a direct reflection on the company and the product or service you are selling. I also like to have people who are comfortable working as part of a team. While salespeople may have a perception of being very territorial, I believe that if your sales team can support one another and help out even if there is no personal gain, everyone will be more successful. It also doesn’t hurt to be charming and funny too!
5. Obviously with the digitization of the marketplace, many purchases are happening online. How are salespeople adapting to this shift?
The role of the sales person is less of an order taker and more of a trainer/educator/business partner now. To me this makes the sales process much more interesting. I love the opportunity to spend more time with customers discussing their real business issues and what solutions may help them. I may not always have the solution they need, but may know someone who does. I love it when customers reach out to me even when they aren’t looking for frame ordering solutions or opticians practice management software integrations, but want my advice on what they should do. My goal is to be seen as a valued business resource rather than just a salesperson.
6. Do you think salespeople can utilize social media to facilitate sales?
Yes! Social media is a great way to keep in touch and expand your network of resources. One piece of social media advice I have is that this platform is a great way to share information and even connect a current customer with a prospect to share their experience. There is no better sales tool than a happy customer!
7. Do you have any tricks for closing a big sale?
I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you... actually I don’t have any tricks. I was taught to treat each sale the same way. Big or small every customer is important and should get the same level of service from me. Besides, a small customer now may be a big customer tomorrow and they will remember how you treated them!
8. What suggestions do you have when pitching to a hesitant customer?
The best thing to do is be patient and really find out why they are so hesitant. The best tool in this situation is to get them in touch with a current customer. Getting feedback from a peer has much more impact than anything I can say. In addition, I can do what I say I’m going to do... this goes back to building trust.
9. What do you predict to be the biggest trend relating to sales in the upcoming years?
I think you’ll see customers becoming more open to value versus just buying on price. The recent economy has put price pressure on every segment of the supply chain in order to keep prices low and more often than not quality suffers or support resources are cut providing a poor post-sale experience. I think customers will be willing to pay a bit more for products and services to allow sellers to better support them.
10. What do you like most about working at VisionWeb?
Where do I begin... I LOVE the VisionWeb team and the passion they have for the business and thinking of new ways to support the eyecare industry. We have a great mix of people who each bring something different to the table. The diverse backgrounds of our team members create an environment that is very dynamic and creative.
Chris really is an awesome guy with unparalleled work ethic and persistence. Our Director of Sales is as good as they come!
Don’t miss out on the next installment of 10 for 10, where we will interview Scott Kollar, Director of Operations!
Subscribe to the VisionWeb Blog for alerts on the next 10 for 10!
We come to you today not to talk about fun codenames to give your patients or how to be the best frame-matchmaker in town, but to discuss a more serious topic: your bottom line. If you’re paying too much for payment services, then that cost directly affects your profits. We know that seeking out ways to maximize net income may not be your number one priority because your time is spent providing great services, preserving employee satisfaction, and maintaining customer relationships. And if we’re all really being honest, researching and comparing payment services is about as exciting as watching paint dry.
But, as CEO of AES Dennis Bakke once said, “Profits are to a corporation much like breathing is to life. Breathing is not the goal of life, but without breath life ends. Similarly, without turning a profit, a corporation, too, will cease to exist.”
Of course we want your practice to “continue breathing” (and really take “deep breaths”), so we did all the boring research and came across a payment service that we believe can be utilized to improve managing eye care practices, NXGEN Payment Services.
What Does NXGEN Do?
NXGEN is a Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business and has had over 10 years of experience in providing complete payment processing services, including:
- Credit and Debit Card Processing
- ACH/EFT and Check Processing
- Smartphone, Mobile, and Wireless Processing
- Internet Processing
- Merchant Cash Advance
- And More!
Just as a quick overview, this company provides great rates and helps their clientele lower overall processing costs by improving operations. NXGEN can even help integrate your payment processing software with your existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or other accounting systems. If you aren’t convinced that integration is a necessary move, just remember how much more efficient you were when you integrated your opticians practice management software with VisionWeb!
What are the Benefits of NXGEN?
Let’s talk about data breaches: they’re costly, scary, and a pain in the neck. A single breach could even cost you your company. NXGEN helps reduce this risk by making sure every merchant stays Payment Card Industry Council (PCI) Compliant. Did you know that businesses that cannot prove their PCI compliance could be subject to hefty fines ranging from thousands to millions of dollars? Now that’s scary! What’s even better is once you are PCI Compliant, NXGEN will warranty each data breach for up to $100,000 in reimbursed fines and costs! How’s that for a little peace of mind?
No shady or complicated reporting here! Just as ordering ophthalmic products online through VisionWeb is more convenient and efficient, so is online reporting. NXGEN offers an easy-to-understand online reporting system that’s available 24/7. Know your true costs and enjoy “big business advantages” no matter what size your practice is.
VisionWeb’s Director of Customer Relations, Juanita Burke, stressed in her 10 for 10: Keeping Customers Happy at Your Eye Care Practice, how crucial customer service is to any business: she would be happy to learn that NXGEN feels the same way. NXGEN states that “merchants come for the NXGEN clout and stay for the service.” Available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, this company is committed to ensuring its customers are satisfied.
Yes, NXGEN accepts all payment types when it comes to credit and debit card processing (even Canadian PIN networks). Instead of dealing with many confusing statements, you receive one integrated statement. And, there are no funding delays: deposits are available within 24-48 hours.
We know discussing payment services isn’t the most exciting topic, but we want your eyecare practice to be in tip-top shape! And starting with an awesome payment service, like NXGEN, can help you cut costs and improve profits. If you’re interested in learning about this payment service for optical suppliers and eye care practices, visit NXGEN.com.
Want to learn about NXGEN and their services?
Here are your choices:
Behind door number one is an average looking house: the foundation is cracked, paint is chipped, and overall, everything is a little out dated.
Behind door number two is a well-decorated, solid and sturdy home with a fresh coat of paint. The foundation is well-laid, the shingles are in impeccable condition, and there isn't a crack in sight.
So, which door did you pick? We hope that you chose door number two because this structure is solid, will last, and can efficiently serve its purpose of being a home. Just as houses must be well-constructed to be effective, your eye care practice should follow the same logic. If you want to build a top-notch practice, you have to start with the basics.
Get the Blueprints of a Well-Built Eye Care Practice
By downloading this FREE eBook, you'll get the resources you need to build upon 5 key areas of your business that will help you:
- Manage an Impeccable Staff
- Optimize Product Sales
- Embrace Technology
- Utilize Social Media
- Eliminate Inefficiencies
Don't let cracks, holes, and worn down features hold your practice back. Constructing that well-built structure behind door number two is only a read away.
Grab your hammer and start building your way to success with Blueprints for a Well-Built Eyecare Practice!
You don't want to miss this eBook!
Yesterday, we were turning our brains inside and out to come up with the perfect office prank for April Fool's Day. Maybe put a coworker’s office supplies in jello? Or, the classic move-someone’s-desk-an-inch-farther-away every hour? (Thanks Jim Halpert from The Office.) Well, we may have been in a rut trying to find the perfect prank, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a fool this April. These 7 tips will help keep your foolishness at bay and the dunce hat off!
Don't be an April Fool this Year
You’re Still Visiting Multiple Sites to Place Your Orders
If this sounds familiar to you, then you may be on your way to becoming an April fool. Quit wasting precious time and money giving your fingers that “ultimate keyboard workout”. (We promise you can lift some paperclip dumbbells later.) VisionWeb has an online ordering service that connects you with over 400 laboratories in one convenient location. That means no more confusing and time-wasting visits to multiple sites. And, people ordering contact lenses, frames, or spectacle lenses through VisionWeb are able to do so 24/7, and get orders back 1-2 days sooner than other unconventional ordering methods!
You’re Still Making Calls to Your Suppliers to Track Orders
With all that time you spend on the phone with your suppliers tracking orders, you might be an April fool. With VisionWeb’s online ordering solution, you’re able to track pending orders, processed orders, and everything in-between 24/7! So, give your mother (or any relative) that much-needed call, and leave the order checking to VisionWeb.com!
You’re Duplicating Your Work
With our practice management integrations you're able to get more value from your investment by using the information already entered into your system to create and submit orders.
On top of that, did you know you can create favorite templates for ordering spectacle lenses online? Let's say you frequently prescribe the same RX for a few patients each week. Before you spend valuable time placing practically the same order again and again you can simply create a “Pending Order” and leave treatments and frame measurements blank. When you want to create this order for a patient later, all you have to do is click on the “E-Order #” and select “Reuse.” Now, you can quickly fill in the missing fields.
You’re Not Maximizing all the Benefits of Your Eyecare Practice Management Software
With VisionWeb’s capability of integrating with
over 30 of the eyecare industry’s leading optical practice management systems, it’s almost foolish not get the most out of your system! Practice management integration with VisionWeb helps save time by using information already in your system to place orders. But, if you aren’t ready to integrate, get the most out of your current optical practice management system by:
- Knowing all the features and using them
- Utilizing pre-test and exam lane hardware linking
- Learning about service integrations
- Making sure ALL staff is trained
You’re Not Connecting with Patients and Colleagues Online
With the rise of social media and virtual connections, it’s more important now than ever to ensure that you’re available to your patients through various medias online. Our Director of Marketing, Heather Smith, certainly thinks so:
“The reality is that patients today are spending more and more time online. They expect to be able to find a website for a business, and they want the convenience that the Internet affords them.”
Monitor your online reputation from sites like Yelp, utilize social media for eye care practices to show off your company personality, and most importantly, have fun with the wealth of assets the internet has to offer!
You’re Not Using VisionWeb’s Frame Data Assist Tool
Did you know that Frames Data Assist gives you instant access to Frames Data information within VisionWeb’s ordering system even if you aren’t a Frames Data subscriber? All VisionWeb users have the ability to search the Frames Data Catalog, select a frame, and simply click to automatically populate frame measurements! If you are a subscriber, you can easily link your account with VisionWeb to view wholesale pricing and a color image of the frame.
You Haven’t Downloaded VisionWeb’s Mobile App
After learning all the benefits VisionWeb has to offer, it’s almost foolish to not want access on the go! Want to review your pending and archived orders? How about checking the status of orders being processed at the lab? All of this is possible with the VisionWeb App for Apple and Android users! So whether you’re at the office or vacationing in Fuji, you’ll always have instant access to your product orders!
April Fool’s Day is full of fun-hearted pranks and laughs; however, no one wants to be dubbed an April Fool. Just follow these tips to avoid the dreaded dunce hat. You’ll be sure you aren’t fooling yourself about your eyecare practice’s efficiency this year.
Think your eyecare practice's efficiency is fooling you? Test it now!
Can you feel it? Spring is almost here! The cold winter may have slowed you down for a bit, but it’s time to energize your practice with some spring cleaning! We'll help you take a look at 4 important steps towards growing eyecare practice efiiciency at your practice this spring!
Grow Eyecare Practice Efficiency This Spring By:
Paperwork…yuck! No one likes paper work and when you’re trying to clean up the office, excess amounts of paper can make the job even more difficult. That’s why we recommend cutting down on the trash by ordering your ophthalmic products online!
Not only does ordering products online reduce the amount of paper in your office, but it also gives you added efficiency resources like the ability to order from all of your laboratories from one website, or having your orders error checked before being submitted to the lab. And if that isn’t enough, you can even integrate your optical practice management system with VisionWeb to avoid duplicate data entry and calls to the labs!
Replanting Your Inventory Garden
Once you’ve cleaned up all the paper in your practice, it’s time to start thinking about growing your inventory garden. Just like any good garden, your inventory should include a good amount of variety and have plenty of choices for everyone.
Choosing the right frames is a main concern for patients looking to buy new frames. People are most concerned with the shape, size, color, and design of the frames. We also learned that patients found magazines helpful when researching frames, and many practices provide frames to their employees to serve as in-store representation. So before you buy the next batch of inventory, look through magazines for the latest style guides and trends and try ordering a few frames for your staff to wear and gauge its popularity among your patients. And remember, everyone's style preferences vary so it's probably a good idea to get input from several different employees before purchasing new inventory for your practice!
Making Your Petals Bright in Social Media
In the wild there is always that one flower that shines brighter and bolder than all the rest. Social media is your chance to shine brighter than the rest! Today it’s all about the Internet and social media, and your petals will wilt without a good social media strategy for your eyecare practice.
Keeping your pages fresh and interesting will keep your patients’ attention and help drive business by showing them your practice’s unique personality. Social media pages are customizable to you, so use that opportunity to stand out and get the bees buzzing! Here at VisionWeb we love social media, so check out some of our resources for helping your practice become the brightest flower in the social media garden:
Nurturing the New Buds
It is important to get new staff up to speed as fast as possible (and keep experienced staff brushed up on all of their skills). VisionWeb has a library of resources to help you train new staff at any time. You can use these guides as training materials to walk new employees through the ordering process.
We also have playlists of How-To Videos and Webinars on our YouTube channel. Check out videos on topics such as Product ordering, practice management compatibility, and the latest VisionWeb news.
Want to see if you cleared away all of your practice's inefficiencies with spring cleaning? Take our ordering efficiency test and see if your practice is ready to bloom.
The "How To" on Effectively Managing Eyecare Practice Efficiency
Imagine this situation.
The phone rings. It’s 87-year-old forgetful Frannie Sue calling to check up on her new spectacle lenses for the fifth time this week. Of course, you are quite fond of Frannie, she has been a loyal customer for years, so you don't mind helping her out. Unfortunately for you, you called in her spectacle lens order so you now have to pick up the phone to call and check on the status.
After finally getting a hold of the lab, and then thoroughly explaining to Frannie Sue that her new-fangled cell phone is on mute, you tell Frannie that her spectacle lenses will be ready in about three days. You then wish her a good evening and prepare yourself for the plethora of calls to be made next week.
So what are your options now?
Because you must call the laboratory to check on all your customers' orders that you place over the phone, it is obvious that you have not achieved efficiency at your eyecare practice. But what is there to do?
Don’t fret! Frannie Sue may be calling again (and again… and again) next week, but there is an online ordering solution to improve your eyecare practice efficiency! In fact, you will be able to check order status online 24/7!
But first, check out these 10 insider tips for ultimate eyecare practice efficiency! Managing your practice will be easy as pie. All you need to do is download our FREE eBook, 10 Easy Ways to Boost Practice Efficiency and you’ll be on your way to becoming an efficiency expert!
- Discover what inefficiencies are holding you back
- Stop bad eyecare product ordering habits
- Elimate time-wasting calls to suppliers
- Maximize all the benefits of your practice management system
- And much more!
photo credit: jitze
via photopin cc
Valentine’s Day is in the books, flowers are in water, and all the chocolate you’re going to eat is already gone. Let’s face it, you’re not going to eat those last few stragglers that are filled with, what? Maybe toothpaste? But, love is still in the air and we thought this would be a great time to think about your relationship with optical dispensing. The honeymoon is over with how things used to be and now it’s time to move on.
Today, we’ll compare the old school and new school approaches to optical dispensing. Get ready to write your Dear John letter to the old way of doing things!
Communication is Key
Traditionally, ophthalmic product ordering is performed by placing ordering over the phone or through fax machines. This type of communication takes time and only works if there is someone on the other end receiving your order. Calls are limited to open hours and there is never a guarantee that the order you’re trying to place won’t be muddled up on the other end. Any type of manual interaction increases the chance for mistakes, no matter how hard we try to stop it. The supplier has to only mishear one word or misread one character and the order is wrong with now guaranteed wasted time.
Tracking orders follows the same one-on-one communication. Suppliers have to go on an expedition to hunt down sent orders while patients are put on hold. Tracking orders becomes a waiting game between the practice, patient, and supplier.
With VisionWeb's Online Product Ordering solution you can leave all those mistakes and waiting times in the dust. Placing and tracking orders are all done in one convenient location. Online ordering and tracking are available 24/7 from anywhere with an Internet connection and there is less manual intervention, which means less possibility of human error. Each one of VisionWeb connected suppliers has control of their own online catalog, so you won’t be able to place an order that the lab can’t make! And best of all, VisionWeb users typically receive orders 1-2 days earlier when ordering online, as compared to phone and fax orders.
The Little Black Book
Looking for suppliers to connect with on a late Friday night? Originally that’s what your little black book of contacts is for. Flipping through several pages to dial countless numbers, or even visiting multiple websites to place orders with your suppliers. Most of your time is spent on the phone playing with the cord (old school isn’t it?). VisionWeb is connected with over 400 laboratories and they can all be reached in one place online, so all that phone time isn’t necessary. This will save you a good amount of time and effort and let you pull out your own little black book for that Friday night.
Using the Same Old Lines
Single order placement is the tool of the old school in placing orders. The same ordering information is transcribed again and again, and a good amount of time is spent doing something that’s been done 100 times before. With Practice Management System Integrations time spent on duplicating orders is eliminated. By using an ordering integration, information already in your practice management system is used to create and submit your orders and it’s done all within your practice management system. Not only will this save you time, but you can rest easy knowing your order will be accurate when sent to your suppliers.
Time to finalize that breakup! Once you are free of the old style of optical dispensing you can puff up your feathers and show the world the brand new you!
At VisionWeb, we are all about helping your eyecare practice succeed by providing solutions to optical practice efficiency. Now, here’s a scary thought: you might actually be destroying your practice's efficiency through your day-to-day process without even realizing it! If you are guilty of the following, stop what you’re doing and follow the suggested solutions.
How to Fail at Optical Practice Efficiency
1. Use a fax machine to place ophthalmic product orders
It’s 2013! Wake up and smell the internet! Gone are the days of that obnoxious dial-up tone, paper jams, and illegible handwriting. If you are still using a fax machine to place orders, getting a call or two from your labs for clarification is nothing unusual. Spending a couple of minutes on the phone isn't too bad. But you know it's bad when you receive a wrong order and end up with an unhappy customer because your lab tried to decipher your “scriptures.” Wait, there’s more…
2. Phone optical labs to track orders
Your lab is still trying to decipher what you’ve written on your fax. They correct your order after several phone calls but your order is delayed. Your customers get impatient and start calling to find out why their orders are taking so long, and when they will be completed. There’s nothing much you can do, so you put them on hold while you call the lab again to track the status of their orders.
Before you know it, you’ve wasted 34 hours a year on the phone and fax!
“What can I do?!”
If all that sounds familiar, it's time for a change! There is a better way to manage orders! Online product ordering will relieve these inefficiencies, so back away from the fax machine and put down the phone. Here are a couple of facts to help convince you to get started.
- 93% of practices say that online ordering services make their practice more efficient.
- According to VisionWeb users, orders are returned a full 1-2 days faster than orders placed via phone or fax.
Submitting your orders online allows them to go directly to the lab’s system for processing, jumping ahead of all the orders placed by phone and fax. And quicker turnaround time means happier customers!
Online ordering also means that you track the status of your orders anytime of the day, and no more playing phone tag with labs. When patients call to check on their orders, don’t put them on hold! Log on and give them updates instantly.
3. File claims through multiple sites
If you find yourself going to individual insurance payers’ sites to submit claims, you are probably our prolific web surfer. Don’t mistake that for a cool job, you’re actually stuck using an inconvenient, outdated method for claim filing. Surfing multiple sites means exposing your practice to claim rejections.
4. File paper EOBs
“I keep all EOBs on file, so there’s no point in using electronic remittance advice right?” Wrong! Providers were responsible for keeping a 7 year archive of EOBs, so it might scare you to change your routine. But managing stacks of paper EOBs can be a hassle and you risk the chance of misplacing them. Not to mention the frustration of bumping your knee on that filing cabinet for the fourth time today.
“What can I do?!”
Claims processing is a huge part of your business and obviously you want your claim filing processes to run efficiently to get paid! A clearinghouse can bring every aspect of insurance processes in one location, including filing claims and providing information electronically with electronic remittance advice (ERA).
Claims processing services, like VisionWeb, conveniently submits your claims from one website, so you can forget about leaving multiple tabs open while you work. You also get detailed reporting on claims such as rejections and how to avoid them.
Clearinghouses provide the same information that paper EOB's have, and will keep the information for you for 7 years. If you leave the clearinghouse, it will still be available through your payer. And if you’re really worried about it, you could still print them out and keep copies. But we think you should give your office a makeover and gain extra space without all those metal filing cabinets covering the office!
Is your practice guilty of any of these inefficiencies? Now that you have the solutions, start making changes today! Do you have other optical practice efficiency fails to add to the list? Feel free to include them in the comments.
We’ve also designed a claim filing efficiency and ordering efficiency test to spot more inefficiencies that may lurk in your practice. See how your current claim filing and ordering methodologies compare.
After the crazy holidays have come to an end, sometimes we get a little exhausted and put the New Year’s resolutions on the back-burner. But if you’re frame ordering in 2013, you might be able to use a few resolutions as well. There is always room for improvement, especially if you want to become a superstar eyecare practice! After all, you can’t expect better results without changing anything, so set some goals for your practice. Below are just a few any eyecare practice can start with; enjoy!
Shed the Extra Weight
It’s the most popular New Year’s Resolution – who doesn’t want to shed that unnecessary weight off? It’s 2013, and because paper never stops piling up, the paperless eyecare practice is the norm. And no, we’re not saying to do everything your competition does, but in this situation the ‘paperless-office decision’ made by many eyecare practices is nothing but rational! It’s no secret that going paperless by submitting optical orders online to all of your laboratories in one convenient location is the way to go, because increasing efficiency and improving productivity has the ability to really impact your eyecare practice's bottom line.
Socialize to Make Frame Ordering Fun
Social media has become so vital for any business, even social media for optometrists. Let your creative juices flow and make frame ordering FUN! Show the world who you are and what your practice is about. And if you are already utilizing social media, be sure you are using it the way you should be. Find out what kind frames your patients like by interacting with them on social platforms and every time new frames come in, show them off! You can even show your patients off wearing their new glasses; who knows - you may impress their friends enough to bring in a new visitor or two. Take a chance and get imaginative; you may just become an inspiration!
Spend Your Money Wisely
Integrating a practice management system into an eyecare practice can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. While many eyecare practices initially purchase a PMS to save time and become more efficient by performing all day-to-day operations in one location, many practices end up not getting the most out of their practice management system investment. Making a better effort to utilize all of the features of your practice management system this new year is definitely a wise decision to make after making such a large investment!
Take Care of Your Reputation
New, trendy frames aren’t cheap and deciding on a pair to wear long-term isn’t usually an easy choice. For many, frame ordering is a big decision! And a majority of time when people make big decisions, they look for advice from friends, family, and in most cases online sources as well. For many small businesses, word of mouth ranks to be the most important for business marketing. And although controlling friends and family members advice is impossible, controlling your online reputation is, and can become an advantage for your practice if, and only if, you take care of it! Managing your online reputation can get a little tricky sometimes, but don’t worry we’re always here to help. Check out these posts!
Be Brave and Take Chances
Superstars are always brave and are never afraid to take chances! Don’t be the grandpa that destroys eyecare practice efficiency. Sure, having everything online can feel a bit different, but there are always resources out there to ease you into the unknown so don’t be afraid of technological changes. Go paperless in stages if necessary: start with a PMS then convert to electronic medical records, whatever works best for your practice! Whatever your pace, the result will be increased revenues, lower expenses, and ‘happy frame ordering campers’ – and that’s what we all love to see!
We hope these resolutions can help your practice become the best it can be in 2013. We’ll be covering anything and everything eyecare related throughout the year, so stay in touch and let us know what you'd like to hear!