Whether you’re a veteran practice owner with multiple establishments or you’re just starting out, there are a number of challenges every optometric practice owner faces.
Unfortunately, there isn’t always an easy or straightforward solution to these challenges. Owners have to use a mixture of effective management, updated technology, and clever sales strategy to create positive change within their practice.
Knowing your options and gaining advice from your peers can help you test different strategies that can overcome these common challenges in your practice.
How to Fix Common Optometric Practice Challenges
Challenge 1: Growing Your Practice
There are a lot of variables to consider when it comes to growing your practice. Your community population, practice location, budget, competition, etc. may restrict your practice’s ability to grow. When you’re trying increase your practice revenue, you can:
- Attract new patients through optical marketing practices
- Increase your insurance billing revenue stream
- Strengthen sales strategy to work on second pair frame sales.
Challenge 2: Staying Current With Regulations
A short time ago, Meaningful Use shook the healthcare industry with mandates. Now, eyecare practices have to worry about MIPS and MACRA. Then there’s the long list of ICD-10 changes for reporting. Staying on top of ever changing regulations is difficult. And, while these changes may be frustrating, the changes are there to ensure that your patients are getting the quality care that they need.
Selecting an EHR and practice management platform that comes with clinical decision support and the capability to generate and verify ICD-10 codes will help make keeping up with regulations a bit easier.
Challenge 3: Dealing with Staffing Issues
In most optometric practices, one of the main problems is dealing with high turnover rates, hiring a talented team, and then retaining that team. Making sure that you have the right people for your staff is so important because they represent your practice, and in some cases spend more time with your patients than you do. Hiring a staff member who clashes with other staff members or brings a negative vibe to the office is going bring down your entire practice because your patients will feel the tension.
Here are some of our favorite posts on dealing with staffing challenges.
- Interview Questions that will Land You the Perfect Candidate
- A Comprehensive Guide to Staff Management
- What’s Causing Your Staff Turnover?
- Is it time to hire an associate OD?
Challenge 4: Adopting New Technology
Implementing optometry software into your practice can help you improve patient care while also streamlining your office workflow. However, it can be a challenge to get your staff to embrace the change and get them the training they need to use the product effectively. When considering bringing in new optometry office software, make sure you solicit staff buy-in as early as you can to help ease the shock of a change.
Download this 4-week crash course to increasing your dispensary profits.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on October 13, 2016. It has been updated for relevance and richness of content on May 21, 2019.