It takes a lot of work just to develop, manage, and maintain a practice. So considering what to do when you want to take your practice to the next level can be overwhelming. We work with eye care practices every day to help them find and implement solutions that improve their business, so we have been able to pinpoint a few areas of focus that can have a big impact on long-term success. We've also been researching and learning about trends and issues, both in the industry and outside of it, that are relevant to your practice and can play a role in your success.
1. Have I Embraced Online Claim Filing or Just Accepted It?
By now, you get it, filing claims online is efficient and the way of the future. And it's the way payers want you to submit claims, so you have to do it, right? Well, yes but if that's you're feeling about online claim filing, you're really missing out! The shift to online claim filing has ushered in a new set of tools that you can really use to get to know your practice. That's what we want you to think about! Don't just look at online claim filing as a mandated burden; make it really work to your advantage.
Insider Tip: Switching between several sites can be confusing for multiple users, and you miss out on a lot of information this way. Using a single source for claims submissions, reports, and remits to all payers makes online claim filing work for you and not just payers.
2. Could I Be Getting More Out of My Practice Management Investment?
Whether you already have a system, or if you're thinking about purchasing one, you need to get the most of it. Think of your optometric practice management software as the brain of your practice. Is everyone using it? Are you putting all of the features to good use? Does everyone know how to use it?
Insider Tip: Many optical practice software systems offer a library of training materials for your staff, which can be invaluable. Find out what's available so that everyone is trained. These resources may even be free, and that will pay off!
3. Am I Buying the Frames My Patients Can and Will Buy?
How often do you re-evaluate your frame strategy? How do you go about selecting frames that your patients will buy? Are you doing anything to make sure that they can buy the frames you carry? Since trends change so often, this is an important area of focus and having multiple suppliers to easily choose from provides an advantage.
Insider Tip: Review of Optometric Business is a great resource for this aspect of your practice. Use their benchmarking data to set goals and evaluate your practice.
4. How Can I Take My Patient Relations From Good to Great?
You may be wondering why we would include patient relations in a discussion about practice success, but interactions between your practice and your patients have a direct impact on your bottom line. So you want to make sure those interactions are great, right? After all, happy patients come back year after year, and they send their friends and colleagues to you. That's important when you consider that 36% of consumers report that they found their eye doctor through a referral from a friend or coworker. Relationship building is more important in business today than ever.
Insider Tip: When your staff is happy, your patients will be able to feel it. Fostering a positive environment behind the desk works wonders for customer satisfaction.
5. What Does Social Media Mean to Me and My Patients?
Do you know what people are saying about your practice? Consumers are turning to the internet more than ever to voice their opinions about their experiences with eyecare practices. Having a strong internet presence, and knowing what people are saying about your business, is vital to success. Let them talk about you on Yelp, use Google Maps reviews to become a destination, let them get to know you on Facebook, and use Twitter to interact and make lots of new connections.
Insider Tip: Treat social media like an extension of your practice. It's all about interacting and engaging. You create meaningful relationships when you truly incorporate social media rather than thinking of it as a short-term fad.
It may seem obvious, but it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks, and before you know it a quarter or even a year has flown by. Making a conscious effort to consider your practice and the things your practice needs, on a regular and frequent basis, will work wonders for your practice!
For more tips like these from OD's in the field, read our eBook: