If you aren't aware of Marie Kondo's novel, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you might have watched her Netflix series where she uses her patented KonMari method to de-clutter the lives of people around the US. Her motto is to look at material items and question whether they "spark joy" within you.
We believe her methods can be useful in eyecare practices because they focus on the two ideals we value: effectiveness and simplicity. However, spring cleaning can either be something your practice dreads or looks forward to. We want to make sure it's the latter.
Let us show you how you can de-clutter your practice's paper goods, inventory, data, and more using the KonMari method.
When going through your practice's items, be mindful of what you actually use on a day-to-day basis and what you hold onto "just in case". Keep only what sparks purpose, creativity, and productivity. As Marie Kondo says, leave the rest. After you decide which office materials are useful to you, you can make sure you possess the correct storage facilities. We'll walk you through the individual categories of items you might want to tackle in your practice.
Take all your papers out of the filing cabinets and comb through them to see what is relevant and necessary for filing claims, being HIPAA or legally compliant, and updating patient records. If you have papers from previous years that you might need to hold onto for compliance reasons, scan them and store the digital copy on a backup hard drive so that you can recycle the paper. This way, you can search easily for valuable information and it'll never get lost. We also recommend you take a hard look at any books you have in your practice. Could you access the text online? When was the last time you opened that book? If you ever have to reorganize or move, books become an unnecessary burden you probably don't require.
If you're still filing patient data manually, the next step could be switching over to Electronic Health Records so that you have fewer paper products to store and more secure data.
Campaigns and Communications
Although campaigns are less tangible, it's necessary to figure out what works and doesn't work in your practice's marketing strategy. Create reports that tell you the ROI, patient conversion, website traffic, or other success metrics of every marketing campaign you've run in your practice. This way, you move forward in 2019 with a tight focus on the campaigns that worked best and leave the rest. We recommend you run these reports after every campaign, but sometimes it's beneficial to see how each campaign performed in relation to the others.
Similar to reviewing the performance of campaigns, you should check the effectiveness of your patient communications. Is there specific messaging, via text or email or in-person, that seems to perform better than the rest? Hone in on that strategy and leave the weaker messaging behind. The KonMari method emphasizes focusing on what you want to keep, not the items that aren't working.
De-cluttering your product inventory can be tricky, because you shouldn't discard pieces you've paid for. However, you can do a full product audit to identify every product you have in your stockroom and figure out which ones you shouldn't repurchase. Organize everything in buckets so that your frequently purchased items are easy to access, but items that aren't moving as quickly don't get pushed out of sight and out of mind. Then, you can adjust your purchasing habits accordingly moving forward. Storing your inventory data in a cloud-based practice management system and ordering platform can help you keep track of your stock, identify best-selling frames, and save you time so that you don't have to KonMari your inventory monthly.
Deciding which staff members should be promoted or let go is the most difficult part of "de-cluttering". Sometimes you hire staff members who make no fault in their work, but they aren't a good fit with your practice workflow or values.
Evaluate your staff based on their individual performance and see how their progress and productivity has aligned with the vision you have for your practice. If there are employees who hold back your practice's progress, it is certainly time to have a discussion with them. Figure out a way to make it a mutually beneficial relationship by letting them know what you need.
This ebook can help you identify what parts of your practice are highly adaptable:
Originally published in March 2019. Updated in March 2022.