10 Tips to Streamline Business Operations in Your Optometry Practice
When you’re running an optometry practice, it can seem like your hands are always full. No matter how well-trained your staff is or how passionate you are about providing high-quality care, it can be common to experience burnout.
That could be a sign it’s time to streamline business operations for your practice, but how do you get started? Some of the tips we have for streamlining your practice include the following:
- Evaluate your check-in procedures
- Put your patients first
- Create an organized workspace
- Surround yourself with a good team
- Encourage internal communication
- Keep your team up-to-date
- Optimize patient follow-ups
- Improve internal processes
- Streamline your digital presence
- Partner with an eye care management group
It starts with making sure you’re putting your patients first. Then, you can make sure your team is trained on how you want your practice to run and ensure they feel like they can communicate with everyone they work with. After that, you can streamline the digital side of things and verify that everything is running smoothly. Partnering with an eye care management group can be a great way to get support for every step of the streamlining process with expert advice from a team of industry professionals.
1: Evaluate Your Check-In Procedures
It all starts at the beginning. Before you can do any eye exam; before you can sell a pair of glasses; before you can test somebody for a contact lens fitting; your experiences all start with the check-in.
In many situations, this process is often much more complicated than it needs to be, so it can be helpful to evaluate the check-in procedure every single one of your patients goes through.
Is there anything that’s redundant or anything that can be worked into a later part of the appointment? How much time does it take for your staff to pull up a patient’s records? How much paperwork is involved?
Taking steps to make the check-ins smooth can save valuable time and help start every appointment off right.
2: Put Your Patients First
Your patients are your lifeblood. By putting them first, you can create a comfortable and supportive environment where they can receive high-quality care and feel trusted and valued.
When making changes or adjustments to your business, your first thought should be how it affects your patients. Consider some of the following:
- Does the layout of your practice create a welcoming environment?
- How does your staff interact with patients?
- Does the exam room feel like a place where patients can feel safe while their eyes are checked?
- Is your staff educated on up-to-date information in the eye care industry, and can patients ask questions if they’re confused?
Taking the extra step to put patients first helps encourage patients to come back—and you may even notice an increase in patients being referred to you.
3: Create an Organized Workspace
A well-organized workspace is essential for any small business, and this is especially true for eye care practices. Your workspace defines what patients should expect from your practice, and you should be trying to create a comfortable environment where they can trust that their vision is in good hands.
Remove clutter where you can, and don’t forget to keep the space up to cleaning standards. From the front desk to the exam room, the cleanliness of your practice reflects how much you care about your patients.
4: Surround Yourself with a Good Team
No person is an island, and you can’t do everything yourself. At the end of the day, you’re going to need to delegate a great deal of responsibilities to others, so you need to surround yourself with a good team.
When you’re interviewing candidates, don’t forget to look past on-paper qualifications. While hard skills related to your industry are important, they don’t define every aspect of a person.
How are they when speaking with you? Do they go out of their way to learn more about your practice? Do they have experience explaining complex topics to others?
It’s important to remember—a candidate can learn more about your business and how you want it to run, but if they’re impersonal and cold, that reflects on you. Soft skills are important too, after all!
5: Encourage Internal Communication
Do you have a team of extremely qualified and caring people around you dedicated to helping your practice succeed? How do they interact with each other?
Life can be complicated. Running a business can be messy. Customer service can be challenging. How do your staff members interact with each other? Do they support each other or go out of their way to solve problems? Consider how your team works well together and what you can do to encourage teamwork.
6: Keep Your Team Up-to-Date
It can be beneficial to spend some time talking with your team to make sure everybody’s on the same page. If needed, there are always training resources available to help keep everybody up-to-date with any major changes happening in the business or industry.
After all, the field of optometry is always changing. It can even be helpful to spend some time explaining your side of things and how the business runs behind the scenes. Clearly showing your team how you want the practice to run and be represented helps ensure everybody is on the same page.
This can directly translate to how consistently your business provides care to patients. By having everybody know about new protocols, equipment, and software, your staff can be better equipped to provide a high quality of care to every person that walks through your door.
7: Optimize Patient Follow-Ups
Just because a patient has walked out the door doesn’t mean everything is done. Patient follow-ups are important, and you and your team should be doing everything you can to continue providing care once a patient isn’t in the building anymore.
Try building a schedule so your staff can make follow-up calls, or using a system for generating follow-up feedback automatically.
Make sure you’re asking questions like:
- How did you find the quality of care you received?
- Is everything going well?
- Have you noticed any changes to your vision?
- Are you experiencing any new problems since you last visited us?
- Do you have any questions about your results or new eyewear?
- Would you like to schedule your next appointment?
This can help show each and every one of your patients that you’re truly dedicated to keeping their eyes healthy and their vision clear!
8: Improve Internal Processes
Your internal processes are essential to how smoothly your business runs. If you’re trying to streamline your business operations, this is one of the most important ways you can make things easier for yourself, your staff, and your patients.
Take a look at your record keeping. If you’re still using pen and paper, it can help to consider switching to digital. While there may be a learning curve, it can be much quicker to pull up a client record.
Try looking into automated appointment software, and explore your options for automating reminders through text or email to help remind your patients of any upcoming appointments. This can help reduce your number of no-call-no-shows and show your customers you care about their experience. Digital inventory management can be helpful as well.
If you feel like things are slowing down, take some time to examine where you can speed up the process. By being patient and making changes where possible, you can remove any unnecessary processes and improve your internal processes. Sometimes, even simplifying business operations can make a big difference.
9: Streamline Your Digital Presence
In today’s modern day and age, your online presence plays an important role. People spend hours online every day, so you should take the time to make sure your website is up-to-date and efficient.
Your website is often one of the first things people will see about your practice, and a first impression is a lasting one. Think about things like:
- How is your website set up?
- Is your contact information prominent?
- Does your website represent your business accurately?
- Does your website provide accurate information about your services?
- Where can potential patients learn more about what to expect from your optometry practice?
- Can patients book online or contact you through your website?
It can help to link to educational sources online if people want to learn more about certain aspects of the field of optometry.
While you’re examining your website, take a look at your social media presence. Establishing a clear online presence that represents your business helps you reach more patients who may benefit from your care.
10: Partner with Total Vision
Running an optometry practice can be difficult, but you aren’t alone. Our team at Total Vision is equipped with years of experience and a true passion for providing excellent optometric care to people across the country.
By partnering with us, you can gain access to a management team that’s dedicated to helping your business grow—and all kinds of other benefits. To learn more about how to join our family at Total Vision, contact us today!