No one likes hunting someone down in order to get paid for an outstanding bill. It's time consuming, and can honestly be a little awkward at times. But, it's also a very important piece to your practice's profits, so it's important to have the right optometry billing processes in place in order to make the collections process as easy as possible on your staff and your patients. Let's take a look at 4 things you should be doing in your practice to help ensure timely payment collections.
Is 2016 the year for you to open your own eyecare practice? If it is, we know that you're in over your head planning and preparing for this exciting time in your career. The amount of things in play that will affect your new practice are plenty. We've picked out three important things that anyone who is considering opening their own business needs to be thinking about. Location, brand, and technology are the three areas we want to focus on today.
3 Big Practice Management Considerations when Opening Cold
The location of your practice is probably on the top of your priority list. Deciding where you want to open the practice and whether or not you'd like to rent, buy, or build the space are all considerations that need to be made. A lot of research needs to be done to determine where there is a need, locally, for a practice and the costs associated with that location. Is it in a convenient spot for patients to find, arrive at, and park? The surrounding buildings and businesses could also affect the perception of your business. That's just one more thing to be thinking about when looking for the perfect space.
Many eyecare practices have started using all-in-one practice management and EHR solutions to help speed up their workflow and raise efficiency throughout their entire practice. By using an all-in-one system, you'll integrate workflow processes together and create a more seamless flow that both your staff and your patients will love. Are you ready to take this step? Ask yourself these five questions to find out.
5 Questions to Help You Decide if You Should Use an All-in-One Practice Management and EHR Software
1. Could Your Front Office Use a Boost?
If your front office is feeling overwhelmed with scheduling and appointment reminders on top of their other duties, integrating your optometry software could help. Practice management software that allows for online scheduling and automatic appointment reminders can take away a lot of stress from your front desk staff, allowing them more time to pay attention to the patients that are physically in your practice.
2. How Efficient is Your Pre-Exam Process?
If your practice management system has a great patient portal, information can be automatically filled, or sent, straight to a patient’s EHR. This allows your technician to quickly review patient information without having to ask the patients a ton of questions. It’ll also give your tech more time to conduct pre-tests and answer specific patient questions so that everything is ready for the comprehensive exam.
Your front office sets up the image of your practice for your patients, and they keep your schedule and workflow running on time. If your front staff is inefficient and unproductive, it not only puts the rest of your staff behind schedule, but also can send a negative message to your patients. We've got 5 questions for you to determine if your front office is wasting precious time.
Is Your Front Office Wasting Time in Your Optical Practice?
Do your patients fill out paper forms in your office while they wait for their appointment?
Having patients fill out pre-appointment paper forms in your office takes up both their time and yours. You have to wait for them to complete the forms before they can move through the appointment, and then you have to manually enter them into the computer. If you utilize a patient portal in your optical practice, your patients can fill out forms online prior to their appointment, which means less wait time for them! This is even more helpful when your patients are running late for their appointment already. Plus, the info is already in the computer and can be processed in your EHR. Less data entry for you!
Does your staff perform manual phone call reminders?
Calling each patient the day before their appointment can take up a good chunk of time for your front desk staff. Instead, implement a patient recall and reminder system that allows you to send automated reminders via text, email, or phone. These reminders can have confirmation features so you'll know ahead of time if a patient can't make it.
In today's fast-paced world, having online appointment scheduling tools provides a great convenience for your patients. Whether you allow patients to schedule online directly into your calendar, or have them submit requests for appointments that your staff approves, utilizing online tools is the way to go. As patients spend more and more time online, providing this option for your patients can help your practice in several ways.
Practice Management for Eye Doctors: Why Online Scheduling Tools are Great
You'll Expand Your Practice
Most people turn to the Internet when looking for a new product or service, and a lot of the time these searches happen after business hours. If a new patient comes across your website when your office is closed, they will still have the option of requesting an appointment while your practice is still on their mind. Having that kind of 24/7 availability will help you gain a ton of new patients.
Your Patients Will Love the Convenience
How many times have you made a to-do list in your head at night before going to bed and then forgot it all by the next morning? When you offer scheduling online, patients can schedule or request appointments as soon as they think of it which will help you see more of your patients on a regular basis.
We often spend time discussing how utilizing your practice management system can help offer more efficient care when patients are in your office during an appointment, but what about utilizing it to communicate with patients when they are not in your office? Getting patients back in your office is one of the most important things your practice does, and it is often necessary to remind your patients to do things like create their annual appointments, because people get busy throughout the year and tend to forget. By choosing a practice management solution that has patient recall and reminders built in, this patient communication task can become a lot easier.
Depending on your practice management system, it might come with patient recall built right in, which means no additional costs or integrations for you!
The optical dispensary in your eyecare practice is likely a big revenue generator for you. So it's important to have the right staff in your office that are keeping customers happy, and making those important sales. It's easy to get caught up with helping your patients in the exam room that your dispensary can get ignored.
In an independent practice your sales are important. That's why we've put together a list of reasons why you might not be hitting all of your sales goals. While each market and practice is unique, there are some common practice management for opticians tips and techniques that apply to just about every dispensary. Take a look at what we've come up with!
Practice Management for Opticians:
Are You Guilty of These Sales Mistakes in Your Eyecare Practice?
Focusing on Price, Not Value
While it's true, customers are worried about price when it comes to just about any product or service, value is often just as important, if not more. With all the economic changes in the past 10 years, all facets of the supply chain have been affected. As this happens, value in products tends to see a drop off. As consumers realize this they are more likely to spend a few extra dollars on getting a product that they see quality and value in. So make sure you explain all the features of frames and lenses that offer benefits over others.