How to simplify in the optometry practice
Sometimes too many choices can be a bad thing
Running an eyecare practice can be complicated. Each visual system is a little different, although we feel like we say the same things over and over. There are insurance requirements that vary by patient, and there are regulations for more and more organizations telling us what it takes to do a “good job.” There are many types of lenses with different levels of benefits, features, prices, and coverages. Sometimes our decision to prescribe a particular product may be influenced by whether or not we will get a rebate check.
But sometimes, I think we make things even more complicated by allowing too many forks in the road. The Six Sigma concept is all about reducing variation in each process throughout your business. Each decision that we allow in our system is another variation. How many choices can we eliminate and still take good care of our patients?
It should not be this complicated
Here is an example of one choice we took away and how it benefited the practice, the staff, and the patients.
We already have a pretty good system in place for selling annual supplies of contact lenses, and our average supply ratio is above average. But our biggest problem is that we are too busy. When you are a service-based practice and you are too busy, some important things start to slip.
After an analysis of our system, we found that one big factor was the amount of time we were spending with patients in discussions about their contact lenses—number of boxes, rebates, shipping to home, shopping around, calling to let the patient know the lenses have arrived, dispensing them, pay now, pay at dispensing. It should not be so complicated.