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    Top 10 practice management mistakes

    Atlanta—During a presentation at SECO, Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD, outlined 10 common practice management mistakes that are affecting your patients’ experience and your bottom line.

    1. Dropping the handoff

    Dr. Wright says there are five ways to handle the handoff from the doctor to the optical staff:

    1. Optician is with the patient the whole time from check-in to the optical.

    2. Optician is called into the room before the case consultation.

    3. Optician is called into the room after the case consultation.

    4. The handoff to the optician takes place in the optical department.

    5. The handoff is handled through the file holder.

    “Based on how you do that, it will dramatically impact your treatment plans completed,” says Dr. Wright. If your treatment plan isn’t completed, that means either your patient decided not to go with your recommendation or—worse yet—took your recommendation and filled it somewhere else.

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    The first option—keeping the optician with the patient the entire visit—is the most effective because it gives the optician time to bond with the patient, says Dr. Wright. After completing every step of the eye exam, the doctor, the optician, and the patient go over the recommendations together, which increases the likelihood that the patient will then complete the treatment plan.

    “No matter what you, the doctor, do in the exam room, when the rubber meets the road—when the decision is actually carried out, it’s in the optical with the optician,” he says. That means that the last two options in which you conduct the handoff in the optical as opposed to the exam room are the least successful.

    He also recommends that the OD sit beside the patient while describing the treatment plan with the optician sitting on the other side, with neither at more than a 45-degree angle.

    “If the optical staff is not a part of the conversation at that point, I am going to bring them into the conversation,” says Dr. Wright.

    When you bring the optical staff into the conversation, emphasize the value of the vision solutions you’re offering—the high-tech lenses, the best manufacturing, and the high-quality frames.

    Next: Managing by emotions instead of trends

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...


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