A lot of skill goes into properly diagnosing and caring for a patient’s ocular health. Most of these skills are learned through years of education and experience. However, to get the opportunity to gain this experience and care for those patients, many ODs wishing to own their practice must possess the management skills necessary to run the optometric practice like a business. And unfortunately, many of those skills aren’t learned during an OD’s education.
Below are five management skills necessary for running an effective optometric practice.
Vital Skills For Managing A Successful Optometric Practice
If you want to run an effective optometric practice, you need to ensure you can communicate effectively with your patients and your staff. Whether handing patients off to the next stage in the office workflow or educating your patients on a condition, effectively communicating is one of the most significant management stills every practice owner should possess.
Check out these tips for improving your communication skills:
- 3 Communication Habits That Drive Your Optometric Practice Patients Crazy
- 4 Tips For Creating A Killer Patient Recall Message
- Paging Systems For Better Handoffs And Office Workflow
Optometric practices are plagued with a high employee turnover rate. When your practice isn’t fully staffed, stress levels can rise, errors can occur, and the quality of care delivered to your patients can weaken. To lead your team effectively, you have to motivate your team to work together to produce their best work to help your practice succeed.
Motivation tactics can come in many forms, from career advancements, to time off, to bonuses and raises. Here are a few resources with ideas on motivating your team:
- Infographic 20 Ways To Reward Optical Practice Employees Without Spending a Dime
- Optometry Office Management End Of Year Staff Motivation
- 3 Reasons You Might Lose Another Employee
Your optometric practice is a business. While your focus is to provide exceptional care to every patient that walks through the practice doors, you need to have business skills to analyze metrics, market your practice, and sell your practice and products to the people in your community to keep those doors open.
When you first start your practice, it’s common to have a jack-of-all trades mentality and manage every aspect of the practice. However, as your practice grows, your ability to manage your time and complete all the tasks will be challenged. Soon, you’ll have to trust your staff members, a third-party service provider, or a suite of modern tools to complete the tasks that you used to handle yourself. This is why it’s important to learn effective delegation skills.
To delegate tasks, you must:
- Analyze your needs
- Identify your options for getting the work done
- Document the process
- Prioritize your tasks
Every day you have to make dozens of decisions to keep your practice running. To move your practice forward and compete with online retailers, you need to make the strategic decisions that drive your practice and define how you administer quality care to your patients. As you gain experience, you will learn to use intuition to guide you to make better decisions. Until then, here are a few tips to help you:
- Focus on how the decision impacts your future
- Consider options and alternatives
- Take some time to think
- Don’t fear failure
Unfortunately, because of all the decisions you have to make during the day, you may encounter Decision Fatigue, which may inhibit your ability to make sound decisions. Reduce the number of decisions by delegating tasks to trusted individuals and using tools with clinical decision support. With clinical decision support, you can make a single annotation entry and your modern practice management and EHR solution will automatically populate the diagnosis, treatments, orders, special testing, and patient education materials all based on industry best practices.
For more tips on how to run a successful optometric practice, download our latest ebook, "12 Insider Secrets from America's Top ODs."