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Saturdays in Eyecare: A Do or a Don't

Posted by Janelle Pauli on Nov 4, 2017 10:43:00 AM
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Keeping your eyecare practice open on Saturday has always been a hot debate in the industry. For some practices it can be their busiest day of the week, and for others it can be littered with no-shows. Most of this is dependent on the location of your office and demographics of your patient base. In a recent poll of eyecare practice employees, it was asked if their practice is open on Saturday, and these results were found:

  • 39% are always open on Saturday
  • 32% are never open on Saturday
  • 25% are open on some Saturdays

This goes to show it's a pretty wide spread across the industry. We'd love to hear how your practice handles Saturdays. Let us know in the comments what has worked for you.

A Deeper Dive into Saturdays at Your Eyecare Practice

Yes to Saturdaysaturday in your eyecare practice

For those practices who keep their doors open on Saturdays, we found a few common reasons for why they've made this decision:

  1. You can accomplish what you need to quickly. Most practices that are open on Saturday keep their hours short. Shorter hours make it more bearable to give up some of your weekend, and help balance the supply and demand of Saturday appointment slots.

  2. Frees up a day during the week. Many practices that choose to be open on Saturday will close their doors during a weekday to help maintain a healthy work-life balance for themselves and the entire team.

  3. It's a money maker. Practices that have kept their doors open on Saturdays have probably tested and learned that their business is more profitable from doing so.

  4. Cold practices have to start somewhere. Being open on Saturdays can set you apart from your local competition, and if you're a cold start practice it might give you the edge you need for faster patient growth.

  5. Compromise with every other Saturday. As shown in the survey results, many practices decide to remain open ever other Saturday to accomodate those patients who truly need and appreciate Saturday hours for their schedule.

No to Saturday

Practices that keep their doors shuttered on Saturday likely live in an area where patients haven't been responsive to Saturday appointments. A few reasons why practices might decide to close their doors on Saturday include:

  1. High no-show rate. Sitting through a day of no-shows is a waste of everyone's time and money, and for some practices Saturdays are the days they get hit the hardest with no-shows.

  2. The schedule is too slow. In order to justify operational costs of keeping your doors open on Saturday you need to be able to fill your schedule up with patients to turn a profit. Inconsistent and slow scheduling can keep practices from working Saturdays.

  3. You're open late during the week instead. As an alternative, some practices find it more productive and profitable to keep the practice open late hours during the week so workers and families can set up appointments after work and school.

  4. You've tested the numbers. If your practice is in limbo over whether a 5-day office week or a 6-day office week makes more sense, compare your data, revenue, and costs to determine what makes more sense financially for your office.

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Topics: Tips for ECPs, Practice Management, Industry Pulse

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