You've noticed a change needs to be made when it comes to your workflow and the technology you use in your office, but how do you approach your boss about it? Talking to the OD about purchasing new practice management and EHR software is a big task to take on. Optometry software is certainly not a small cost, but it can provide your practice with some big benefits. As an office manager, you interact with the practice management system more than anyone else, making you the best candidate for suggesting a change in this area. We've come up with a process that will help you take that first step to approaching your boss and successfully making a change in your eyecare practice.
So You Need to Make a Change in Optometry Software. Now What?
Embrace the Power of the Pen
Before you ever approach the OD, or whoever has buying power in your practice, write out what you want to say. This is great for thinking through your ideas competely and will help you develop them further. You can even take what you write down into your meeting and use it as a reminder to keep you on track during the conversation. By taking the time to think and write, you will be forced to research the different software options available so you'll know all of the features and benefits of each different system, and can offer a few recommendations for the practice.
Know Your Audience
You need to know how your OD likes to communicate before you try to talk to them about change. That way you can approach the conversation in a way so that the OD will be more receptive to your ideas. If the OD is someone who just likes to talk it out you can prepare for that type of conversation. Or, they may be the type who prefers to have all the ideas and options written out in front of them. At this point you probably know what your OD would be looking for, so make sure you prepare your case to their liking.
State the Specifics
This step is easy if you've written everything out ahead of time. When you talk with the OD you want to be clear about the specific benefits that a new practice management system can offer. Make sure you understand which features about the new software the OD will love the most (not just how the system will make your life easier). Present to them how the software change will directly make daily tasks quicker and more efficient so that they can see more patients each day.
Zoom Out to the Big Picture
Once you cover the specific benefits the OD will experience, zoom out to present how the new software will affect the rest of the practice as a whole. By showing all the possible impacts, you'll show your boss that you're a team player who has every member of the staff in mind. Some things to think about include, what training will look like, how receptive the other staff members will be to the change, and what the implementation process will be like.
Take the Time to Listen
Listening is just as important as talking when it comes to presenting an idea for change. The OD will likely have questions or concerns about the new software, and you need to be prepared to hear them out. If you are actively listening during the conversation, you are helping to make it more productive. The OD will have a different perspective on how new software fits into the practice, and they may bring up some things that you didn't think of.
Encourage Ideas and Opinions
The OD is going to have their own opinions on purchasing new software, so it is important to keep an open mind during the conversation and be prepared to compromise. It is likely that the OD will want to do additional research and maybe look at some different software options before making a final decision. It will take time to find the perfect system for your practice, but getting the conversation started is a step in the right direction!
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