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4 Tricks for Pulling Your Optical Practice Out of a Rut

Quarterbacks fall into throwing slumps. Golfers fall into putting slumps. And small businesses can fall into productivity slumps. It's not uncommon for a small business to run into a slower than normal quarter. There are a lot of things that could cause a rut in your eyecare practice. Employees taking a lot of back-to-back vacation time in the summer, or the holidays at the end of the year are both a couple of instances where your practice might experience decreased productivity.

You might be able to anticipate a slump, and in those cases we have a few suggestions of things that you and your staff can do to quickly avert your practice from falling into a rut.

Don't Let Patients get Frustrated with Long Waits in Your Eyecare Practice

Whether you're at the DMV, hair salon, restaurant, or the doctor's office, having to wait for your appointment or reservation can be annoying. The last thing you want to do it waste your patients' time if your schedule starts to fall behind. While sometimes it can't be avoided, there are a few strategies you can put in place in your practice that can help your schedule stay on track and avoid backups in your waiting room.

3 Warning Signs Your Optometry Software is in Need of a Change

Almost no workflow is perfect. Whether it's obvious to you or not there is most likely something you could be doing differently in your practice to make your workflow more efficient. And if you're the OD in the practice it's likely that you might be missing workflow inefficiencies in the areas where your team is handling most of the tasks. If your staff doesn't speak up there is no way for you to know what might need to change.

We've got a few warning signs that might be popping up in your practice on an above average rate that could mean you seriously need to think about a change in your workflow. It could mean switching up your processes or the technology you use to perform that specific task. Let's take a look.

3 Optometry Software Problems that Could Hurt Your Workflow and Cost You Money

1. You have an annoying number of no shows. undefined

Every practice suffers from no-show patients every now and again, and it's a drain on your practice's time and resources. But, there are solutions for decreasing the amount of no-shows that your practice sees. If your patients are scheduling appointments out months ahead of time it's easy for them to be forgotten. A software solution that offers automated patient recall and reminders can be used to send out patient communications through different methods like text and email in order to get appointment confirmation from patients. What makes it even better is that an automated system allows your front desk staff to skip the daily job of calling patients for confirming their next day appointments.

2. Your unpaid claims are piling up.

Getting reimbursed for your claims is how your practice makes money, so this is definitely something you need to stay on top of. You shouldn't have to deal with writing off unpaid bills or giving up on denied claims. If you're filing claims manually it's likely taking your biller more time and causing more errors than if they were using a practice management system or clearinghouse to submit claims electronically.

A claims management system will eliminate errors with automatic error checking features, and allow you to stay on top of claims easily with online tracking and reporting. Your biller will be able to correct claims faster and get your practice the money it deserves.

8 Things You Should Know About Mobile Security and Your Optometry Software

More and more practices are beginning to utilize mobile devices in their offices to help with practice management and efficiency. While mobile technology is a great tool, there are security concerns that come along with their use. That is why it is important for your practice to be on top of security when using mobile devices in the eyecare industry so that you can ensure that your data is kept safe.

Keeping Your Mobile Device and Optometry Software Secure

undefined1. Always use the following safety measures to protect your mobile devices from a security breach:

  • Password protect your device
  • Install and enable encryption (encryption converts a message of regular text into encoded text)
  • Install and use remote wiping and disabling (this allows you to remotely disable a device or erase data from a device if it is lost or stolen)
  • Disable file sharing applications
  • Use a firewall (firewalls limit access between networks and systems)
  • Use security software and keep it up-to-date
  • Research applications before downloading them to ensure they are safe
  • Always maintain physical control of your device
  • Delete all stored health information before discarding or reusing a device
  • Never share your mobile device

2. Understand the common aspects of vulnerability:

  • Software and application downloads
  • Visiting unsafe websites
  • Direct attacks through the communication network
  • A lost or stolen device

How to Keep Customers Happy Through Every Step of Your EHR Workflow

Your EHR workflow affects all areas of your practice, especially when it comes to offering the best customer service possible for your patients. Strong customer service is important for not only retaining your current patients, but also in generating new ones. While it is easy to think of obvious places customer service is important (example: your front desk), it is important during every step of your workflow during a patient's visit. Today, we want to walk you through every area in the customer service cycle, and what you can do to make sure you are succeeding in excellent patient care.

Exploring the Customer Service Cycle and Your EHR Workflow

undefinedIt All Begins Online

Your patients begin forming opinions of your practice before ever stepping foot into your office. Consumers turn to online research to discover the healthcare options available to them, making your practice website the first point of interaction. If your practice website could use an update, don't waste time, make changes now. Try to view your website through the eyes of a patient to discover which areas need improvement.

Welcoming the Patient

The number one priority of your front desk staff should be to make sure that a patient feels welcomed when they enter your practice. Patients have a choice when it comes to which eyecare practice they visit. They picked you, and it should be your goal to help reinforce that choice they made by being as friendly as possible at the front desk.

Web Resources You Need to be Reading in Your Optical Practice

Finding reliable resources on the web for your optical practice can be a tricky task to handle. You want to find resources that are helpful in providing the latest industry news and trends. Today, we want to walk you through a couple of our favorite online resources that will help your practice stay efficient and competitive in the eyecare industry.

Useful Online Optical Practice Resources


undefinedCenter for Medicare & Medicaid Services
www.cms.gov

Keeping up with government laws, regulations, and programs is part of your job. The CMS website is a great place to visit to make sure you are staying on top of all things Medicare and Medicaid related, like Meaningful Use. The CMS offers resources and guides to keep you compliant.

Eyecessorize Blogwww.eyecessorizeblog.com

Keeping a unique inventory is critical for increasing sales in your dispensary. Stay on top of the latest trends in eyeware with Eyecessorize. 

The Intelligent Officewww.visionmonday.com/intelligent-office

The Intelligent Office is a microsite by Vision Monday. This is a great resource to see how other optometrists are using the latest technology in their practice. If you're looking to boost use of technology in your practice, this is a great place to get ideas.

Why Marketing Your Patient Portal is Crucial to Its Success

In this digital age, where consumers prefer doing just about anything online, top-quality patient service and satisfaction is now a requirement. Using a patient portal or secure electronic communications is an effective way to not only boost patient engagement and satisfaction, but also, improve your own practice’s workflow and interoperability through technology.

Your practice can gain a great deal of time and money from implementing a portal. Patient portals can take a significant burden off of your practice by putting the power of self-service into the hands of patients. But, getting patients to use and engage with your patient portal can be the biggest challenge of integrating a patient portal!

If your patients are reluctant to using a well-designed patient portal, the problem may be in your practice’s process of marketing and integrating it into their care. Here are 5 strategic ways a practice can increase patient portal usage and consistently maintain an engaged patient audience, which inevitably leads to increased workflow and efficiency throughout the practice!

Taking Your Patient Portal to the Next Level!

Easy Sign-Up

Patient portals help save you valuable time when patients adopt and use secure
messaging
. But as mentioned before, getting your practice’s undefinedpatient portal set-up and actually getting patients to use it are two entirely different challenges. The first step to marketing your patient portal is ensuring your patient portal is always easily accessible. Have it integrated and promoted across your practice’s website, and include log in links in emails. Also, provide patients with simple instructions on how to log into the portal to view their health information.

Pamphlets in the office with these instructions, and mentioning your new patient portal on your office voice mail are two more ways you can encourage patient portal use. If patients arrive early for appointments a staff member can take the patient through an online tour of the portal and assist the patient as they sign-up and explore any tools or features. Developing a script for employees, can help ensure that patients receive consistent messaging from your entire team.

Highlight the Most Useful Features

Your patient portal can do a lot of things, but many of your patients might not care about all of the portal’s features. So, a good tactic to remember is that instead of overwhelming patients with too much information, highlight the features that will be used by that patient most often. The most common (and simple) features you might market, generally surround making it easier for patients to manage their health online, as well as perform normally very time-consuming tasks online. It’s all about saving the patient time and making their care more convenient.

Make Your Eyecare Practice and EHR Software an Information Hub for Your Patients

undefinedWith the rise of the ePatient, it is no surprise that more and more patients are turning to online search engines to find health information. The problem with this is that the credibility of online information can sometimes be questionable and hard to sort through, leaving patients misinformed. It is up to you, as an eyecare professional, to understand this trend, and how you can use your eyecare practice to combat it and provide your patients with accurate information. Offering reliable, timely, and accessible information to your patients, on your website or through the use of patient education tools within your EHR software, will help build your relationships, and increase trust with current and future patients.

3 Important Statistics about How Patients Receive Health Information Online

  1. Pew Research Center: 72% of Internet users looked for health information online in the past year. And of that group, eight out of ten began their quest on a search engine, rather than on a specialized health site.

  2. Pew Research Center: 26% of patients seeking health information online were asked to pay for access to the information.

  3. CDMiConnect Report: 20% of patients actively search for information in their doctor’s waiting room in order to feel prepared for their appointment.

Increasing Profits in Your Eyecare Practice

Increasing profits in your practice is extremely important. Whether you are trying to grow your practice, upgrade your equipment, or even just trying to pay your employees, profit is key! Today we want to share with you some tips for increasing product sales to help boost profits in your practice.

5 Tips for Increasing Sales and Improving Profits in Your Eyecare Practice

undefined1. Provide Clear Responsibilities for Your Staff

Your staff wants to feel important in your practice, and outlining clear goals for them can help. Giving your employees responsibilities specific to their education and training can help make sure that they are excited about the direction their work is taking them, and will encourage them to work hard. Having motivated employees will help your overall practice, as they strive to perform their best!

2. Provide Education for Your Patients

Educated patients make the best customers. The more information you provide for your patients, the more they will feel inclined to invest more in their eye health. You should be taking the time in your practice to explain to each patient the unique benefits products and services can offer them based on their individual needs. In the healthcare world, building trust with your patients is key to hanging onto their business!

The Top 5 Questions You Must Ask Vendors of Practice Management Systems

undefinedWhen deciding between practice management systems, and which one you should purchase for your practice, there are many questions and costs you must think through; unfortunately, many of these questions are ones that sales teams are hoping you don't think to ask them.

It is imperative that you are aware of what your office needs, how your staff works, and what it's going to cost you in order to make your workflow as efficient as possible. Maintaining an efficient workflow is the key to saving money in the end. Make sure you are aware of any annual fees, support, hardware costs, and upgrade costs that each system might have.

How You should (and Should Not) Go About Purchasing Optical Software

Finding the right optical software for your office can be a long process if you aren't prepared for what's out there. Make sure to use your resources and tools in order to simplify the process into a manageable task for you and your staff. You must fully understand what you are looking for so that you can make the right decision. We've composed a brief list of what you should, and should not, do while looking at new practice management and EHR software.

Getting You Ready to Shop for New Optical Software

Quick Guide: Meaningful Use Criteria for Stages 1 and 2

undefinedThe truth about the Meaningful Use Incentive Program to make the switch to a certified EHR is: It's really just a way to encourage the nation to embrace the inevitable. The whole point of the Incentive Program and Meaningful Use criteria is to help healthcare providers coordinate the necessary steps of implementation and reduce the amount of work that will need to be done in the long run.

Fortunately, as we make the switch to Meaningful Use, the government has provided a simple plan to follow (in three different stages), reinforced by both positive and negative motivations. When you complete the steps correctly, you will receive money as an incentive. For Stage 1, you have to implement and demonstrate Meaningful Use by attestation, proving that you and your staff have begun to use the system for data entry and minimal information use (we know it's not quite that simple, you can get all the Stage 1 details here). Once you've purchased your new certified EHR software, you can start reporting for Stage 1 on the first of any quarter and continue reporting for 90 days after. You will report for the entire second year.

5 Ways to Determine if It's a Cloud-Based EHR

undefinedDid you know that there are two types of cloud computing systems? A practice management and EHR system can be either cloud-hosted or cloud-based, and there are differences between the two that you should know about. Without some technical knowledge it can be hard to spot and understand the differences right off the bat. While many systems will advertise themselves as a cloud-based EHR, you should be aware of the differences between cloud-hosted and cloud-based systems.

Take a look at a quick definition between the two:

Cloud-Hosted: Your vendor hosts and manages your server for you remotely, but you still manage your software and it must be downloaded or installed on all devices accessing the system.

Cloud-Based: Your vendor hosts and manages your server and your software for you remotely, and you access the system and data from any device with an Internet browser.

How to Determine if a System is Truly a Cloud-Based EHR

Optometry Office Software: Vision Monday's Intelligent Office

undefinedIf you're confused about implementing optometry office software into your eye care practice, or would like more information on how upgraded technology can help your practice, Vision Monday has created a useful microsite. The Intelligent Office features articles about different ways eye care providers are utilizing the newest technologies in their practice. You'll find new information about optometry office software, electronic health records, mobile devices, social media, and much more.

What You'll Find in The Intelligent Office About Optometry Office Software

The site focuses on 5 main aspects of your practice: the waiting room, exam lane, dispensary, practice systems, and outside the office. Here's a little recap of what you'll find in each:

Meaningful Use Criteria for ODs: The Self-Starter Checklist

The hardest part about integrating a new practice management and EHR system into your life is creating a solid plan to implement it successfully into your practice. It might seem easier to just hold off on adopting Meaningful Use, but when the deadline rolls around the corner, you will wish you started the day the policy was introduced. Taking advantage of the Meaningful Use Incentive Program will not only be a positive decision for your practice as a whole, but you also have the opportunity to receive payments from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. So what do you need to do to get started with fulfilling Meaningful Use criteria for ODs?

The Ultimate Checklist of Meaningful Use Criteria for ODs

Are You a Know-It-All When it Comes to Cloud Computing in Optical?

There's a lot of information and questions out there about cloud computing in optical. What is it? How is it being used? Is it secure? What are the benefits? And even if you think you know all of the answers, you might not. So put yourself to the test and see if you can answer all of these questions about cloud computing in optical!

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The Ultimate Cloud Computing in Optical Quiz

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