6 Time-Saving Tips for ECPs in the New Year

6 Time-Saving Tips for ECPs in the New Year

In the competitive eye care industry, every minute counts. The highest performing practices are often those that make the most of their hours of operation and offer high-quality services at peak efficiency.

As your practice wraps up planning for 2019, ask yourself: are there changes that can be made to help use time more efficiently in the New Year?

It takes well thought-out strategies to save time, and the answers won’t be right in front of you. Here are 6 time-saving tips to consider for ECPs as we turn the page on 2018:

In the competitive eye care industry, every minute counts. The highest performing practices are often those that make the most of their hours of operation and offer high-quality services at peak efficiency.

As your practice wraps up planning for 2019, ask yourself: are there changes that can be made to help use time more efficiently in the New Year?

It takes well thought-out strategies to save time, and the answers won’t be right in front of you. Here are 6 time-saving tips to consider for ECPs as we turn the page on 2018:

TIP 1:

Optimize Your Practice’s Organizational Structure

Managing sustainable growth for your practice may not be something you’ve considered but can be more important than it might seem.

Even if your team isn’t growing, it’s likely that your office is adopting new technologies or adding new services. No matter the trajectory of your practice, it makes sense to look at your organization on a regular basis to tease out inefficiencies.

Who manages personnel in the office? Who reports to whom? Who is charged with learning and disseminating new information? Without an optimal office organizational structure, competing voices and overlapping responsibilities will result in wasted time in your practice.

TIP 1:

Optimize Your Practice’s Organizational Structure

Managing sustainable growth for your practice may not be something you’ve considered but can be more important than it might seem.

Even if your team isn’t growing, it’s likely that your office is adopting new technologies or adding new services. No matter the trajectory of your practice, it makes sense to look at your organization on a regular basis to tease out inefficiencies.

Who manages personnel in the office? Who reports to whom? Who is charged with learning and disseminating new information? Without an optimal office organizational structure, competing voices and overlapping responsibilities will result in wasted time in your practice.

TIP 2:

Prioritize Consistent Interactions with Patients

Any tools that give you greater access to your patients — and more importantly, gives your patients faster access to their doctors — will save time for everyone involved.

For example, there’s uncertainty about the future of telemedicine as it relates to the eye care industry, but most doctors agree that having more around-the-clock access to patients isn’t a bad thing. Using technology, even if it’s as basic as email correspondence, to open faster channels of contact between patients and their doctors will help ECPs strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.

TIP 2:

Prioritize Consistent Interactions with Patients

Any tools that give you greater access to your patients — and more importantly, gives your patients faster access to their doctors — will save time for everyone involved.

For example, there’s uncertainty about the future of telemedicine as it relates to the eye care industry, but most doctors agree that having more around-the-clock access to patients isn’t a bad thing. Using technology, even if it’s as basic as email correspondence, to open faster channels of contact between patients and their doctors will help ECPs strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.

TIP 3:

Spend Less Time Helping Patients Reorder Supplies

In the past, there were few choices when it came to reordering methods. Either patients reordered eyewear and supplies — like contacts and eye meds — from an individual at the prescribing ODs office, or they filled their eyewear prescriptions online through a third-party vendor. For ECPs, options were limited: you either made a major time and personnel commitment or forfeited the revenue from patient reorders.

Lately, the paradigm has shifted regarding ODs and their ability to capture more in-office sales and reorders. New software allows patients to reorder contacts from their doctor’s office online or even set up subscriptions for their preferred brand to automate the process entirely. Additionally, with the rising popularity of daily disposables, practices can save time by demonstrating the value of purchasing annual supplies over smaller quantities.

TIP 3:

Spend Less Time Helping Patients Reorder Supplies

In the past, there were few choices when it came to reordering methods. Either patients reordered eyewear and supplies — like contacts and eye meds — from an individual at the prescribing ODs office, or they filled their eyewear prescriptions online through a third-party vendor. For ECPs, options were limited: you either made a major time and personnel commitment or forfeited the revenue from patient reorders.

Lately, the paradigm has shifted regarding ODs and their ability to capture more in-office sales and reorders. New software allows patients to reorder contacts from their doctor’s office online or even set up subscriptions for their preferred brand to automate the process entirely. Additionally, with the rising popularity of daily disposables, practices can save time by demonstrating the value of purchasing annual supplies over smaller quantities.

TIP 4:

Use an Online Platform to Make Administrative Tasks Easier

Technology can also save time in areas other than reordering. Take for example, the movement towards online platforms for appointment scheduling. Many offices are hesitant to adopt programs that automatically fill certain times for doctors, but not all smart scheduling platforms work this way. For example, some options let patients record their top choices for appointment times and prompt the office to select one and send the patient a confirmation when the choice is made.

TIP 4:

Use an Online Platform to Make Administrative Tasks Easier

Technology can also save time in areas other than reordering. Take for example, the movement towards online platforms for appointment scheduling. Many offices are hesitant to adopt programs that automatically fill certain times for doctors, but not all smart scheduling platforms work this way. For example, some options let patients record their top choices for appointment times and prompt the office to select one and send the patient a confirmation when the choice is made.

TIP 5:

Focus on the Patient Experience

Time-saving often happens as a byproduct of other operational improvements. Increasing patient experience should be a priority, and one key change is to take steps to reduce patient wait times. If you’re getting more patients but wait times are getting longer, consider reducing patient batches. Here’s why: you may be helping your practice in the short run but harming it in over a longer term.

An AthenaHealth study found that patient likelihood of recommending a practice went from over 80 percent when they only had to wait up to 5 minutes to below 50 percent when wait times reached 45 minutes and greater.

TIP 5:

Focus on the Patient Experience

Time-saving often happens as a byproduct of other operational improvements. Increasing patient experience should be a priority, and one key change is to take steps to reduce patient wait times. If you’re getting more patients but wait times are getting longer, consider reducing patient batches. Here’s why: you may be helping your practice in the short run but harming it in over a longer term.

An AthenaHealth study found that patient likelihood of recommending a practice went from over 80 percent when they only had to wait up to 5 minutes to below 50 percent when wait times reached 45 minutes and greater.

TIP 6:

Use Data to Optimize Contact Lens Fitting

When doctors go into a contact lens fitting with a patient knowing what the patient will need and having access to instant price comparisons and a current product list, appointments go quicker. After meeting with their doctor, patients will want to compare pricing options, insurance benefits, and any other incentives, before making a buying decision. ECPs can provide patients with full information to save a step in the process.

For example, you have a unique advantage over third-party vendors — by combining current prices with manufacturer rebates and the patient’s insurance benefits, you’ll be able to show patients the value in buying from your office.

When doctors can look at the data behind what their fitting, they can see opportunities to increase profit in more efficient way.

TIP 6:

Use Data to Optimize Contact Lens Fitting

When doctors go into a contact lens fitting with a patient knowing what the patient will need and having access to instant price comparisons and a current product list, appointments go quicker. After meeting with their doctor, patients will want to compare pricing options, insurance benefits, and any other incentives, before making a buying decision. ECPs can provide patients with full information to save a step in the process.

For example, you have a unique advantage over third-party vendors — by combining current prices with manufacturer rebates and the patient’s insurance benefits, you’ll be able to show patients the value in buying from your office.

When doctors can look at the data behind what their fitting, they can see opportunities to increase profit in more efficient way.

CLX Makes Running Your Practice Easier

The CLX System was designed to automate best practices for the independent ECP. We know that saving time is a top priority at many practices across the country. That’s why we offer a time-saving system for contact lens businesses, combining tools like convenient reordering, a white-label subscription offering, a current catalog of products on the market with up-to-the-minute pricing information, price comparison tools, and advanced metrics on what your practice fits so you can derive insights regarding how to grow your practice in an efficient and cost-effective way.

CLX wants ECPs to have the tools necessary to optimize their operations in the New Year. Interested in learning more about using the CLX System to save time in your practice?

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