The Optometric Minute

Your Top Challenges & Opportunities for 2017

Dec. 21, 2016

ROB Professional Editors Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD, and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD, share their thoughts on the future of optometry, including how best to work with a Millennial staff, how to improve doctor-patient communications and how to best incorporate technology into a practice.

Manage by Numbers & Enhance Communications
Invest Smartly in New Technology & Plan for Future



USE NUMBERS. Manage according to your practice metrics, rather than by guesswork.

UNDERSTAND PATIENT BASE. Find out who your practice’s patients are, including the types of products and the kind of customer service they expect.

IMPROVE DOCTOR-PATIENT COMMUNICATION. Talk less and listen more, clearly and concisely explaining the problem you’ve noticed and the solution. Use easy-to-understand words, rather than medical jargon.

EFFECTIVELY MANAGE MILLENNIALS. Create a practice with strong community ties, including practice-wide volunteering opportunities.

HIRE DIVERSE STAFF. Hire a staff that matches the diversity of your community, and you’ll notice your patient base widen over time.

PLAN EARLY FOR PRACTICE EXIT. Plan at least a decade earlier than you plan to retire, how you will exit your practice, and how you would like to spend your last years in practice.

CALCULATE TECHNOLOGY ROI. Only invest in new technology for your practice when you can afford it, and make a profit with it. Until then co-manage with another doctor, whose equipment you can use, allowing the co-managing doctor to bill for use of the equipment, and you to bill for analysis of the imagery.

NEW TECHNOLOGY. Patients want to see something new and improved in your practice, including the technology you use to provide care. Show patients you have a cutting-edge practice and provide the best care possible.

WORK WITH EXTERNS. Optometry school students can make a great addition to a practice, bringing excitement for the profession with them, and a wealth of knowledge about technology and the latest treatments for eye disease.


Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD, is professional editor of ROB, and the owner of Pathways to Success, a practice management consultancy. To contact him:

Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD, is the owner of The Solution Center, a two-location, multi-OD practice in the Columbus, Ohio, area. To contact:

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