Practice Management

9 Ways I Use ChatGPT to Make Better Practice Decisions

Dr. Perry reviews analysis from ChatGPT with members of her practice team. Dr. Perry says that artificial intelligence tools can be invaluable in helping to make business decisions.

Dr. Perry reviews analysis from ChatGPT with members of her practice team. Dr. Perry says that artificial intelligence tools can be invaluable in helping to make business decisions.

Using ChatGPT to make better business decisions.

By Haley Perry, OD

June 12, 2024

As optometric practice owners and managers, making informed decisions about investments in new equipment or technology is paramount to ensuring the long-term success of your practice.

In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various industries, ChatGPT can be a powerful tool in enhancing decision-making processes.

Earlier this year, one of my main goals was to increase patient throughput without expanding my staff. ChatGPT played a crucial role in refining our scheduling processes and identifying the need for additional equipment to achieve this seamlessly.

At the Vision Source Exchange, I faced a decision between two vendors for new exam room equipment to facilitate an additional exam line.

By using ChatGPT, I could analyze each vendor’s pricing and financing options, and align these with my practice’s goals (I had it facilitate a pros and cons list between the pieces of equipment versus what my goals were). This analysis helped me choose the most suitable vendor, forecast the return on investment and estimate how quickly this investment would pay off.

Lastly, I appreciate the need for transparency about AI assistance in writing. Indeed, I use AI to help draft AI articles. I typically start by voice-to-text recording my thoughts—often a bit of a brainstorming session of verbiage—and then utilize ChatGPT to organize and refine these ideas into a coherent piece…kind of like I do when I chart for my patients.

Here’s how you can utilize ChatGPT to evaluate potential investments and ensure they align with your practice’s strategic goals.

Simplifying Complex Data Analysis

Investing in new optometric equipment is a significant decision that requires a deep dive into various forms of data to ensure that each investment aligns with your practice’s long-term goals and current market conditions. Here’s a detailed exploration of how ChatGPT can assist in this analytical process:

Detailed Data Analysis

Market Trends: Understanding market trends is crucial for timing your investments effectively.

ChatGPT can analyze current market dynamics by processing information from industry reports, recent sales data and growth forecasts.

For example, if there’s a rising trend in the demand for digital eye strain treatments due to increased screen time, ChatGPT can identify this pattern from health and industry news sources, suggesting that investing in related diagnostic or treatment equipment could be timely.

Prompt to try: “Analyze current trends in the demand for [insert any eye treatment] treatments driven by [insert reason]. Utilize data from health databases, industry news and recent studies to determine if this trend is increasing. Based on this analysis, evaluate whether investing in related diagnostic or treatment equipment would be timely and provide a strategic advantage. Consider factors such as patient demographics, regional health statistics and competitor offerings in the analysis. Generate a report summarizing the findings, trends and investment recommendations.”

ROI Estimates

Return on investment (ROI) is a critical measure for any business expenditure. ChatGPT can help calculate ROI by integrating data such as purchase cost, operational costs (like maintenance and training) and expected increase in revenue through enhanced service offerings.

For instance, if you input the cost of a new OCT machine and the estimated patient throughput, ChatGPT can project the time needed to recover your investment based on average charge per procedure and daily usage.

Patient Needs

Aligning equipment investments with patient needs is fundamental. ChatGPT can process patient feedback, demographic data and treatment outcome statistics to identify the services that are most in demand or lacking. If data indicates a high prevalence of conditions like glaucoma in your patient population, investing in advanced glaucoma screening tools becomes justifiable, and ChatGPT can highlight these insights.

Competitive Positioning

To stay competitive, it’s important to know, not just what services you offer, but how they stack up against local competitors. ChatGPT can analyze competitor data, such as services offered, technology deployed and patient reviews, to help you identify gaps in your own offerings or areas where your practice can excel and differentiate itself.

Actionable Insights and Decision Support

After processing this data, ChatGPT doesn’t just stop at providing summaries. It can also offer actionable insights and recommendations.

For instance, if the analysis shows that the ROI on a high-cost piece of equipment is marginal and the market trend is shifting toward non-invasive treatments, which your practice lacks, ChatGPT can recommend revisiting the investment decision or exploring alternative technologies that align better with market needs.

Enhancing Financial Forecasting

ChatGPT can be programmed to understand financial terminologies and concepts, making it an excellent resource for forecasting the profitability of new equipment. By feeding it historical financial data and potential market growth statistics, ChatGPT can help forecast the return on investment (ROI) and break-even points.

This AI-driven approach allows for more accurate predictions by considering various economic scenarios and their impact on your practice’s financial health.

Facilitating Expert Consultations

While ChatGPT is not a substitute for professional advice, it can serve as a preliminary consultation tool. You can ask it to compare different equipment based on features, cost, supplier reliability and user reviews. This AI can draft questions or topics to discuss with actual human experts, ensuring you cover all necessary grounds during your decision-making process.

Streamlining Decision-Making Processes

Decision-making in business investments is often slowed down by the need to compile and analyze information from multiple sources. ChatGPT can accelerate this process by retrieving, organizing and presenting information from various inputs, including online databases, professional forums and industry publications.

This capability allows you to quickly get a comprehensive overview of the potential benefits and drawbacks of each investment, saving time and reducing the risk of oversight.

Prompt to try: You are an optometric business consultant. Compare [equipment A] versus [equipment B]  based on features, cost, supplier reliability and user reviews. The goal of this purchase for my practice is [Ex: increase revenue, use less staff, diagnose/treat {name ocular disease}]. Considering this comparison, what questions do I need to ask my vendor/suppliers? Additionally, apply the business strategy of Decision Trees to both pieces of equipment to help me make a decision. 

Incorporating AI tools like ChatGPT into the decision-making framework of your optometry practice can transform the way you evaluate investments. Whether it’s analyzing data, forecasting financial outcomes, or staying informed about industry trends, ChatGPT provides a robust support system to enhance accuracy, efficiency and strategic alignment in investment decisions.

As you consider your next equipment purchase or major expense, leverage the power of AI to ensure that every investment contributes positively to your practice’s growth and success.

An optometrist, poses in her office, to discuss how she manages her practice.Haley Perry, OD, is the owner of Elite Eye Care, a Vision Source practice, in Arden, N.C. To contact her:



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