[Partner Post] Declutter Your Optometry Practice This Summer

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Taking a hard look at which belongings you actually need and discarding the rest will improve your overall efficiency and clear your mind. ODs should prioritize effectiveness and simplicity when optimizing the layout and workflows of their practice. The best way to start the task of decluttering is to take everything in your practice out of drawers, cupboards and desks. However, a big clear-out like that can be something your practice dreads. We want to make sure that’s not the case.

Let us show how you can declutter your practice's paper goods, inventory, data, and more.


Organizing Your Practice to Reduce Stress
When going through all the items, be mindful of what you actually use on a daily basis and what you hold onto for potential future use. Keep only what has purpose or inspires creativity and productivity right now. After you decide which office materials are necessary for day-to-day, you can make sure you have a place to store everything. Let’s go through the categories of items you might want to tackle in your practice.


Paper
Take all your papers out of the cabinets and decide what is relevant and necessary for submitting claims, being regulatory or HIPAA compliant, and maintaining patient records. Scan historical records and store the digital copy on a hard drive so that you can recycle the paper. It’s easier to search for valuable information digitally. We also recommend you reduce the amount of heavy books you store. Could you access the text online? When was the last time you opened that book?

If you're still filing patient data manually, the next step could be switching over to Electronic Health Records so that you have fewer paper products to store and more secure data.


Campaigns and Communications
Although campaigns aren’t tangible material, it's necessary to get rid of marketing strategies that are not working for you and costing you money. Create ROI, patient conversion, website audience, and other success metrics reports. Then, tighten your focus on the campaigns that worked best and get rid of paid ads or channels that are taking up your time.

Similar to evaluating campaigns, you should check the return on your patient communications. Is there specific messaging, via email or text or in-person, that seems to perform better than the rest? Focus on those messages.
  

Inventory
There’s no need to discard pieces you've already paid for, but you should be aware of everything you own and make a plan to use your materials. Launch a product audit to identify every product you have in your stockroom and evaluate which ones you won’t repurchase. Organize everything in buckets so that your frequently used supplies and frames are easiest to access, but don’t keep any items out of sight. You’ll want to be able to see everything you have at one glance. Then, you can take note of the products that aren’t purchased as frequently and adjust your ordering habits.

Storing your inventory data in a cloud-based practice management system can help you keep a pulse on your stock, identify best-selling frames, and save your energy.
  

People
The people working in your practice are some of the most valuable assets you have in your business. However, as a business owner, sometimes you have to make tough decisions about the people that could be holding you back from progressing. Deciding which staff members should be let go is one of the most difficult decisions. Sometimes, certain employees aren’t incompetent, but they just don’t have the proper training to help you scale your business.

Evaluate your staff based on their individual performance and see how their progress and productivity has aligned with the vision you have for your practice. If there are employees who aren’t able to take on extra responsibility or aren’t willing to learn new skills, they might be holding your practice back from progressing. This is when it might be time to hire consultants or outsource certain roles.

One example of a task that could be better outsourced than managed in-house could be claim filing. Instead of burdening your staff with billing responsibilities outside of their expertise, consider outsourcing your claim management to a team. Read our Insurance Revenue Kit for ODs to learn the ins-and-outs of expertly managing your reimbursements, within and outside of your practice.