The new year is a great time to reevaluate what’s working in your eye care practice—and where there are untapped opportunities for growth. Eye care staff members are coming back rested from the winter holidays. It’s a great time to remind them just how valued they are, which in turn will help them feel more involved and motivated to contribute to your practice’s success.
Whether you’re finding optometry billing inefficiencies, offering new and updated benefits, or revamping existing operations, here are several ideas to motivate and inspire your eye care staff.
How to Motivate and Inspire Your Eye Care Staff
1. Offer complimentary eye exams and eyewear to all staff
One benefit you could offer to all staff working in an eye care office is a complimentary eye exam and eyewear. It’s a fairly standard benefit for a reason. Your staff will appreciate the value of regular eye exams and the resultant health benefits, then be able to speak confidently about their experience to patients.
2. Provide opportunities to grow through continuing education
The optometry industry is projected to grow 18% by 2026, and demand for experienced staff will grow along with it. Employees looking for a career in the industry will need to develop their skills continually.
Actively encourage their advancement through continuing education opportunities—like paid workshops on new technologies and conferences where they connect with industry leaders. Consider paying for optical society memberships or certification renewals. If you want to retain staff, you need to regularly think about their growth and offer opportunities for advancement.
3. Simplify the chain of command
Within an eye care office, any breakdown or confusion in the chain of command can cause problems. The new year is a great time to clarify positions in your office and ensure your staff feels their title accurately reflects their roles and responsibilities.
4. Solicit staff opinions on potential inefficiencies
Dr. Whitney Hauser, OD and Founder of Dry Eye Coach, strongly recommends making time for office huddles. “The morning huddle allows the doctor to take a step back and lets the office manager shine. Giving the floor to another individual speaks volumes to both the office manager and staff.”
If you’re not in the regular habit of holding staff meetings, starting this routine in the new year is a good idea. During staff meetings, solicit opinions on potential inefficiencies in matters like billing and patient communication. Front-line staff interacts with patients, and they may have unique optometry billing solutions and ideas on how to attract new patients and retain existing patients.
5. Improve your billing rejection and denial rate
A common frustration in optometry billing is an ever-increasing rejection and denial rate which makes reducing accounts receivable difficult. Duplicate claims, transposed Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) numbers, and incorrect diagnosis and procedure codes are easy mistakes to make.
But the costs incurred for re-submitting claims quickly adds up. A quick seminar or webinar on the proper documentation may help clear up some ongoing issues and ease staff frustration. Outsourcing your optometry billing to a revenue cycle management service (RCM) can significantly improve any issues long-term.
6. Use an optometry billing service to improve revenue cycle management
One way to help staff put more time into patient care (and less time into billing) is to partner with a full-service RCM provider like Fast Pay Health. Our team works with your practice to provide a uniquely-tailored optometry billing solution that fits your needs. By taking the daily work of billing off your staff’s plates, everyone can spend more quality time with patients.
7. Look into adding a specialty so you can retain clients
If your staff is frustrated that they have to refer patients to more specialized doctors, it may be time to expand so you can improve patient retention. Consider the demographics of your patient base and reach out to a specialist who has experience in a field, such as specialty contact lenses or dry eye conditions.
8. Modernize your office tools
A common frustration among eye care staff is when management refuses to modernize. Updated technology can be costly, but it’s worth it so your patients receive the best care possible.
This year invest in updated technology like handheld instruments, digital refraction systems, ophthalmic image management systems, or move your EHR and practice management system to the cloud. Not only will it improve patient care, but it will also show your staff that you’re serious about giving them the right tools for the job.
9. Ensure balanced staffing
People work best when they’re on a team that’s balanced. Spend some time evaluating office productivity and efficiencies. Make sure you’re hiring and scheduling the correct ratio of office management, front office, opticians, technicians, scribes, and medical staff. That way everyone feels motivated and supported, not tired and overworked.
10. Ask your staff how you can better express your appreciation
As with any team, it’s easiest to motivate professionals when they know you’re considering their individual needs. If you don’t yet know how to express your appreciation to staff, ask them directly. Some people like incentives, others prefer gratitude or a compliment.
Motivated eye care staff are key to making sure your practice is functioning efficiently, and that you are taking optimal care of patients. By outsourcing optometry billing to Fast Pay Health, your staff will have more time to offer personalized care and they will continue to evolve in their career.
Ready to be more successful this year? Talk to us today to learn more about how Fast Pay Health can help motivate your staff.