FirstSight Vision Services

We are here to support and guide our Optometrists in growing a successful practice while delivering quality eye care.

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Theresa Ayers December 3, 2022 Practice Management no responses

Well, here we are again.  Quickly approaching the end of 2022 and getting ready to ring in 2023.  I think we can all agree that 2022 had it’s share of challenges and who knows what 2023 will bring.  The message though is we are still together and we are all trying to rebuild and I am confident that the hard work and dedication that everyone puts forth every day of the year will bring more growth and success as time goes on.  We touch on this every month, life is in constant change and being willing to see what is going on around you and around the world can sometimes make those changes so much easier to navigate.

The new year will be exactly what you want it to be and what you make of it.  So let’s start now with positive outlooks and know that of course things will be tossed in that will challenge you, but be at your best so that you can maneuver and take everything in stride.  You are a truly amazing group of people to work with and the inspiration that we get is so often from you.

Best Holiday/Season wishes to each and every one of you and to your friends and family.  And Cheers to the coming 2023!

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Theresa Ayers November 4, 2022 Personal Development no responses

Take a moment to reflect on what has happened in your life this year.  Yes, the end of the year is right around the corner.  We always find it so easy to remember the challenges or obstacles we had to get through, but I want you to identify the good things that happened this year.

Big events are easy to identify (congratulations to those of you who have new homes, got married and who added new babies into your lives!).  But for some of us, it may seem like nothing special happened which is just not true.  The simple things that brought joy to you even if for just a moment should be recognized.  Think about that new recipe you tried out and everyone loved it, or maybe you got a jump start on holiday shopping this year or did you finally tackle that closet and get it organized?  Don’t dismiss the little things that contribute to the overall big picture.

Try doing this exercise for your practice as well.  If you have staff, get their input on the successes you had this year.  Just take the month to be thankful for everything that you have and do and focus on the positives in your life!

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Theresa Ayers September 29, 2022 Practice Management no responses

Boy, if we really could predict and know what was going to happen wouldn’t that be great.  The thing is though, we never know what is about to happen.  But we can tune in to what is going on around us now and get ideas of the direction to go.

Technology is emerging in so many areas including the field of Optometry. An immediate example that comes to mind is how documenting your exams can now be done electronically.  Paper is still used in a lot of cases, but you can also scan copies to reduce the amount that you actually keep in the office.

What about telehealth?  Is this area exclusive to medical practitioners?  Remote examinations are happening all around us now.  Does it mean that in person care is no longer in demand?  Absolutely not.  The need for Optometrists is always going to be here but just like other things that we have allowed into our lives and practices, it could be something in the future as a tool to add more services to your patients.

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Theresa Ayers August 26, 2022 Practice Management no responses

It’s at that time of year again.  And if you thought “back to school” was over, think again.

This year may be an important one as most schools are totally in person now so those kids that haven’t been in a classroom for a few years may have neglected (or not even noticed) that their vision is not as sharp as it should be.  Extend your back to school marketing for at least another month this year.

Another thing that you should start focusing on is the “use it or lose it” for insurance benefits.  Before you know it, the end of the year will be here why not get an early start on marketing for this campaign.

Also try to capture the families that are getting the California Relief Payments.  Maybe some of these folks have put off some of their health care needs and the added stimulus can be utilized to get the exam that they have been putting off.

Keep your doors open, take those walk-in patients and post flyers about these things on your door.  Vacations will be over soon and your care is needed, but sometimes you have to remind people of the importance of routine annual eye exams.

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Theresa Ayers July 26, 2022 Uncategorized no responses

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

 

Now that is a deep thought.  We live in a world of constant change.  Sometimes the change is slow progressing, and we don’t realize how different things are, and other times change sneaks up on us and demands immediate action.

Many people have heard of the 5 stages of grief:

denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

Did you know that you go through these same stages when it comes to change?  How quickly someone gets to the acceptance of change is individual and so many factors come into play.  You can do things to help adapt though.

Talk about problems more than feelings.

Don’t stress out about stressing out.

Focus on your values instead of your fears.

Accept the past, but fight for the future.

Put people first.

Empower employees through communication.

Make change compelling and exciting.

Pay attention to high and low points in momentum.

 

We all prefer stability, but it is important to know that no matter what, everything changes and you can be prepared for this just by knowing that the only constant in our lives is change.

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Theresa Ayers June 23, 2022 Practice Management no responses

We often find ourselves making sure to pay attention to the “what can I do (better)” side of business. Don’t ever stop doing this. But, sometimes you should take a step back and evaluate your belief of the “what NOT to do” things.
A partial list of what not to do could be:
Don’t assume that your patients aren’t willing to accept some of the modern concepts that are always emerging in the world. I often hear the statement of “my patients don’t do that” when it comes to electronic forms of communication or keeping current on social media. What are your patients doing while in your waiting area? Really take a look at this because you should not be surprised to see that an extremely high percentage are looking at their cell phones.
Don’t spend time when business is slow doing tasks that don’t relate to your business. Take the opportunity to update (or create) a website. Use the time to call patients that were in the office earlier that week to make sure that they are happy with their new contact lenses. Clean and organize. Go visit your Vision Center Manager and make sure that they are aware of any open time slots in your schedule. By re-investing that “down” time into the practice, you are building stronger relationships with your patients and with the Vision Center which is a win/win for everyone.
Don’t ignore the power of recalling patients for annual examinations. So many practices focus on today but stop short of thinking ahead of the game for what is needed for the future. Unfortunately so many patients put off annual examinations until something happens that brings them back in. The process of recalling patients will inform them that an examination is so much more than checking their prescription.
Think of the things that you put off or avoid doing and put a positive spin on it so that you can at least try it out. Taking a positive approach to all of the negative things could have significant rewarding benefits in building your practice.

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Theresa Ayers June 1, 2022 Practice Management no responses

As everything returns to “normal” we can clearly see that normal has a new definition.  Over the past 2 years the general population really has adapted to more electronic forms of communication.  As a matter of fact, this is probably now the preferred method for a high percentage of people.

This does not mean that you must stop doing some of the tried-and-true ways of communicating, but rather expand on that.  For example, don’t stop doing recalls for your patients, but incorporate more of the email/text message features that many systems offer.  If you aren’t already, take the time to collect email addresses from your patients.

Many doctors are reporting more interactions with patients when they have an online scheduling system.  If you have an EHR system, you may already have this.  If you aren’t using one, consider looking into some of the scheduling systems that are available.  These systems allow the flexibility to patients and you for filling time slots when you may not be in the office to take a call.

Have you considered doing newsletters to your patients (sending via email).  This can be something that you do on a quarterly basis and make it something fun for them to read.  In addition to maybe an easy-to-read article about eye health, maybe add some pictures of events that you have attended or are local to your community.

Keep your website up to date.  If you can, link your scheduling system to your website.  Post your website address on your door and add it to your business cards.  And if you don’t have a website, take a little bit of time to start creating one.

If you have any ideas that you would like to share with other doctors, please let us know.  We are always looking for tips we can share from you, the true professionals.

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Theresa Ayers April 27, 2022 Practice Management no responses

Many of you are probably asking “Do I really need a website for my practice?” The loaded answer is it depends. Ecotone Digital Solutions provides 18 Benefits of a Website for Small Businesses including gaining access to new patients and educating both new and returning patients. If you want to build your practice and expand beyond referrals and in store foot traffic then yes a Website is a must!

The path to a website can be confusing with all of the lingo and providers. You have options to navigate this minefield toward a great website.

There are several free builders available including wix.com and wordpress.com. These services allow you to develop a free website using predesigned templates. They will even provide a domain name and hosting for free. The downside to free hosting is the ads and complex website names. You can still use the free builder and register a custom domain at a site like godaddy.com. If you are not comfortable building your own site there are several paid options the range in price and complexity. You will have to research providers and determine which one works best for your practice. Many of these providers deliver extra value by providing tips and tricks for your marketing needs.

If you do not have a website yet, take some time to research your options and make adding a website as part of your practice marketing toolkit in 2022.

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Nicole Gonzales April 8, 2022 Practice Management no responses

We live in a review based world. Potential patients are probably searching review sites like Yelp to help decide which Doctor to see.

Now you are asking “What about bad reviews?”. Ryan Erskine provides the following guidance for handling bad reviews in his Forbes article (http://bit.ly/ptrevres) “How to Respond to Negative Reviews”.
Handled properly, bad reviews will not be a practice killer. When you do receive a bad review make sure to respond. Your response should include an apology (even if you were not wrong), acknowledge their concern and tailor your response to that concern, finally if needed, offer to take the take the conversation offline to get to a resolution. Make sure your response is timely and not defensive.

Done properly responding to both positive and negative reviews can actually increase your ratings. If you are worried about losing clinical hours to monitoring and responding to reviews train your staff to monitor your professional profiles and use template responses to customer feedback.

Embracing customer reviews is a low cost method to grow your practice. Satisfied patients are a great source for referral patients. Ask you customers to provide a review on your preferred site or include a link to your profile in follow up communication with patients with a request to provide a review.

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Theresa Ayers March 10, 2022 Practice Management no responses

Unfortunately, when we experience trying economic times, we also see an increase in the number of scams taking place.  This applies to individuals and to businesses.   

Be cautious to not put yourself or your business at risk.  If something sounds too good to be true, take a bit of time to do some research and never give out information that could be compromised. 

A recent occurrence was a person trying to schedule exams for several patients with hearing disabilities.  This person was going to pay for the exams at the time of service, but then after more communications asked if the doctor would help him out as he was going to have a problem paying for the driver that would be transporting the patients to the office.  His request was to have the doctor run his credit card for the amount of the driver’s fee and for the doctor to then pay the driver (with cash).  This could very well be an innocent situation, but as a business, you should never process amounts for services that you don’t provide.  And it is never a good idea to try to run a credit card for more than the amount of the service and credit back in a different form of payment.   

Other scams that you may hear about are: 

Merchant services calling to ACCESS you credit card machine 

Malware representative NOTICING a breach to your computer 

Collections needing an URGENT reply 

This is not a complete list but just some examples of potential “red flags”.  Take a bit of time to make sure your staff knows of the potential risks and that they alert you to requests that are out of the ordinary.   

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