January 2017 - Dr. Nafey's blog post

New Year, New Practice Opportunities

By Masoud Nafey, OD January 30, 2017

A new year is a blank canvas, and the brush is in our hands. This year, I encourage everyone to do something different, both in our personal and professional lives. In my case, I wanted to share some resolutions I’m adopting for my practice—because if you’re like me, that affects my personal  life a great deal.

Measure, measure, and measure some more.
I want any change in my practice to be a positive one; however, I have to evaluate my practice’s performance in 2016 to know what needs improvement for this new year. After all, I can only truly measure the success of my business by its metrics, not by how I feel we’re doing. Metrics may include sales numbers in optical, new patient referrals, or marketing ideas that drove (or didn’t) patients into the practice. I personally choose a variety of metrics that reflect the entire practice, and not just one area (like optical sales).

A range of metrics allows me the opportunity to see what aspects of the practice are performing below par, average, or above expectations. From there, I can focus on some of the weaker metrics that stand out and explore ideas with staff to improve those values. Then, I can make some operational modifications to have an immediate and positive impact to our success. The last step is just as important, which is re-evaluating periodically throughout the year. Sure, we made changes, but were those the right decisions? Keeping a keen eye on the metrics will help guide my practice.

This is the year to think outside the box.
It is encouraging to think about all the great possibilities for success if, as doctors and business owners, we devote some time to critical thinking about our day-to-day operations and efficiencies and take a big-picture look at how we can improve.

  • What can I do differently to enhance my practice performance and long-term growth?
  • Is it time to get on more medical insurance panels and purchase some more medical equipment to expand the medical side of my practice?
  • Should I implement a performance-based bonus structure for staff?
  • Would an employee at the front desk be better suited to be in optical sales?
  • Should I have some friends or distant relatives who would be new patients act as mystery-shoppers in my practice and provide feedback?

Know your patients’ perception of your practice.
In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers, customer satisfaction is a key differentiator and has become a key element for many business strategies. Poor customer service affects my bottom line, so I want to get in front of any potential risks related to customer satisfaction, and turn them into opportunities. It’s vital that my practice sends regular surveys to our patient base after their visit to ensure they’re having a pleasant experience in our office. After all, patients’ perception is our reality. It’s important to collect any feedback about our practice and find ways to use it to make improvements, from the layout of our dispensary to the way we greet our patients when they arrive for their appointment, and more.

The future is bright.
This year I’ll be different, and the changes my practice implements will determine growth and success. Next year, I will be able to look back and see the impact my business decisions have made. As I see it, the revisions throughout this year will lead to improved efficiency and workflow, which will lead to an enhanced and more fulfilled patient experience in my practice. I plan to paint the portrait I dream of and encourage you to do the same.

How will this year be different for your practice?

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