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    Using measurement as the first step toward positive change

    Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Eye Catching: Let's Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs are an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Donna Suter, president of Suter Consulting Group. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of Ophthalmology Times or UBM Medica.

    Don’t you love practice management software? I love it because a robust program has optical interfaces that can make the optician’s job easier. The floor optician can pull over patient demographics as well as prescription details from the clinic side and save time.

    From a management perspective, I like the reports that can be generated from optical sale information. If the administrator and optical manager discuss the following analytics quarterly, realistic productivity goals can be set. Forward-thinking practices that take the time to benchmark key optical metrics are able to identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of their dispensary operation and greater profitability can be achieved.

    Review the following categories and pick the one or two where your reports reveal you are most deficient and set improvement goals.

    Optical Gross Revenue Per Eye Examination with Refraction Change

    This is perhaps the single most useful measure of optical performance, calculated simply by dividing your optical gross receipts by the number of exams with refraction change performed. I recommend this to be calculated monthly and for aggressive goals of process improvement to be updated and published every six months.

    This metric is important because it reveals the effectiveness of your fee strategies, success in selling high-performance eyewear, capture rate of eyewear purchases of the patients you examine, and the success of your opticians in making multiple product sales.

    Optical gross revenue per eye examination with refractive change is very much dependent on the internal processes of the practice and can be immediately and significantly improved by your actions. Trade publications report a very large range of productivity.

    Because of this, compare your optical against optometric practices. The top quintile of private optometric practices post median gross per exam with change as high as $425 with the bottom quintile reporting only $204. That’s a very large range of productivity and reflects the complexity of the process.

    Net collections

    Donna Suter
    Donna Suter is president of Suter Consulting Group.

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