Developing a successful optical shop in your practice should be easy as long as you focus your energy on the drivers to that success. Its kind of like making an omelette. As long as you have the ingredients and the initiative, actually making it happen is not very difficult.
1) To have a successful dispensary in your practice you must spend the time to develop your team. Nothing works without successful cooks in the kitchen. So invest in quality opticians and train them on the proper methodology to create the conditions for success. That means make sure they understand the insurances you take in the optical and that they are trained to submit the claims successfully. That means make sure not only are they aware of the newest technologies in our industry but they are also aware of the benefits that these technologies produce for the patients. And lastly..make sure they are comfortable presenting in a style that fits your professional environment. No one likes pushy salesmen.
2) Flow your patients seamlessly from the exam lane to the optical to maximize capture rate. This is really the key to your successful dispensary. You must have opportunities to sell in order for the optical to reach its potential. That means develop the means available to you to properly flow patients around your practice and ultimately into the optical shop. And dont forget to set the table either. That means patients who call for an appointment should be made aware the optical is there for them and for their convenience. Encourage the patients setting exams to bring in all their glasses when they have their appt. This way the optician can check them for their ongoing wearability and can update the lenses if a change in prescription warrants it. Also, dont leave your staff out in the cold. Include your techs or scribes in the flow process as well. Regularize their involvement so it becomes common practice. Teach you techs and scribes what to say and how to say it so patients who are newly refracted visit the expert on glasses in your practice…your optician….to satisfy their needs for new eyewear.
3) Monitor everything and get regular reports on capture rate. Tracking capture rates is perhaps the most overlooked aspect to managing a dispensary we find in medical based practices. It is so simple to just track the number of RX’s written in the practice and then plot that daily against the number of patients who enter the optical and the number of those patients who buy. That is 3 numbers that need to be tracked but with that information, you can then identify the weaknesses if they exist that can be corrected through increased attention and training.
The Finished Omelette…
What you get through training, monitoring, aggressive oversight and the development of a true patient flow process including all your staff is a robust capture rate and a highly successful optical dispensary. Profits are sure to follow!