Archive : Practice Managment

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Benefits of a Paperless Office

Benefits of a Paperless Office

If you’ve ever spent too long hunting through stacks of paper for an invoice or searching through paper files, you may have wished for a paperless office. You wouldn’t be alone. As soon as computers began appearing on office desks more than 20 years ago, so did the idea of paperless, electronic communication. But despite all the time that’s passed, most businesses are far from operating without paper. The arguments for tossing the piles of paper are strong. By eliminating paper in file cabinets, for example, a company can create more room and reduce off-site storage costs. By exchanging information electronically with vendors and customers, a business can make information quickly accessible — and conversely more private and secure through the use of encryption, passwords and other security measures. For some businesses — like those in the healthcare industry, which are governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act (HIPAA) — paperless records may be a regulatory requirement. But the process of going paperless can be daunting. There are the costs of new equipment and software to consider, as well as that of converting paper records into...
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Press Releases: Can You Say Free Advertising?

Press Releases: Can You Say Free Advertising?

Using your local newspaper is a cost effective marketing tool Few optometrists understand the ins and outs of writing and more importantly, getting their press release published.While this free advertising service is not always successful, when it is, it can reap great rewards, helping build your business credibility offline and online and grow word-of-mouth referrals. So what are the practical steps to utilizing your local newspaper: Content – Before starting down the path to a press release, you need to be a news generator. Don’t think from your perspective but from the newspaper’s perspective. Do you have new equipment? A new doctor has joined your practice? You are opening a new office? Or do you wish to call attention to a eye care condition that is important to your community? All successful press releases start with great content ideas. Writing – Press releases have a formula and once you’ve read a few you quickly can replicate the tone and voice of the news release for your purposes. Newspaper writing is succinct and non-promotional. The recognition you will receive will be more subtle and frankly, more powerful, if you are not overt in the promotion of your...
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What is your Lab IQ?

What is your Lab IQ?

Judy Canty once wrote a sage article about taking charge of your own destiny entitled “The Sky is NOT Falling.” She noted that in response to all the noise about a recessionary economy, some practices are motivated to advertise more, and about the same percentage are motivated to advertise less. As with advertising, there are at least two trains of thought about getting the most bang for your buck when choosing an Optical Laboratory. One type of practice is on a continual search for the best price on every item. They search the market looking for specials and throughout the year divide their business differently among the many labs that they use. These practices may pay lab bills that total $5,000 a month, but each lab they use knows them as a $300-$1,000 a month customer. Another practice takes that same monthly $5,000, which adds up to $60,000 of business a year, and places it with one laboratory. The practice makes a concerted effort to build personal relationships with the personnel of that lab: their salesman, a Customer Service Representative (CSR), and that lab’s management. In response to their business volume and loyalty, they are often receiving better prices...
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Five Important Things to Consider Before Creating Your Blog

Five Important Things to Consider Before Creating Your Blog

It seems like everyone today is starting a healthcare blog. Sounds easy and is easy on the surface, but blogging is a lot of work and needs a well thought out plan before getting started. Blogs can be a great addition to your website. They are an excellent means of delivering health information quickly to a broad audience in a more colloquial and comprehensible way. Once your blog is up and running, it is easy to add new content and cross-market your blog with social media such as Facebook and Twitter posts. Your blog can be well integrated into your website and with some forethought refer the reader back to your website for even greater information on the subjects you are writing about in your blog. This will keep your website content fresh and make a positive impact on your search engine results. It’s important to determine what you want to accomplish and what type of content you want to create to build engagement with your community. Before launching your eye care blog, review these five important considerations: Determine how much time you will need to invest to produce a quality blog. In addition to writing, you’ll want a separate pair of eyes to edit. Many optometrists choose...
It May Be Time to Get Out of Your Office and Connect with your Local Community

It May Be Time to Get Out of Your Office and Connect with your Local Community

    Online marketing is an important strategy to grow your business, but offline marketing tactics can boost the effectiveness of your online marketing and vice versa. One very effective offline strategy is the planning and provision of community events. Your involvement in local events is a powerful tool for getting your community to know you as their eye care professional. Here are five marketing tips to get you on your way… Identify opportunities for eye care education in your community. Align your Practice with businesses where eye protection or eye strain is a part of the work environment. PTA’s, hospital staffs, clinical groups, nursing and retirement homes are just a few examples. Develop your offering. Document what you are offering so that when you make contact, you have your talking points prepared and you also have information you can quickly send by email or postal mail. Your offering should be free of charge and contain a few topics (which gives you flexibility with different audiences) that you will present. Decide if you are willing to provide lunch or coffee and dessert to go along with your presentation as this is a strong “door opener”. ...
C&E Vision Releases myCloud – Web Based Transaction Archive

C&E Vision Releases myCloud – Web Based Transaction Archive

C&E Vision, one of the industry’s largest optical buying groups, has just released a new service called myCloud™ to its members. myCloud is a cloud based transaction archive that holds 6 years of member monthly statements, vendor invoices and product purchasing reports. Although C&E Vision has been providing monthly statements and vendor invoices online for some time, this new service allows members the ability to gain access to 6 years’ worth of data as well as analyze purchase data by vendor sku with a breakdown that shows tax, freight and number of products ordered over an extended period of time. “We all know how important statement and invoice data is for record keeping but sometimes life gets in the way.” says Steve Wagner, Principal of C&E Vision. He continues with “With unforeseen issues such as fires, floods, or simply misfiling our members need access to their information within minutes when researching is necessary.” In today’s age it is crucial to have needed information at your fingertips and C&E Vision is there to help. With over 6 million invoices and 300 thousand statements members will be able to access what they need when they need it....
Web Marketing is Now Essential to Sustain a Healthy Patient Flow

Web Marketing is Now Essential to Sustain a Healthy Patient Flow

While optional in the past, increased competition and the number of users finding doctor information on the web has changed the game to mandatory. Today’s healthcare and insurance systems have fostered an environment for the healthcare consumer to take control of how and where they spend their healthcare dollars. More and more of these dollars are coming out of the consumer’s pocket and that gives them more decision-making power. Healthcare decisions look more and more like retail decisions as patients search for information on quality, cost, availability and product proximity. Optometrists must be prepared to translate the experience they provide – your brand story – into readily accessible information that addresses the healthcare consumer’s search needs. Here are 6 areas to consider when marketing to this information seeking healthcare consumer: If you only had three words, which ones describe your Practice. You’ve just made the first step in communicating your unique optometric brand. Once you’ve settled on your three words, check that all of your marketing conveys these ideals. Make sure your site is mobile responsive. According to a recent Pew study, 52%...
Create A Blog For Your Eye Care Business

Create A Blog For Your Eye Care Business

At this stage, it’s fair to say that a web presence is critical to the success of your business. As you know, for the last 10 years or so we’ve seen a surge in both the number and popularity of social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, making it much simpler to publish content online. Whether you are running a small business or corporation, the numbers make it clear: Your customers are online. They are interacting in social channels with their friends, colleagues, and other brands in search of information, recommendations, and entertainment. If your business is not around to answer, a competitor will be. The first action you should take is to look at what are you’re trying to promote. What are your assets? Who are your target customers? Guide to Using Social Media for Marketing Using social media for marketing can enable a small business to further their reach to more customers. Your customers are interacting with brands through social media; therefore, having a strong social media presence on the web is the key to tap into their interest. If implemented correctly, marketing with social media can bring remarkable success to your business. What...
Three Easy and Effective Facebook Campaign Ideas

Three Easy and Effective Facebook Campaign Ideas

If you are feeling Facebook phobic, you aren’t alone. Social media can be overwhelming when you don’t have a well-thought-out plan of action, especially if you aren’t a frequent user. However, with a little bit of know-how and strategy, your Facebook page can be manageable and an effective part of your overall web marketing. First, you need to define realistic goals. While it is not very realistic to think that you will generate an influx of new patients and exam appointments from a Facebook post, you can set a goal of getting more fans, increasing your exposure or establishing expertise and loyalty from patients. Facebook is an effective retention tool which allows you to maintain a relationship with your patients, keeping your practice top of mind when they do decide it’s time for a visit. Next, plan a campaign. Choose your goal, stay focused and plan ahead. In addition to weekly posts on a variety of topics, a targeted campaign will enhance engagement and potentially bring more people to your page. Here are three different types of Facebook campaigns and how they can impact your social media success. 1) The “Like” Campaign: To increase fan base, reach...
C&E Vision and Vision West Announce Major Community Building Campaign

C&E Vision and Vision West Announce Major Community Building Campaign

Companies Launch ECPInteract™ as their First Community Building Member Benefit San Diego, California – Vision West and C&E Vision announced today a major initiative around community building for their members. The California-based companies have realized that their combined 7,500 members could be a powerful community for optometrists and optometric staff to derive even greater value from their membership. To launch this initiative the companies are sponsoring ECPInteract™, which has been in pilot for the last 12 months, beginning this September. Since June of 2013, ECPInteract™, the first and only provider of optometry-focused peer to peer learning groups, has been piloting a unique educational proposition for online learning teams – “your peers have so much to offer”. ECPInteract™ groups provided a trusted environment of peers from across the U.S guided by an experienced and knowledgeable coach to provide a place where team members can bring their goals and aspirations for guidance and feedback. But it wasn’t enough. “We received very high marks from our attendees, but we felt something was missing,” stated Brad Shapiro, Principal of C&E Vision, co-founding...
Your Practice Is Unique: Differentiate By Promoting Your Specialty

Your Practice Is Unique: Differentiate By Promoting Your Specialty

During a recent interview, Dr. David Kading, co-founder of Optometric Insights, a career coaching organization for optometry students and expert in private practice, commented that the future of optometry lies in specialization. “By specializing, optometrists can set themselves apart and open themselves to greater opportunities in patient care.” Whether your specialty is contact lenses, pediatric eye care, glaucoma or vision therapy, or you have multiple sub-specialties within your Practice, you need to get the word out about it in order to really establish your reputation as an expert in that market. Here are five ways to market your Practice specialties so that they will distinguish your Practice from the competition. 1) Big and bold on your Practice homepage: Your areas of specialty should be displayed loud and clear to anyone that lands on your homepage. Also include pronounced links to additional information about the topic either on or off site. One of EyeCarePro’s clients, Eye Services of Jackson, features Lasik on their homepage, have a look here: EyeServicesofJackson.com. 2) Make it part of your Practice biography: Anytime you have an opportunity to write a description...
Internet Marketing Trends You Need to Know About

Internet Marketing Trends You Need to Know About

A 2014 Key Internet Trends Report that came out in May gives a powerful message about online marketing. The report was presented at the esteemed Code Conference by Mary Meeker, a highly respected partner in the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers which produces this report annually. The report covered a lot of ground but a few key points were particularly relevant to ODs including the following stats (statistics gathered with help from our friends at The Optical Vision Site: First, a few facts related to Internet and device usage: The fastest growth in device usage has been in tablets and mobile data traffic. Tablet units increased 52% in 2013 to over 80 million – this growth is faster than PC growth ever was. Mobile traffic has grown over 80% from 2012 to 2013. Mobile traffic now accounts for 25% of ALL web usage. Internet advertising rose 16% and Mobile Internet advertising rose almost 50% in 2013. People spend 20% of their media time on their mobile devices. Facebook leads social traffic referrals with 21%. Photo sharing is up 50% over 2013 in the first 6 months of this year. Smartphone subscribers are growing at a 20% annual growth. Social...
Google Traffic Can Speak Volumes About Your Online Strategy

Google Traffic Can Speak Volumes About Your Online Strategy

Do you track what percentage of your website traffic comes from Google? More importantly, have you ever considered what valuable insight you can glean from this data? Many website owners don’t realize that the percentage of overall website traffic coming from Google can give you an instantaneous measure of what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong with your online marketing strategy. The bottom line is that when it comes to Google Traffic, it is critical to strive for balance. Too much or too little traffic from this one source means that you need to adjust your strategy. Let’s explain by way of an example. First let’s take a Practice that gets 100 visits to its’ site, only 10 of which are from Google. It is pretty obvious that the rankings for this Practice are terrible and that potential patients can’t find them via search engine – so they need to focus on some serious SEO improvements. Now say that there is a Practice that gets 100 visits to its’ site, 90 of which are visitors from a Google search. Practices that have too high a percentage of Google traffic are not getting enough direct traffic (traffic driven to the website...
How to Get Your Patients Through Your (Website) Door

How to Get Your Patients Through Your (Website) Door

As we explained in our last digital tip 27, your website is open 24/7 representing your Practice to attract and engage patients on your behalf. In addition to driving new patients to your Practice, an equal priority of your website should be to service your existing patients by offering assistance, time-saving conveniences, information about services and products and your professional expertise by way of vision-related content. But if your existing patients are already happy with your services, how do you get them to your website? The first step in creating an online Practice that works for you round-the-clock is to ensure that it offers value through patient forms and continually updated content. You need to create a reason for existing patients to visit and much of this is done through educational content and practice news items via blog updates, press releases, videos etc. Click here to access more information on how to create engaging content on your website. Once your website has valuable things to offer, you need to incorporate a few best practices into your office procedures and marketing efforts to drive existing patients directly to your website on a more regular basis: Add...
Why Do I Need to Attract Existing Patients to My Website?

Why Do I Need to Attract Existing Patients to My Website?

While a large part of online marketing is geared toward obtaining high rankings to get the attention of potential new patients, this is not the only audience you want to attract to your website. The truth is, if you are only getting traffic to your website from new patients, and none from existing ones, you are doing something terribly wrong. You can generally track existing patient traffic by looking at how much direct traffic the site receives. Direct traffic shows up in Google Analytics as ‘Direct’ traffic, and means that the visitor either typed in your address into their browser (and therefore knew it already, likely an existing patient), or they clicked on a link from an email as a result of your practice marketing (also usually a new patient – as those are the email addresses that you have). This begs the question, “If I am doing a good job of interacting with existing patients in person and keeping up with them through Facebook, texts, phone calls, emails etc., why do I need them to go to my website? From an ROI perspective, why does an existing patient need to visit the Practice website?” The answer is that without a focus on the audience of your current...
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