I'm starting a new blog series called Best Practices in America. It is a little play on words. As a consultant, I have the pleasure of seeing some amazing “practice locations” and “best practices” that have been implemented in those clinics around the US. I keep thinking, "These jewels have value that everyone would benefit from hearing in our VT community." So, here I am sharing the wealth :)
My first jewel was provided by Dr. Christina Murray and her practice, Center for Better Learning, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Murray started her clinic right before the COVID-19 shutdowns started. What a rough time to start a practice, but that hasn't stopped Dr. Murray. I think it would be tough to find someone to match her spunk and determination. She has grown to 60 VT patients in her VT-only clinic in the middle of a pandemic and now just took on 30 more patients from a practice of a local VTOD who just passed away. She also just had a baby a couple of weeks ago!
The best practice I'd like to highlight is Dr. Murray's use of an online tool called Asana. One difficult part of any vision therapy practice is keeping track of new referrals. Not only should you be tracking where the referrals are coming from, but a referral thank you letter should be sent, patient welcome packet with history forms emailed, previous records gathered, etc. Any system should allow you to quickly see which doctors are your biggest referrers and how well your staff is doing at converting those referrals into initial evaluations.
In our office, we had used checklists and a Google Form which populated into a Google Sheet. We then used pivot tables (all my fellow Excel nerds know what I'm talking about) to display how many referrals each doctor was referring to and what our activation rate was (rate that referrals or phone inquiries converted to initial evals). It was a great system that gave us a ton of information, but I'll be the first to admit it could be a bit clunky at times.
Dr. Murray's use of Asana has streamlined all of this. When a new patient calls or is referred a templated checklist in Asana is instantly generated. The referral coordinator then just goes through and makes sure she checks off all of the items that need to get done. Any to-do items that cannot be done at that moment (like calling the patient back if they didn't answer) is created right then. These to-do items pop up on the calendared day for the referral coordinator to follow-up on. Also, Asana tracks the referrals that are entered as part of the to do items. You can see these referral sources and how many they have referred at the touch of a button. Super slick! Huge kudos to Dr. Murray!
It was a ton of fun to work with her and her wonderful team. Check out this quick video they put together about our visit! If you are interested in our practice management consulting team visit your office, please learn more here.