AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 30

MAR/APR 18 // COVER FEATURE

Barrett's practice looks for growth from year to year, but
not only in terms of the bottom line. "I'm talking number
of cataracts or maybe number of patients we see-what
can we do, what systems can we change that might seem
minor that would allow each doctor to see one or two
more patients a day?" As part of this exploration, they
asked every employee, "When a patient comes, what do
you do? What steps do you follow?" This in-depth discussion identified many opportunities to streamline.

"

"I always
try to push
out as much
information as
possible, and
then verify
that people
below you are
pushing that
out to their
people."
-Zachary M.
Smith, COE

30

IN THE GROWTH MINDSET
A mindset toward growth starts with the practice's leaders and, like success itself, is not accidental. Chambers
was hired in 1999 for his physician practice management background to launch a mindset change. "They
said, 'We would like to become a top-tier practice,
that's why we're hiring you,'" he said. With implementation of Chambers' corporate approaches, the practice's revenues have increased 30-fold, with a staff of
just under 200 employees.
Four Corners Eye Clinic started as a solo practice whose
entrepreneurial founder eventually sold the business.
"When I started, there was not a planning process for
the practice at all," Theine said. In his first year, he and
the two owners began evaluation and planning; in the
four years since, they have involved an ever-larger group.
"This year, we have the four full-time physicians, the lead
clinical staff, our lead front office staff, and lead billing
staff-all fully engaged in planning. Everyone is valued in
terms of what they see and what they bring," he said.
Like Chambers, Smith was hired to initiate growth
for practice owners who were determined to make
data-driven decisions. But getting the data to support
that growth required process changes throughout the
practice, including having to terminate some employees
who were unable or unwilling to make changes.
As Smith's situation demonstrates, the mindset for
growth, measurement, and improvement can't stop
with practice owners, physicians, and administrators.
Leading practices support this mindset among staff at
all levels-and the numbers show the impact when
employees are invested in the success of a practice.
Annual budgeting involves all staff at Theine's practice
even in what might seem like "minor" matters. His front
office lead proposed new office chairs, for example, but after seeing the overall list of capital requests, felt embarrassed
by making such a minor suggestion. Theine responded,
"This is why you're here. The rest of us aren't looking at
that particular need and what that means for our patients
when they come in our office, what that means for our em-

AE // Mar/Apr 18

ployees sitting in the chair the majority of the day. While
it's a relatively small request, it's important."
Barrett seeks to reinforce the mindset of "always to try
to be better; good isn't good enough" among her staff by
providing a safe and open forum in meetings to discuss
issues. "It's amazing what can be solved by employees
with their hands in the middle of it. I'm not in the
lane, I'm not seeing these problems. What better source
than someone who is?" she said. The morale this builds
enhances patient care, she believes. To further support
employees and enhance their service, her practice pays
for employee education and exams, including the Certified Patient Service Specialist (CPSS) program.
TO INNOVATE, COMMUNICATE
In Theine's second year, the practice's leadership began
communicating goals for the coming year to all staff.
To support growth, they established precisely how
many encounters they wanted for the year: 14,411.
And they were surprised by staff responses to the weekly progress updates. "If I took a week's vacation or got
overwhelmed and didn't publish how we were doing for
one week, inevitably someone would come to my office
and say, 'I haven't seen how we're doing this week,
where are we at?'" Knowing that reaching this objective
would affect whether other growth plans could happen
"really shifted people's thinking from 'Oh, I'm just a
passive participant,' to 'How can I help?'" he said.
Good communication is vital between administrators and physicians, too. "The most successful practices
have a very tight union between physician leadership
and administrative leadership," Maller said. This keeps
them moving in the same direction, with shared goals.
When Chambers joined Key-Whitman, "I strived
very hard to promote team management between
administration and physicians," he said. He provides
feedback on financial, logistical, and benchmarking
performance that "gives the physician a good opportunity to understand where they really are and what
we need to do to achieve those targets. We agree to the
targets, and then we talk about the processes," he said.
This shared accountability underlies Spencer's advice
to communicate above all else. "Keep defenses down
and ears open; remember that we are on the same team
and driving toward the same mission." Good communication requires regularity: Theine's 30-minute weekly
meetings with each physician allow private discussion
of any issues and the practice objective that they're
leading. He has found this "helpful in getting buy-in
while allowing those employee physicians to feel more



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2

How We Can Successfully Lead
Advanced Administration: Administrator Success Factors—Needing a Tune-Up Is Expected
Advice for New Administrators: Introducing the Administrator Beginners Circle—The Go-To Resource for New Administrators
Business Operations: Some Things to Know About Professional Liability Insurance
Customer Care: Making a Diffi cult Journey A Little Easier
Fast Practice: Breaking Down Practice Cliques
Human Resources: Recruiting Strategies for Ophthalmology—Where to Search for New Physicians
InfoTech: Cloud Computing— Storms or Blue Skies?
Reimbursement: Embracing Change to Thrive in an Evolving Reimbursement World
Technicians: Creating a “Feeder Program” to Staff Your Clinic
Washington Watch: MIPS in 2018—Key Changes for Ophthalmic Practices
Taking Your Practice to the Top
Use Podcasts to Increase Practice Visibility—and Thrive
Trailblazing— How to Implement Career Pathing in Your Practice
Ocular Surface Disease: Reimbursement Considerations for the Evaluation and Management of Dry Eye
Retina: Should Retinal Specialists Be Integrated Into a Multispecialty Practice?
Asked and Answered
ASOA News
Bookshelf: Off Balance On Purpose: Embrace Uncertainty and Create a Life You Love
COE Corner: Preparing for the COE Exam – Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Focus on a Practice: Ohio Valley Eye Physicians & Surgeons, PLLC, on Operating a Practice in Two States
Gamechanger: Karen Bachman, COE, COMT, OCS, ROUB
Advertisers’ Index
Peer to Peer: What’s Your Favorite Technique for Holding a Productive Staff Meeting?
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Cover1
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Cover2
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 1
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 2
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 3
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 4
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - How We Can Successfully Lead
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Advanced Administration: Administrator Success Factors—Needing a Tune-Up Is Expected
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 7
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Advice for New Administrators: Introducing the Administrator Beginners Circle—The Go-To Resource for New Administrators
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 9
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Business Operations: Some Things to Know About Professional Liability Insurance
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 11
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Customer Care: Making a Diffi cult Journey A Little Easier
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 13
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Fast Practice: Breaking Down Practice Cliques
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 15
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Human Resources: Recruiting Strategies for Ophthalmology—Where to Search for New Physicians
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 17
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - InfoTech: Cloud Computing— Storms or Blue Skies?
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 19
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Reimbursement: Embracing Change to Thrive in an Evolving Reimbursement World
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 21
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Technicians: Creating a “Feeder Program” to Staff Your Clinic
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 23
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Washington Watch: MIPS in 2018—Key Changes for Ophthalmic Practices
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 25
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Taking Your Practice to the Top
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 27
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 28
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 29
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 30
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 31
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 32
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 33
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Use Podcasts to Increase Practice Visibility—and Thrive
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 35
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 36
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 37
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Trailblazing— How to Implement Career Pathing in Your Practice
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 39
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 40
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 41
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Ocular Surface Disease: Reimbursement Considerations for the Evaluation and Management of Dry Eye
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 43
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Retina: Should Retinal Specialists Be Integrated Into a Multispecialty Practice?
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 45
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Asked and Answered
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 47
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - ASOA News
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 49
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Bookshelf: Off Balance On Purpose: Embrace Uncertainty and Create a Life You Love
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 51
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - COE Corner: Preparing for the COE Exam – Keep Your Eye on the Prize
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 53
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Focus on a Practice: Ohio Valley Eye Physicians & Surgeons, PLLC, on Operating a Practice in Two States
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 55
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Gamechanger: Karen Bachman, COE, COMT, OCS, ROUB
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 57
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Advertisers’ Index
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - 59
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Peer to Peer: What’s Your Favorite Technique for Holding a Productive Staff Meeting?
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Cover3
AE March/April 2018 Vol 27 No 2 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/g107843_ae_julyaug19
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http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_mayjune2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_marapr2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_janfeb15
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_novdec14
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_sepoct14_AE
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/asoa_julaug14
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_MayJunAE
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_MarAprAE
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_JanFebAE
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASOA/ASOA_no4eZine
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