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“Bless and Release” Difficult Patients Plus More Tips for March

Don’t let problem patients drag your business down.

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TIME MANAGEMENT

As Good as It Gets

It’s another case of the perfect being the enemy of the good: Younger doctors spend way too much time — and effort — on contact lens rechecks, says Rick Rickgauer of Vision Associates in Girard, PA. “I’m always harping on our doctor to tell them, it is the best it’s going to get. Let them order.” 

Client relations

Loose Lips

A piece of advice Sherry Berry, owner of Eye against Eye in Philadelphia, was given by a trusted mentor: Be careful what you say. “You may not have enjoyed the client who just walked out but if you voice your opinion loud enough for the client sitting around the corner to hear, you just lost all credibility and that is something you can’t get back,” she says.

morale

Celebrate Successes

Working in a medical practice is draining. Financial pressures and time constraints aside, practitioners and staff are often working with people who are in discomfort, adding to the stress levels. But because the work is also fundamentally good, you’re improving people’s lives every day, so it’s important to set aside time to recognize and celebrate the victories when they come. And this shouldn’t be limited to patient care: “If someone figures out a way to save 20 percent on office supplies, recognize that contribution as well,” says an advice column for ECPs on American Express’ Open Forum.

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client relations

Bless and Release

A concept Angie Patteson, OD, of Sunset Eye Care in Johnson City, TN, says she sees more ODs talk about is “Bless and Release.” “What this means, is when a patient blows up, is offensive, hurts your feelings, refuses to pay a bill, let it go. Don’t mull the situation over and over in your mind. Deal with it calmly, then release the patient from your care, she explains, adding “I definitely will try to do that in the coming year.”

Client Relations

Pass the Buck

BJ Chambers of Carrera Optical in McQueeney, TX, has a neat — and cheeky — way of dealing with overly demanding customers: He keeps business cards of “other” optical shops and gives them to problem patients suggesting they “go visit.”

productivity

Keep a Pad Close

Need help staying on task when you’re at your desk? Keep a notepad and a pen next to you and jot down any random thoughts, urges to explore the Web and other potential distractions that pop up as you work. Written down, your brain can stay focused, and you can get some work done, say the editors at the Dumb Little Man blog.

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