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Mark Hinton

It’s 2021! What’s Your Focus?

9 ideas on a few important things to consider.




LET’S START WITH how you capture your metrics. It’s one thing to rely on your “practice management system” (PMS) and quite another to data-mine more specific helpful information to drive your business. Your PMS stores all of it, but it likely won’t reveal certain “trends.” However, when you see trends, you can take action. Look for the trends.

What about your unique “Entrepreneurial Operating System” (EOS)? There are a few; we went with Traction by Gino Wickman. This EOS has helped us concentrate our Vision, Accountability, Quarterly Focus and Issues. An EOS system of your choice combined with The Great Game Of Business (Jack Stack) management techniques will create sustainability while providing time to focus.

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We also realized we needed to revisit our “Exam/Optical Checklist” to be sure we were prescribing specifically for each patient’s need/want. Checklists are important, because things can get missed.

What about revisiting your optical handoff? Who’s handing off? Where is it taking place? How does your tech or scribe hand off if the doctor can’t do it? Just how good is your integration and communication between the exam room, patient, and optical expert?

This is crucial to increasing capture and pairs.

How excellent are your patient history/lifestyle/need/want questions during pre-exam and exam? People do not want to feel singled-out. Examine your patient questions to be sure they ask the question: “When do your eyes….?” versus “Do your eyes ever….?”


This allows patients to feel as though it’s the norm and not the exception.

How about Rx sunglass sales? To really increase these, the doctor must actually prescribe instead of recommend. Try focusing on reducing the risk of “sun damage” not UV rays. In fact, it’s quite easy to prescribe sunglasses whenever the primary Rx changes.

When their everyday Rx changes, so does their Rx sunglasses.

How about clearing out the M.U.S. (Made Up Stuff), the unsubstantiated feelings we sometimes feel when we assume what the patient is thinking? If you’re dispensing with belief and intention, then your patient will not feel you are trying to sell more glasses.

It’s not about selling, it’s about prescribing for the outcome desired — like reducing sun damage, sharper clearer vision, or more comfort when focused on screens each day. Try a simple switch; avoid the question “So how have your eyes been doing?” and instead ask “Where are you hoping I’m going to help you see clearly?”

Do you use your retinal screening images as a springboard to prescribe photochromic lenses in patients’ primary eyeglasses to protect eyes whenever polarized sunglasses aren’t handy or practical, and to prescribe glare-free sunglasses against daytime driving accidents and future sun damage? When you see a pinguecula, ask about their current suns. Then prescribe your in-house suns, so you and your patient can feel confident about reducing their risk of sun-related vision loss. There are several studies from leading manufacturers on the risk of wearing OTC plano suns; the inconsistencies in protection are varied and vast. That could be your first focus for 2021.


Start with daily huddles and in 45 seconds you can focus the team on “that one thing” you’ve earmarked for 2021. And make weekly meetings a must. You know your favorite teams get to the championship only by practicing between games.

Mark Hinton is a practice owner, as well as CEO and president of eYeFacilitate, a private practice consultancy. A sought-after ABO/COPE approved practice management expert, with eYeFacilitate he helps practices drive optical efficiencies, maximize managed care revenue and profit, improve capture, and increase revenue through simple systems with a focused process. Email him at [email protected]



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