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The Perfect Balance: An Operations Manager's Perspective
I married into the optometric profession. With an advertising degree from Louisiana State University, I was busily managing clothing boutiques in New Orleans and Ft. Lauderdale when my husband, an OD, and I bought our first optometric practice in 1999. Quickly noticing that the practice was more lucrative than my retail career, it wasn’t long before I decided to quit my job and put my marketing expertise to work at our practice instead.
I was a bit apprehensive about my husband and I spending all day, every day together, but my mother gave me some great advice. She told me, “Stay in your lane.” And that’s what we do. My husband is excellent at caring for patients and I’m excellent at management and operations. So, I don’t go into his exam room and tell him what to do with his patients and he doesn’t come to my front desk or my optical and instruct me how to handle those things. We recognize each other’s strengths and respect each other’s boundaries, coming together to collaborate and make decisions about the practice.
We have been on the VSP network since we opened our practice in New Orleans. It has meant a world of difference in the way our patients have been able to locate us; and the simplicity of the authorization/eligibility search, online claims processing, and support and training from VSP have been incredible. When we purchased a 40-year-old practice in El Paso, VSP and Premier Edge were instrumental in helping us compete with the “shinier, newer” practices in the area. While we have several patients who have been with the practice since the beginning—we just saw patient #17 last week for her annual exam, and we’re now at 34,000 patients!—we know we need to grow and compete as El Paso grows, and with it the number of VSP patients looking for care.
We leverage Premier Edge Marketing Support to maintain a modern online presence, Premier Edge Training and Education to keep ourselves up-to-date and informed, and the Premier Edge banner on the VSP Find a Doctor Directory to help VSP patients find our practice. During these challenging economic times, VSP patients appreciate being able to maximize their benefits at an established practice that has been caring for the community for generations.
As Eye See It, we have achieved the perfect balance in our practice. We have my husband’s skill and passion for patient care and my business sense and marketing expertise. We have patients who have been coming in since they were toddlers and now bring their own children to see us, and patients new to the area who come to us for the first time. We have staff who have been with the practice for 40 years, imparting their wisdom to brand new employees. And we have a practice that has been a part of the El Paso landscape for decades, with a modern presence and the latest equipment and technology. What makes us successful is bringing these contrasting strengths together to provide the care our community expects and deserves.