10 Essential Tips to Prepare Your Schedule for a New Associate Optometrist

February 2, 2024
Your optometry practice is thriving, patient demand is growing and it's time to welcome a new associate optometrist. How do you ensure this exciting transition doesn't turn into scheduling chaos? Let's explore 10 essential tips to prepare your schedule to be ready for a new associate optometrist!
1. Assess Current Patient Load: Evaluate your current patient load, and appointment types and patterns. What are your peak times and slower periods? Look for insight into your demand services to identify the potential for an additional associate optometrist. 
2. Forecast Future Demand: Analyze trends in patient visits. Do seasons affect your visits? Is your local population expected to grow? Are you able to expand services? This can project future demand for the need of an additional optometrist and potential patient influxes. 
3. Review Appointment Types and Durations: Examine the types of appointments your optometry practice currently offers and the average duration. The average number of routine exams, emergency visits, special testing, etc. is crucial for creating a schedule that maximizes the use of all optometrists time. 
4. Patient Flow Analysis: Observe and analyze the flow of patients through your practice from the patients point of view. Look for bottlenecks and/or inefficiencies that could be alleviated with the addition of an associate optometrist. 
5. Adjust Scheduling Templates: Modify existing optometry scheduling templates to accommodate another optometrist provider. This may include extending operating hours, opening new appointment slots, and adjusting the mix of appointment types. Cater to the varied patient needs while optimizing resource utilization. 
6. Implement a Staggered Schedule: Consider staggered schedules for the optometrists to ensure continuous patient care is available throughout the day to maximize the use of your practice's resources, enhancing patient satisfaction. 
7. Cross-Training Staff: Building a versatile staff means ensuring your optometric staff is cross-trained to handle scheduling for multiple optometrists. This includes managing overlapping appointments, handling referrals, and managing increased workload.
8. Use of Technology: Leverage optometric-specific scheduling software that can handle multiple optometrists. Ensure its user-friendly and can provide valuable data-driven insights for continuous improvement. 
9. Plan for Ramp-Up Period: Create a plan of action including a marketing plan to fill the associate optometrists patient schedule. Gradually increase their patient load as they become more integrated into the practice and as patient awareness grows. 
10. Communication with Patients: Inform existing patients about the new optometrist. Craft an engaging email or social media campaign introducing the new optometrist and encourage your patients to schedule an appointment with the new provider, especially during the times when your schedule is already full.
By carefully planning and executing these tips, you can prepare your optometry practice's patient schedule for the integration of an associate optometrist for a smooth transition and continued patient care.  
For tailored support, connect with Robin Elliott at Williams Group. We specialize in ensuring your practice thrives in schedule management and offer comprehensive assistance for hiring and onboarding of associate optometrists. 

Ready to prepare your schedule for a new associate optometrist? Contact Williams Group today for expert guidance.

Robin Elliott

President of Consulting
Email Robin


Back to All Blogs


Share This