Reports Corner

Collecting on Your Outstanding Accounts

Collecting from patients and third parties with an outstanding account can be an intimidating ordeal. Here are a few key steps to follow to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible:

  1. Run your Outstanding Invoices Report, weekly - See which patients have a balance owing, either personally or on behalf of their third-party insurer.
  2. Notify patients early with a phone call and try to collect over the phone - By placing your initial calls within days of the transaction, it stays fresh in everyone's mind.
  3. Send missed invoice(s) immediately - From the Outstanding Invoices Report, reprint the invoices by family to make the process more efficient.
  4. Monthly, send past due notices - If the invoice remains unpaid after the first phone call and invoice reminder, a red 'past due' stamp on the second invoice is often effective.
  5. Call again, at different times of day - If the account remains outstanding, collection calls allow you to speak with late-payers directly and make specific payment arrangements.

It is best practice to run your Outstanding Invoices Report on a weekly basis, re-send invoices once a month, and conduct your collection calls two weeks later. Do not forget to make notes at every stage. 

Please click HERE for instructions on how to retrieve the Outstanding Invoice Report and on how to print statements for insurers with payments owing.

Reports to Help You Stay on Top of Your Invoicing

With all that goes on with running a business, we sometimes forget how important it is to make sure we are collecting money for the products and services we provide.

There are two equally vital parts to this collection process. The first, would be to confirm we are charging patients for all the products and services we offer. The second would be the collection process itself.

There are a few ways in Visual-Eyes to help ensure that you have not missed invoicing anything. The most important method would be running the Day End Summary in the scheduler. This allows us to view if we have properly completed all aspects of the patient's visit, including charging them for services. Other important invoice reports would include the Rx and CL Income Verification Reports, which can confirm if products have been properly invoiced. Detailed instructions for these reports can be found HERE.

Stayed tuned next month, as we discuss tips for staying on top of collecting from your outstanding accounts.

Capitalizing on Dispenser / Optometrist Chemistry

Intrinsically we know that based on personalities and work style, some people work together more effectively than others. Have you thought of how you might leverage this to increase productivity? By analyzing past performance, you can optimize your staff schedule.

One way to use our Rx demographics reports, allows you to determine which dispenser/doctor combinations paired-up well together! By capitalizing on these natural synergies, and scheduling accordingly, you can maximize productivity and sales.

For details on how to run the report, please click HERE.

Report Repository

We are continually being asked by clients for new reports to help them meet some of their specific needs. A few of these reports are quite unique to the clinic itself, but others are reports that can benefit other practices as well.

Our favourite and most useful ones that we have not had time to find a proper home for, end up in the Repository. This is found under the Custom section in the Reports module.

Here you can find some useful reports for the Visual Book module. By running the VB vs Office Booking report, you can see the number of patients who have booked online vs in the office. It goes even further, allowing you to see what effect the booking method has on the no show or cancellation rates. Want to know the names of patients who booked online? The Online Booking Summary will tell you that.

Are you participating in a provincial I See I Learn Program? The Repository also contains various provincial reports for these programs.

I encourage you to go into your Reports module and try out a new report today. Just remember to Preview it first so that you avoid accidentally destroying a tree if it is not quite what you are looking for!

What Guided your Patients to Choose your Clinic?

As business owners, knowing your referral sources and successful marketing programs is an important aspect of managing growth.

The first step to find out where your patients are coming from is to start asking!

For new patients, you might ask: How did you hear about our office? The answers should be entered consistently, in Visual-Eyes on your main patient screen under "referred by". We recommend that all your standard methods, especially those you have invested in, are included (e.g. yellow pages, google search, billboards, and so on). Using the Patient Demographic report, you can track the results to see what is working.

In cases where the referral source is an existing patient, make sure you link the patients together using the "..." button. The most common referral source in optometry offices has traditionally been word of mouth. Since most clinics grow based on patient referrals, have you considered putting in place a patient referral program? Using the Referral List report in Visual-Eyes, you can then reach out to your patients to thank them for their referral.

For existing patients, we want to know what brought them back in to the clinic. What prompted their call today? Did they see an ad? Was it your ad, or someone else's? Did you call about their recall?

An effective way to track the answer is by using one of your scheduler's custom fields to store this information. This allows you to use the scheduler demographic report to track why your patients continue to book appointments. Make sure if you prebook, to enter "prebooked" as the trigger for the booking field.

Triggers may also hold true for new patients. For example, a neighbour might have recommended the clinic, however it was a facebook ad that triggered booking the appointment. The neighbour should be linked on the main patient screen and the booking trigger identified as "facebook ad".

By first asking and then reporting on this information, we can now calculate ROI's on various marketing initiatives.

Why Track Metric Values?

"If you measure it, it will improve." Every business has key values which if tracked, can drastically effect the performance of your business. In the optometry industry, one of these key metrics is your average revenue per full exam (also sometimes called 'revenue per patient'.)

Why is revenue per full exam so important? It is the one metric that lets you see the average monetary value of each patient appointment. If you are effectively selling your services to your patients, then this value will increase. As a result, it is a great overall performance indicator.

Another key metric is the percentage of new patients. Depending on what development stage your clinic is in, this value can be dramatically different. For most established clinics, a healthy range is 12 - 15% new patients. However, if we are looking to grow an established clinic, aiming for 20-25% would be required to see significant growth as you have to take into account the effects of attrition.

Using our Office Statistic reports, you can dive further into these stats and more.

By simply tracking and talking about key metrics on a regular basis, you can drive change in your office. Pick one key metric and add it to your regular staff meetings today! Better yet, create daily engagement on the metric of choice by posting regular updates in a visible location for team members to see.

How Effective are your Staff?

Have you ever wondered how to measure what your individual team members are spending their time doing?

Visual-Eyes has a number of reports that will allow you to look at staff effectiveness.

For example, the attendant stat reports, located under the invoice section of your reports module, allows you to see who is servicing your patients and to what extent. Who is selling Contact Lenses and other products? Which lenses are each dispenser selling? What are each team member's relative sales volumes?

  • Served By (Detailed) - allows you to drill down into team member performance giving details including patient names. Typically restricted to just a few staff.
  • Served By (Summary) - an overall performance report, viewed by category and served by. Typically run with everything select all.
  • Category by Item - useful to determine possible product training areas. Typically restricted to a few categories of interest.
  • Profit By Sales (By Cat.) - interesting report on profitability, but only effective if your costs are entered accurately.

These reports are very powerful and can help you identify areas of strengths, weaknesses and potential for individual team members. This data may help your management team identify areas requiring training, help set staffing levels, and ultimately reward your team members by managing facts versus relying on emotions.