3 lessons physician practices can learn from big business

Doctor with patient
Give patients a reason to choose your practice.

Physician practices are facing competition from new sources, but they can take some lessons from companies such as Amazon and Southwest Airlines, according to two optometrists.

Healthcare providers can learn from big business about how to stay ahead of the competition, said Kerry Giedd, O.D., from Eola Eyes in Orlando, Florida, and Casey Hogan, O.D., from Advanced Eye Professionals in Chicago, according to Medscape. Both shared best practices in a presentation at a meeting of the American Optometric Association in the District of Columbia. Among those lessons: 

Give patients a reason to choose you. Practices offer patients an experience and a service they cannot find elsewhere, Giedd said. So, for instance, optometry patients can buy contact lenses online, but a traditional practice can offer services that online companies such as Amazon cannot. Rather than feeling threatened, the article said practices must take inspiration from the competition. Offer patients the same value they can find online but with added services.

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Make sure you practice is visible on the internet. Standalone eye practices are competing with franchises, just as some medical practices are competing with retail clinics and startups. Have a strong web presence, the article notes. Make sure your website focuses on your areas of expertise so that patients can find your practice.

RELATED: 4 considerations for your practice's online presence

Invest in your staff and reduce turnover. Hogan says practices can take a lesson from Southwest Airlines, which focuses on keeping employees happy. The airline prides itself on offering its employees something bigger than a paycheck. Geidd provides employees with full health benefits, a 401(k) plan and productivity incentives. Think outside the box, as well, for rewards you can offer that the competition doesn’t.

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