AOA members wanting to build their practice's bottom line have a wealth of resources to help them, from peer-to-peer advice, to continuing education, to public relations support. Following is a sampling of some of AOA's most popular sources of practice management assistance:
A calendar of eye care events and observances is provided on the AOA Web site that links to other sites for more information. The Calendar of Eye Care Events can be found here.
Dr. Locator makes finding an AOA member optometrist easier. Dr. Locator search features can be used to locate member optometrists.
The AOA Resource Guide for Employed/Affiliated Optometrists provides valuable information on issues to consider before signing an employment contract or a franchise or lease agreement. Topics include loans, sharing employees and services, patient records, professional judgment, advertising, access to the office, negotiating leases, and the difference between an employee and an independent contractor - to name just a few.
Culled from the experience of practicing employed/ affiliated doctors of optometry, this guide was written to help AOA members just entering the optometric job market as well as those changing their mode of practice.
The Employed/Affiliated Handbook can be found on AOA's Web site by clicking here.
The OCC is a national, online career matching service for optometric opportunity providers and seekers and an online resource center, with helpful articles and resources including a sample cover letter and resume, interviewing tips, a sample letter to job seekers and much more.
If your plans include finding an employment opportunity, recruiting a candidate, or connecting with an associate who's right for you, the OCC is the perfect place to start. In addition, the OCC now includes matching for optometric staff positions.
The OCC service is FREE to AOA and AOSA members, and is available at a fee to non-members.
Once registered, users can set up e-mail alerts to notify them of new listings or resumés that match their criteria, post their listing or resumé information, or search the hundreds of detailed opportunity listings or candidate resumés.
For more information or to register and start your search today, visit www.optometryscareercenter.org.
Patient/Public Education Materials - AOA patient education materials are created by optometric and communications professionals and include "Answers to Your Questions" pamphlet series, AOA Fact Sheet series, charts and displays, eye models, other pamphlets and brochures, along with many other related materials. These materials approach communication and education from the patients' and potential patients' points of view.
Materials on managed care, hospital privileges, nursing home practice, CPT/ICD codes, office stationery and office forms are available for purchase through the AOA Order Department.
For patient/public education and practice management materials, check with the AOA Order Department at (800) 365-2219 or Orders@aoa.org.
The AOA Practice Assistance Program is a mentoring program for AOA members who have questions and seek advice on various aspects of practice management. The program is free to AOA membership. The program matches seekers with "coaches" who are experienced practitioners who have expertise in various practice management aspects.
Coaching is primarily via e-mail and phone. If you are interested in being a Seeker or a Coach, the application and agreement forms along with instructions can be found on the Practice Resource Center, a section of AOA's Web site, by clicking here.
Forms also can be obtained by contacting Stacey Liles at SMLiles@aoa.org or (800) 365-2219, extension 4111.
A series of practice management articles are published in a section of AOA's periodical, Optometry: Journal of the American Optometric Association titled "Practice Strategies."
"Practice Strategies" is published to help AOA-member optometrists build successful practices, manage them more efficiently in today's health care environment, increase their business skills, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the business of health care.
Examples of topics include business planning, marketing, coding and billing, financial management, practice valuation, human resource issues, and managed care issues to name only a few. The last three months' of articles are archived on AOA's Web site at www.optometryjaoa.com.
For a Practice Strategies article on developing the medical model optometric practice click here.
The AOA's Committee on Information and Data conducts a variety of membership and other surveys to collect, analyze and disseminate socio-economic and other data relating to eye care and about the optometric profession and ophthalmic industry.
Some of these surveys are recurring and provide an opportunity to examine the changing nature of optometric practice over time.
Other surveys focus on specific policy or practice-related questions that are of topical and timely interest to association members.
The committee routinely makes the results of its study activities available through various association publications, such as the AOANews.
These surveys can be found on AOA's Web site by clicking here.