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New Optometry Practice Setup

Are you starting a new Optometry Practice? Here’s a checklist on how to start your new Optometry Practice. CRT has been providing IT Support to Optometry practices for over 10 years.

New Optometry Practice

How to Get Started - Checklist

The decision to move into private practice can be daunting, as it brings with it many new and unfamiliar responsibilities.

At CRT Network Solutions, we’ve helped numerous Optometry practices with their setup procedures. We understand the process, which is why we’ve compiled a helpful checklist to help highlight the most crucial aspects to take into consideration when opening your own Optometry practice.

Following these steps may help you overcome the core issues you encounter as you become a new practice owner.

new optometry practice

Business Plan

New Optometry Practice Setup

A business plan provides direction, keeps you on track and is usually a requirement when you seek finance. By creating a business plan for the short, medium, and long term, you can ensure you know exactly what the vision is for your new Optometry Practice, and how to reach it.

Your plan could include an executive summary, introduction, marketing plan, operations plan, management plan and financial plan (e.g. costs and cash flow projections).

When starting any new Optometry Practice there are several things to consider:

These considerations form a big part of your business plan and provide a solid foundation for its ongoing strategic direction.

CRT Network Solutions can assist with

New Optometry Practice IT Software & Support

Marketing Plan

As part of your Business plan you will need to know how you are going to bring patients into your new Optometry Practice. You can do this by creating a Marketing Plan. A Marketing plan can help give you a systematic approach to developing assets that will satisfy your patients’ needs.

When creating a Marketing Plan there are several things to consider:

new optometry practice setup

Conduct a SWOT analysis for your new Optometry Practice – analyse its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

  • Strengths – What will your new Optometry Practice do well? What will you do better than your competition?
  • Weaknesses – What does your competitor do better than you? What could potentially hold your new Optometry Practice back?
  • Opportunities – What can you use to your new Optometry Practices’ advantage?
  • Threats – what are the advantages competitors have over your practice? What could potentially harm your new Optometry practice?

Keeping your competitor and SWOT analysis in mind, decide what you will be communicating – define the characteristics that you want to communicate about your new Optometry Practice, to position your practice as better than, or different from, the competition.

Map out a strategy to reach your potential patients, including the messages, channels and tools you will use.

Set specific, measurable goals and time frames for your marketing activities and determine a monthly marketing budget that will suit your needs.

Depending on your marketing budgets limitations, some typical ways to market your new practice are through:

Medical boards and AHPRA in each state provide information regarding appropriate and ethical advertising. Please contact your state medical board for advice. Visit The Australian Medical Council (AMC) website for more details.

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Developing a Marketing plan is an important part of understanding who you are and what your brand represents. If you don’t understand your patients, you won’t know what kind of marketing messages and advertising will work. Also consider that the more you know about your competitors the better you’ll be at identifying where you will fit into the market and the potential opportunities available for your new Optometry Practice.

It is important that you involve any existing or new practice staff in the development of a practice strategy to increase staff motivation and willingness to take ownership of their contribution to the strategy.

Operations Plan & Technology

How to Get Started - Checklist

An Operations Plan considers the day-to-day running of your Practice.

There are many factors to consider in order to have a successful patient-centric Optometry practice, including the following:

pharmacy practice setup

Let’s not forget about the technology, it’s essential to future-proof your practice with smart and scalable technology. 

A clinical and practice management platform with a patient portal is an essential investment, helping optimise your business efficiency and deliver high quality patient-centric experiences. These platforms are hosted in the cloud and can scale with your practice as your practice grows. 

We are involved with many new Optometry Practice installations on a regular basis. We will advise you along the way and provide a helping hand. We can supply all the equipment necessary in setting up a new Practice. 

It is important to consolidate and identify all of the equipment that you will need in order to stick to the budget that you have set for opening your Optometry practice. 

You will need to consider all the types of equipment that will be required, such as: 

Secure your New Optometry Practice Data

Brisbane and Sunshine Coast

When we talk about medical data security we talk about keeping unwanted visitors to your network locked out. A common theme today is for Optometry centres to get hacked and to have all their data encrypted.

We make sure that they are no security loopholes on your network that will allow this.

Contact one of our friendly Technicians today to chat about securing your Optometry Practices data.

Financial Plan

Good financial management is critical to the ongoing success of your practice. When starting out, you’ll need to know how much funding you need, where you can get it and how to manage your financial arrangements. Your business plan is also an important part of seeking practice funding.

Once you have a profitable business plan in place, approaching potential investors and banks for financing is your next step. Compared to purchasing an existing practice, starting a Optometry practice from the ground up is far more affordable. Your capital will need to be able to cover the cost of premises, technology, equipment and hiring staff.

When starting a practice, you’ll have a few key decisions to make around your finances:

How can I finance my new Optometry practice? 
Financing your practice is another critical consideration that will affect your cash flow. 

There are different sources of financing you can choose to fund your business vision, including:

Each option has pros and cons, so take the time to consider which is ideal for your practice. Be sure to contact a business advisor for advice. 

Don’t forget to also include repayments in your cash flow and expense forecast when building your financial plan. 

What’s my tax plan?
The government has a range of new tax laws and concessions for small businesses. Starting a optometry practice is a large investment – consult an accountant on a tax plan to ensure you’re taking advantage of all the advantages and benefits available.

new dental practice setup

Insurance Policies & Procedures

New Optometry Practice Setup

Regardless of the type of Optometry practice, you are setting up, investing in medical indemnity insurance should be a crucial step on your checklist. Establishing compliance policies and procedures regarding patient care and staff training will minimise some risk, however – insurance provides significant protection.

Prevention is always better than cure, and so is setting up your practice, implementing clear policies and best practices is key in preventing any sort of liabilities.

These policies range from appropriate staff behaviour to proper equipment handling and effective management. Establishing procedures beforehand is what can make or break your practice, and so being clear and concise is imperative.

A high quality, robust practice management platform reduces the risk factor for your practice, which in turn reduces insurance premium costs. High quality platforms are also more secure, so your patients’ data is protected, and there is less likelihood of data getting lost or incorrectly entered.

Local Government Requirements

How to Get Started - Checklist

All Optometry practices need to be compliant with national and local government requirements, both as a Optometrists and as an Australian business. Your practice needs to fulfil all the business requirements, including:

You’ll also need to familiarise yourself with business data protection policies, and register your practice for My Health Record.

new optometry practice

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Building An Optometry Practice Team

Once you’ve set up the previous components, you need to look at staffing your practice. Hiring competent staff whose values align with that of the practice is very important for the practice to run smoothly and efficiently. This includes hiring a reliable practice manager. 

A practice manager often will have little contact with patients and their role generally covers aspects of management, business, finance, HR and marketing. 

It is also crucial to continuously work on staff training as your staff sets the standard for your practice in the way they interact with themselves and the patients.

Equipment For Your New Optometry Practice

New Optometry Practice Setup

Below is a list of equipment and software most new Optometry Practices require:

We are involved with many new Optometry Practice installations on a regular basis.

We will advise you along the way and provide a helping hand and can supply all the equipment necessary in setting up a new Optometry Practice.

Strategic IT Planning

Installation & Setup

new dental practice

IT Software & Support

One area often overlooked when trying to set up a new business practice is IT infrastructure. With the right technological infrastructure, your practice can securely manage patient information, efficiently organise appointments and follow ups, provide convenient communication between staff and patients, monitor the financial accounting in the practice and manage the billing aspect of your practice.

A major concern exists however in choosing the right IT infrastructure for your practice; not all technologies work the same for all practices. To analyse the changes needed to implement the right infrastructure, Leavitt Diamond can be used. 

Leavitt Diamond consists of four components that assess the four cornerstones of a business and how they interact with each other for efficiency. If done correctly, it can determine the best way to implement IT infrastructure in accordance with the practice’s tasks, structure and employees/patients.

Our company is skilled in providing our customers with holistic, turnkey IT solutions for all their Optometry practice needs. We specialise in Optometry software and are the preferred contractors for the bigger Optometry software companies such as:

We can cover all your IT infrastructure needs to set up your Optometry practice. We cater specially for New Optometry Practice IT Setup & Support in Australia.

IT Support for New Optometry Practices

You need a company that is experienced in supporting the healthcare industry.
This is important as we understand the liability associated with Medical Data and we strive to keep your medical data safe and secure. 
You need an IT company that is always available. We operate from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm Mondays to Fridays. 
We have an after hours IT support number that is always manned.

You need a company that understands the needs of a new Optometry practice. We know when to perform updates, which is after hours of course. We also know that Optometrists are a Optometry Practices most important asset, so we work hard at making sure their computers are always operating efficiently. We also know that the reception desks are the other most important pc’s on the network. Having a build up of unhappy patients at the reception desk is not good, so we strive to keep those pc’s running as fast as possible.

Medical IT

Optometry Backups

When you are on one of our Maintenance Agreements, we log in to your Server on a daily basis and ensure that backups are running smoothly. We suggest that all of our Optometry clients are on one of our maintenance agreements.

Medical IT

Medical Data Security

When we talk about medical data security we talk about keeping unwanted visitors to your network locked out. A common theme today is for Optometry centres to get hacked and to have all their data encrypted.
We make sure that they are no security loopholes on your network that will allow this to happen.

Optometry Software Support

We support all optometry software.
If you have any needs regarding your optometry software, give us a call.
We know what to look out for, and we will work closely with your optometry software vendor if needed.

Medical IT

Optometry Practice Accreditation

We will help you achieve accreditation for your Optometry practice. We know all the accreditation rules and we have an accreditation document that we can share with you, that we will help you fill out to achieve accreditation.

Medical IT

Responsive Help Desk

We have a responsive help desk always ready to take your call. Our IT support staff have a lot of knowledge in the optometry industry and have a lot of knowledge surrounding the various optometry programs that your optometry centre might use. We can help you get your software issues resolved quickly.

Medical IT

Optometry Program Updates

We provide optometry updates after hours to both the servers and the workstations. We ensure that there is a reliable backup prior to running a optometry update. This is important because sometimes the optometry updates can corrupt the database. Therefore, we always ensure that we have a good backup that is recent prior to running the optometry updates. We also run these updates after-hours so that there is no downtime to the practice.


How to Get Started - Checklist

When you set up your new practice, other health professionals need to know about YOU! Advise other health professionals of your areas of interest so they may be more likely to refer appropriate patients to you.

Here are some suggestions about how to introduce yourself to other professionals:

General practitioners

Specialist practitioners

new optometry practice setup

Improving your practice

Whether you are a general practitioner or a specialist:

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