• My Top 5 Picks for the AAO 2017 Small Practice Track

    The AAOE Program of AAO 2017 begins on Nov. 11.

    As AAO 2017 nears, I’m really excited about the small practice track of practice management instruction
    courses. As a practice administrator in a solo retina practice, here are my top five must-see picks (all included in the Course Pass).

    1. New! Because Nice Matters: Customer Service in a Small Medical Practice (#634)
      Sunday, Nov. 12 – 2 to 3 pm
      Our solo retina practice relies strongly on referrals. Patient happiness is very important to us so we strive to make our patients feel comfortable with the physician and staff. As government programs continue to push patient satisfaction--possibly tying scores with reimbursement--we try to stay abreast of tips and ideas to improve patient satisfaction.

    2. Survival Skills to Thrive in Small Private Practice (#275)
      Sunday, Nov. 12 – 4:30 to 5:30 pm
      Being a solo practice has many pro’s and con’s. With fees being decreased and procedures being bundled, our bottom line becomes much more difficult to manage. Being on top of current and future trends and information is critical for us to stay viable. Any information I can gain to assist me in helping our practice thrive and achieve our goals is at the top of my list. You can bet I will be listening and taking notes!

    3. Employment Law Basics for the Small Ophthalmology Practice (#477)
      Monday, Nov. 13 – 2 to 3 pm
      Understanding basic employment laws will assist me with the never-ending human resource constraints I frequently face. I don’t have a human resource department that I can run to and hand-off problems so it’s essential that I know where and how to obtain HR-related resources and information when I need it.

    4. Small Practice Open Mic (#436)
      Monday, Nov. 13 – 10:15 to 12:30 pm
      This course is exceptionally thrilling for me. This course brings together other practice managers from small practices in one room where they can ask questions and obtain information. In my experience, there’s no better learning opportunity than having the chance to network in person-- especially with others who understand the trials and tribulations of running a small practice. This is definitely high priority on my must-attend list of courses for AAO 2017!

    5. New! Streamlining Your Hiring Process: Group Interviews (#608)
      Tuesday, Nov. 14 – 9 to 10 a.m.
      This course caught my attention due to the possibility of how I may change my hiring process. At present, I am still interviewing one on one. I cannot wait to hear how this scenario works as well as the pros and cons of this hiring process.

    As I plan my time and choose my courses and tracks, I am thrilled to see the number of new courses available. I depend on AAOE to offer the information needed to achieve and excel in advancing our practice and staying well-informed. I look forward to seeing all my colleagues at AAO 2017.

    Natalie Loyacano, COMT, OSA, OCS, ROUB is a member of the AAOE Board and practice administrator for The VitreoRetinal Eye Center in Biloxi, MS.