Time for Some Spring Cleaning
BY JASON J. NICHOLS, OD, MPH, PHD, FAAO
Spring is in many ways one of my favorite seasons. To me, it's the most refreshing season and is always welcome after a long, cold winter.
With the arrival of spring also comes the time-honored "spring cleaning"—a tradition that apparently has been around for centuries throughout the world. Interestingly, it is thought that spring cleaning became especially popular in industrialized nations around the time that the vacuum cleaner was invented, as spring was a time that folks could open their windows and let the dust fly out.
I think the idea of spring cleaning is particularly relevant to our professional lives as well. Spring is an excellent time to work with staff to clean your office/practice. Take the time to get rid of expired contact lenses and solutions and to re-evaluate your examination and billing forms. Consider upgrading or replacing old equipment, or just take the time to simply clean off your desk. Let your staff know how valuable they are and how much you really do appreciate them. Focus on your skills—for instance, why not try out a new clinical technique that you learned through a continuing education conference? Why not incorporate the new testing device that you got a while back but have not had time to sit down and work through? How about re-thinking adding a new graduate to your practice?
Likewise, the idea of spring cleaning is also particularly relevant to your interactions with your patients. Spring is a good time to consider introducing patients to new technologies, products, and treatments. It's a good time to form a plan for reconnecting with patients on issues of compliance (or lack thereof)—for example, initiating the practice of reminding each contact lens patient to replace contact lenses on your recommended schedule, to replace lens storage cases regularly, and to use care systems as indicated and per your instructions (e.g., rub versus no-rub).
In summary, use this spring season as a time to re-evaluate your practice, toolbox, and patient care—open your windows and let in some fresh air. Your patients, staff, and colleagues with thank you for it.