Continuous education is a necessity for every professional, particularly in this day and age of rapid technology and product advancements. At the same time, competition exists for time spent out of the office, and doctors are becoming more discerning where that time is spent. These are some of the reasons that HEA developed an Education Pathway as one of its five pillars for providing members with solutions simplified. With increasing need and less time available due to busy lifestyles, HEA is committed to providing education that includes both in-person and online education and training programs.
In the November/December issue of Solutions, NEA National Advisory Board (NAB) member and board-certified LDO Kara Colecchia talks about the challenge of arranging for the required education for five opticians. Not only is it costly, she says, but “if we are all trying to get our CE on the same weekend, it also means closing the showroom for a day. So there’s the hit of having no sales,” she says.
HEA is developing an online learning management system, which includes both practice management and staff training, as well as managed vision care and disease management tips. These “on demand” programs will soon be available to HEA members through the company’s website. NAB member Kevin Henne, OD, says, “I’d appreciate the opportunity and convenience to fulfill more of those educational requirements online.”
Members will have the chance to experience HEA’s Ocular Symposium, an expansion of HEA’s popular, COPE-certified program, with the first event on Jan. 27, 2019, in Orange, California. Lorie Lippiatt, OD, EVP, HEA Professional Strategies, says that offering COPE education at popular, easily accessible locations, and offering eight hours in one setting, makes good business sense for many ODs. “By expanding HEA’s COPE-certified program nationwide, HEA will be able to help with that challenge.”
NAB member Kimberly K. Friedman, OD, FAAO, notes the importance of an educated staff at all positions. “Our practices are only as good as our staff’s level of education. That’s not only true of the doctor but of each person within the office. A well-educated and well-trained staff makes the patient experience a positive one.” NAB member Dustin Krassin, OD, agrees, noting that patients spend more time interacting with staff than they do with doctors.
Dr. Lippiatt notes that HEA is developing a simplified solution for staff meetings as well. “Our ‘staff meetings in a box’ will be a benefit of HEA membership. Each month, HEA member offices will be able to follow a templated format, concentrating on key performance indicators which are important to each practice.”
These templates can bring a level of organization and professionalism to meetings, says NAB member John Rosten, OD. “Staff meetings can be highly effective in building teamwork and organizational quality, but if meeting time isn’t effective, it’s a disincentive for staff members and doctors to want to commit the time to planning them. In contrast, a meeting that has some practical or interesting educational element can enthuse the whole team.”
Read the full cover story in the digital edition of Solutions.