OCT 2012

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

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Page 29 of 168

October 2012 EW NEWS & OPINION COE designation: Helping your administrator lead the practice by Vanessa Caceres EyeWorld Contributing Writer I t takes a lot of knowledge and skill to run an ophthalmic practice these days. Those who earn the Certified Ophthalmic Executive (COE) designation, the national standard for oph- thalmic practice management, know how to make practices run all the more smoothly and profitably. The COE designation, offered through the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators (ASOA), promotes excellence and profession- alism in ophthalmic administration; recognizes individuals who possess the required levels of knowledge, skill, and abilities; assists employers in identifying individuals who meet nationally recognized standards in ophthalmic administration; and provides formal recognition for individuals who demonstrate com- petence in this field. Administrators earn the designation after preparing for and passing a comprehensive exam. Those who have taken the exam praise how it has enriched their career—and helped them to run a more efficient practice for their physicians. "Medical practice is getting more complicated," said David M. Donelson, M.D., Donelson Eye Associates, Greenville, S.C. "The exam helped my office manager put everything together." Dr. Donelson noted that his office manager, already an efficient-minded person, is now more confident in her job. Her knowledge has made it easier for him as the physician to attend to patient care. By taking the exam and earning the COE designation, office manager Hope Garrett, COE, Donelson Eye Associates, feels more capable, conscientious, and confident in per- forming her job. "Studying for the COE certification reinforced the im- portance and necessity of becoming more diligent in my responsibilities as Dr. Donelson's office manager— Digital continued from page 26 Editors' note: Dr. Gueramy is co- founder of DocbookMD. Mr. Jasa has no financial interests related to this article. Dr. Radcliff has financial interests with Carl Zeiss Meditec and Merge Healthcare. Contact information Gueramy: 512-383-5822, tim@docbookmd.com Jasa: 800-224-7254, Robert.jasa@pcli.com Radcliff: 201-925-0476, drradcliff@gmail.com 27 Practice managers, physicians praise the value of COE designation from understanding the urgency of undertaking and developing govern- ment-mandated compliance policies and procedures to getting up to speed on human resources issues … from recognizing the need for practice budgets to staying current with Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements," she said. "The COE designation has helped me professionally by getting me to refocus on the basic functions of managing and leading an oph- thalmic medical practice," said administrator Hugh Glatts, COE, Mittleman Eye Center, West Palm Beach, Fla. "In our busy roles as managers, sometimes we lose sight of those basic roles, such as human resources, finances, and marketing, and the important changes impact- ing those." The COE designation has required Mr. Glatts to stay abreast of those rapid changes, allowing him to better lead the practice. Although any practice adminis- trator can benefit from the COE des- ignation, it is particularly helpful for those at larger practices, said admin- istrator John S. Bell, COE, North Suburban Eye Associates, Wakefield, Mass. "When the crush of issues in the compliance and regulatory arena gets too great to manage themselves, physicians recognize the need for a strong administrator to help run their practices," Mr. Bell said. About the exam The exam covers material that an ophthalmic administrator with ap- proximately 3 years of experience should have mastered in areas such as human resources, business opera- tions, finance, and marketing. Appli- cants must be able to show at least 3 years of healthcare administration experience and 1 year or more of specific ophthalmic experience. Relevant experience includes the following content areas: finance and accounting, marketing, business operations, risk management and regulatory compliance, management information systems, human resources, and basic ophthalmic knowledge. Although any qualified appli- cant can take the exam, ASOA mem- bers receive a discounted application fee. Applicants can take the exam at a local testing center or at the ASOA Annual Meeting. Dr. Donelson suggested physi- cians consider the level of compe- tence that training such as the COE certification can bring to your prac- tice. "This has made my office man- ager a more confident person in her job," he said. For more information about the COE designation or ASOA, call 703- 788-5778, or visit asoa.org/coe. EW Editors' note: The sources have no financial interests related to this article. Contact information Bell: 781-928-2117, jbell@northsuburbaneye.com Donelson: 864-987-0034, hgarrett@donelsoneye.com Garrett: 864-987-0034, hgarrett@donelsoneye.com Glatts: 561-801-3695, hglatts@mittlemaneyecenter.com

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