EYECARE: Optometry [Partner Post] Why Dr. Nafey Prioritizes Staff and Technology to Promote Growth By Staff Friday, April 17, 2020 12:00 AM The following is an interview with Dr. Masoud Nafey OD, FAAO, Chief Medical Officer at VisionWeb. Here he outlines the important role staff and technology play in running a successful practice. What is your key to maintaining a balance between professional and personal growth? It is difficult when your professional life meshes with your personal life. Many of my closest friends are also my industry colleagues, so I can attest to this. However, I also have childhood friends that I spend time with allowing me to take a break from the world of eyecare. That is why the first step is to have work-life balance. Once that is achieved, I’ve learned it is much easier to separate the two. For me, I’ve found both professional and personal growth occurs naturally if one is curious enough and willing to actively participate in lifelong learning. As a businessman for my father’s businesses, my eagerness to learn more about patient care and healthcare led me to my doctor of optometry degree. Then, as an industry executive, my eagerness to learn more about the intricacies of business led me to my MBA program. At the end of the day, my faith, family, and friends are more important than anything. Although my professional life keeps me busy every day, I always make time for the personal components of what makes me who I am today.How do you keep your staff motivated and incentivized? As a business leader, I’ve learned that our people require purpose, recognition, appreciation, and challenges that lead to growth opportunities. First off, we all need purpose. Staff need to know their purpose. In an optometric practice, they need to understand they’re equally responsible for the care of the patient as the doctors. For example, I may have detected and diagnosed the ocular melanoma, but it was my staff who took the call, listened to the patient’s concerns, immediately booked their appointment, performed the necessary tests for me to evaluate, and billed the insurance so the patient can be seen. One may argue it is our staff that serves our mission of patient care even more than we do as doctors. “Care for your staff just as you care for your patients— it’s that easy.” Secondly, recognition and appreciation is imperative. We all have heard the saying, “people don’t leave companies, they leave people.” This is because no one wants to work for a boss that doesn’t appreciate and acknowledge hard work and extra effort. Also, employees don’t reach their full potential when their bosses aren’t invested in their professional and personal growth. Growth often comes with sacrifice and discomfort and some staff are more willing to accept this than others. Nevertheless, it is important for leaders to recognize that all their teams need to be challenged and pushed outside their comfort zone in order to grow to the next level. Is there upcoming technology in the eyecare or healthcare industry that you’re aware of? As an optometrist and a technologist, I’m excited about Artificial Intelligence and its use in eyecare. However, I do acknowledge that although AI will bring us new benefits, it can also potentially harm us. “I firmly believe new technology is neither good nor bad—the ethical dilemma lies in how you use the tools. If we utilize AI for good, I believe it can enhance patient care and the doctor-patient relationship.” For example, AI is already being used in detection of diabetic retinopathy via retinal photography. There are technologies that also use AI by inputting ocular issues into chatbots to help patients understand the severity of their symptoms. This helps patients book the appropriate appointment with their local optometrist. I hope VisionWeb is the first to implement this technology someday as part of Uprise EHR/PM. The right technology can also help optometrists tackle the challenge of conducting their work remotely. Uprise EHR and Practice Management has a new telehealth option to support you when you most need it. Learn more here.