What you don’t know will hurt you

Benchmarking your data is just smart business. You became an ophthalmologist to practice medicine, not to angst over columns of numbers on a spreadsheet.

But these days physicians must wear several hats ­— and green eyeshades — to ensure practice profitability. In the past 30 years margins have flip-flopped from 60 percent profit to as much as 70 percent expenditure, says John Pinto.

“It has become obligatory that practices get better at tracking these figures,” says Pinto, president of J. Pinto and Associates, a management consulting firm in San Diego, Calif., that works with ophthalmic practices.

“Benchmarking is an integral part of our financial reporting because it allows you to compare yourself internally and externally,” says Corinne Wohl, administrator for the 12-physician Delaware Ophthalmology Consultants practice in Wilmington. “If you are not using benchmarks you are looking at certain financial results, but you don’t really know exactly how you got there and what were the drivers behind those financial results.”

Read more from Robert Calandra on why benchmarking is important for your business.