Leslie E. O’Dell, OD, FAAO

While There’s No “I” in Team – Teamwork is Essential to Successfully Treat Dry Eye

Building a successful dry eye practice starts with a team approach. A team comprised of doctors, front desk personnel, technicians and even a dry eye coordinator when possible. Once the team is assembled, it needs constant coaching and attention to keep everyone working together towards a common goal.


Start with a solid foundation. Create a mission statement for your dry eye center and develop a protocol for diagnosing and treating patients. This protocol should be agreed upon by all doctors within the practice and modified over time as technology and research develops. Educate your staff. Set aside time for staff training and education on a monthly or quarterly basis. Open and frequent communication sparks positivity and this will make it easier to introduce new diagnostics and treatments in the future.


Make sure all team members are committed and realize how important their role is to the big picture of a successful dry eye practice. This will foster trust and with that trust you can build your brand. Your staff is the embodiment of this brand. They are the first and last point-of-contact with patients. Within the team, choose a dry eye champion, one person that is quick to learn and has a passion for helping patients. This staff member can be trained to be your dry eye coordinator. After the doctor makes the diagnosis and develops a treatment plan, the coordinator can step in to continue the patient education and help discuss pricing for any fee-for-service procedures you offer.


Share your passion to treat the ocular surface with your staff. Share your commitment to put the patient first. Set monthly or quarterly goals and celebrate the successes as a team. A team that cares about the patient and the mission of the practice will be motivated to strive for excellence. Ongoing positive feedback on a job well done goes a long way.

This article originally appeared in Ocular Surface News