A Vision and Dental Shared Facility
Member Spotlight: Kiarash Bassiri, OD
Dr. Kiarash Bassiri knew he had found the right business partner soon after he started his career as an optometrist in Raleigh, N.C. In fact, the connection was so strong, he married her.
Today, Dr. Bassiri, OD, and his wife, Dr. Hoda Bassiri, DDS, run their practices – Fusion Eyecare and Fusion Dental – in the same office. But much like any good marriage, each partner has their own space.
Dr. Kiarash Bassiri sees his eye care patients in one half of the building, while Dr. Hoda Bassiri sees her dental patients in the other half. But they have plenty of shared common areas.
“In the building, we share the lobby, front desk, patient bathrooms, staff lounge, staff bathroom, storage areas and physician office,” Dr. Bassiri explains.
“But the way our schedules are carved out, she comes in an hour early, takes her lunch an hour early, and leaves the office an hour before I do and in between we are busy seeing patients,” Dr. Bassiri says.
“So, we actually don’t see each other as much as people would think,” he says.
Timing Plays an Important Role
“We met shortly after I graduated from Optometry school and began working at the vision center at a local Walmart, and my wife had just entered dental school at UNC School of Dentistry,” Dr. Bassiri says.
“By the time she graduated and was ready to open her practice, I was ready to move on and open my own private practice,” he explains.
“I had an idea that if we opened a joint office, I could help her, especially since at that point I had 7 years of experience in my profession and an established patient base,” he says.
Soon after they found the right property that could accommodate two businesses, Dr. Bassiri says the transition was relatively easy, as he split his time between his current job and his new practice.
“I was able to retain a lot of patients from my current job,” he explains. “It ended up working out very well.”
Sharing Referrals and Resources
Many of Dr. Kiarash Bassiri’s patients ended up becoming Dr. Hoda Bassiri’s dentalvpatients. “Initially her number one source for referrals was from my practice,” he explains. “If the patients that had a good experience in my office were in need of a dentist, understandably they would visit my wife seeking the same patient-centered experience,” he states.
In the time since they started their joint practices, the Bassiris estimate to share approximately 35% of the same patients.
As Dr. Bassiri explains, each business has a different online presence, mostly for SEO purposes, but they do share a lot of joint marketing including flyers, branding, and other materials.
Another thing the businesses have in common? A shared office manager, who keeps both practices operating smoothly. “We have a driven and educated office manager that shares the same vision that we do. A talented office manager is one of the more difficult positions to hire for,” Dr. Bassiri says. “We’re pleased with who we have now, as he creates a better-quality office environment and really works on uniting the team to work as one cohesive unit.”
They can’t share all staff, due to their specialized work, but the front desk staff are cross trained to answer phones to enhance customer service.
“During the 1 hour the dentistry is closed for lunch, that’s when my staff can answer phones and speak to patients without having them wait,” Dr. Bassiri says. “And vice versa when my staff are at lunch an hour later. We strive to be very service-oriented.”
Although unconventional, Dr. Bassiri says that this creative arrangement has many benefits beyond cost.
“All too often, I see businesses try to take the same cookie-cutter approach,” he says. “It’s worth being a little different, especially in the specialties we’re in.”
“This setup won’t work for everybody,” Dr. Bassiri says, “But it works for us. My wife and I enjoy working together.”