7 Steps to Create a Distinctive Practice

Optometric Management

In an article written by April Jasper, OD, she details 7-steps to help O.D.s stay in the game.

  1. What why howEvaluate what you have – Take and inventory of what technology you have, what is new and going to be around, and what is going to be replaced.
  2. Determine what you want – Shoot for the stars and design the perfect piece of equipment for your practice’s needs.
  3. Document what you actually need – Have a check list of the “must have”, “would like to have” and “optional” categories.
  4. Investigate your options – Take time to shop around at the various industry meetings.
  5. Assess financial obligations and terms – Many times we forget that a technology-focused practice can and will be able to justify greater fees by creating value in the mind of the patient.
  6. Remember to plan for implementation – Any equipment purchase is risky if you have not plan for implementation…Also, make certain you have a plan for training your staff on the new technology, including operation and protocols.
  7. Develop a practice of distinction – I truly believe technology can be the key to developing a practice of distinction.

Why Add In-Office AR to Your Practice?

Presenting an AR option to your patients is more important than ever with AR coating applied to nearly 30% of all lenses sold. In a survey by the Vision Council of America, 60% of all eyewear consumers have a desire to purchase an AR lens but many consumers are not even offered the choice. According to 20/20 Magazine, “improvements have reached a point where AR is not just a “nice to have” but many consider AR a necessity. Sure wearers can live without it, buy why should they?”

The patient benefits of AR coating are undeniable. By minimizing surface reflections AR coating improves vision when dealing with overhead lighting, computer screens and window glare. Vision during night driving is also improved reducing the glare of oncoming headlights. AR lenses are more cosmetically appealing for improved patient appearance. Not offering an AR option is a missed opportunity to improve patient satisfaction and even more importantly, a missed opportunity to grow your practice profitability.

Past barriers to providing an AR option such as quality, delivery time and cost, are eliminated with the in-office nanoCLEAR AR unit. Designed for use with the Q-2100 Digital Lens System, the nanoCLEAR AR unit processes lenses that are anti-reflective with a hydrophobic/oleophobic top coat in under 90-minutes. Using nano particle technology, our breakthrough design is a small table top system that easily installs in most offices. It is clean quite and automated for easy operator integration. Priced about the same as an edger, the nanoCLEAR AR unit is an affordable and profitable addition to any practice.

For Your Patients: For Your Practice:
Clearer, sharper, vision More AR sales for more revenue
Durable, long lasting performance Reduced lab bills for more profit
Easy-to-clean surfaces Quicker delivery for more repeat business
Fast same-day service if necessary Improved quality for high patient satisfaction

The Text Connection

Learn the 5 Reasons Why Offering Up Texting is Good for Your Business

by Samantha Toth Eyecare Business December 2018

  • Patient Engagement: Providing a wide range of communication channels…allows patients to connect with you in the way that fits them best.
  • Patient Satisfaction: Four out of 5 patients say they prefer texting over calling their healthcare provider…
  • Easy Inquiries: Encourage your patients to test your practice to easily check on the status other eyewear, update their records, or cancel appointments…
  • Faster Responses: Have a patient coming into the office and need a quick answer before they arrive? Text them! It’s easy for your patients to reply when they cannot return your call.
  • Mo’ Marketing: Amp up your current marketing strategy through the integration of text messaging. Have your patients opt in to promotional messaging and share current deals or educational material with the via text…

Offer Your Patients a Great Experience

As shared by Dr. Pavan Avinashi in Optometric Management, offering your patients a great experience starts with having the right staff.

Foster a staff-centric culture:

  1. Happy StaffProper recruitment – Having the right players on your team starts with thorough selection process: a) start with a phone interview by staff member to assess personality and motivation b) interview in-person with the practice manager c) interview the candidate personally and define the practice’s culture and expectations d) allow the candidate to “shadow” a staff member to see how they interact with patients and employees
  2. Define working culture – Hiring the right fit doesn’t work unless you lead by example in creating a happy, comfortable and positive work environment.
  3. Motivate staff – The best way to do this is to incentivize your staff, a) daily inter-clinic challenges. This is done sporadically without notice b) monthly challenges, this changes month to month c) annual trip challenge, every month we make budget I put money into a trip fund then once a year we plan a trip where the entire team goes.
  4. Implementing touch points – Regular staff meeting are quintessential in maintaining team moral and solidarity.

 

Promote the Products You Produce!

Now that you are processing clearLIGHT plus, sunSMART II, and nanoCLEAR  digital lenses in-house, its time to promote the products you produce!

  • Review your product literature…are you talking about the clearLIGHT & sunSMART products?
  • Review your on hold message…are you telling your patients about the new digital lenses you produce direct to their prescription while they wait?
  • Review your employee compensation program…does your internal program encourage your staff to sell the products you produce?
  • Review your staff training program…do all team members know how to present the  new product offering to your patients?
  • Review your target production…have you implemented a target product rate for your in-house lab?

Build an Invested Team

Optometric Management, by Rebecca L. Johnson

  • Start with Vision: A good leader has a clear vision and the ability to communicate it to others in a way that they want to be a part of it.
  • Provide Job Descriptions: Most employees want to do a good job. Most often employees perform below our expectations because we have not properly communicated our expectations. Job description
  • Continue to Communicate: Role clarity is the first step in moving your team toward the same goal. In employee reviews and meetings, continue to emphasize the objectives of each employee and how his or her goals contribute to achieving the over-arching vision of the business to keep everyone on track.
  • Achieve Your Goals: Imaging setting a straight path to a destination, but every time you take 50 steps straight, you take one step to the right. Even though you are moving toward the destination, you will miss the mark. It is impossible for an organization to be successful when there isn’t clear alignment between its objectives and what employees spend time doing.

Be Sure to Capitalize on all the nanoCLEAR AR System Capabilities

As a nanoCLEAR AR system owner, you have the ability to produce AR progressive lenses in office in under 90-minutes! Let your patients know that you have invested in the latest technology to offer the ultimate in customer service.  In addition to nanoCLEAR AR, you have the ability to offer nanoXT hardcoat, nanoGUARD extra tough hardcoat and nanoCHROME/FLASH sunglass mirrors. Be sure to capitalize on all the specialized products you deliver.

Use this handy chart to remind staff and lab managers of the nanoCLEAR AR  system capabilities.

Is it All About Index?

Simple Answer: No

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement over a single number: higher index must be better. The simplicity is enticing. As with many technical topics, the reality is that a single performance aspect doesn’t provide enough information to judge true product quality. The idea that a lens with a certain index of refraction is a dead product or the next great thing just isn’t correct.

The More Technical Answer: Still No

If you’re into numbers, beyond index you also have to look at Abbe value, surface smoothness, processing-related deviation from target curves, required center and edge thickness (both for safety and the requirements of the frame it’s going in), lens power, your patient’s tolerance of chromatic dispersion, their eye movement patterns, the conscientiousness and equipment quality of the lab you’re using, etc. If you think it’s a lot to digest, imagine what it’s like for a patient trying to make the right decision.

Back To Simple: What’s the Wearer Say?

If you don’t want to spend the rest of your life trying to understand the minutia of every new lens that comes out, ask the people that have experience with the product. Optical Dynamics lenses have been judged by wearers and experts as some of best lenses they’ve encountered. Whether it’s a single vision or multifocal lens, people are impressed with the clarity and ease of patient adaptation. In the end, that’s really all those technical details are trying to convey anyway. Instead of using a bunch of time trying to decide if “the next great thing” is really that great, using a proven lens that wearers like can be safer and simpler.

The less simple explanation for the high praise we’ve received is that our lenses have exceptionally smooth surfaces, they precisely replicate the digital curves machined into our molds, and they are made from a lightweight, high Abbe polymer. Since the process eliminates the grinding and polishing steps normally used to make a lens, there are far fewer opportunities for machine or operator issues to cause optical problems.

A Fly In the High-Index Soup

The vexing thing about high-index lens materials is that the very people that need them most are also the most likely to experience one of their typical shortcomings. The more extreme the prescription, the more likely it is the wearer will be troubled by chromatic aberration in lower Abbe materials. For the most part, indices around the low 1.6’s are about the current limit on good Abbe performance. If you’re worried about chromatic dispersion, you can’t increase index greatly beyond where Optical Dynamics lenses are, so there’s not much thickness improvement to be gained. There can be significant cost differences though.

So if you have a moderate to low prescription where you don’t need the benefits of a high-index lens, high-index materials work very reliably. Hmmm, not the best story. It’s even less motivating when you think about the center and edge thicknesses required to produce a safe and sturdy lens for today’s rimless frames.

Don’t Just Take Our Word On It

When we say you should be using our lenses, there’s obviously a little bias involved. For a more impartial opinion, here’s what one of our customers has to say about them:

“Over the past couple years I have personally worn some of the “best” custom made progressive lenses available and the optics of the digital lenses from the Q-2100 are as good if not better. I am extremely impressed with the digital lenses the system produces and so are my patients.”

David Holliday, OD – Practicing since 1980 – Q-2100 user since 2000

Let’s sell more nanoCLEAR AR!

With the nanoCLEAR AR unit, AR sales should steadily increase. Traditional barriers to selling AR such as delivery time and reliability are eliminated with your in office system. According to a member of our user family in Columbus, MS, his AR sales have increased almost 80% with the addition of the nanoCLEAR AR unit.

Start by educating your staff on the benefits of AR coating. Everyone should understand the AR product.

  • By minimizing surface reflections, AR coating improves vision when dealing with overhead lighting, computer screens and window glare
  • AR lenses are more cosmetically appealing for improved patient appearance
  • Vision during night driving is improved reducing the glare of oncoming headlights
  • AR lenses provide improved visual comfort and reduces eye strain and fatigue

Make sure that all staff member are wearing the nanoCLEAR AR product. This way they can share their own experiences and use their lenses for demonstration when interacting with the patients.

Start the education process during the eye exam. As an Optometrist, your recommendation matters. If you share the importance of the product when in the exam room, the patient will be more likely to add when in the dispensary.

Utilize the above tips and watch your AR sales soar.

3 Unique Ideas for Small Business Success

Eyecare Business March, 2016 Ally of the Independent by Samantha Toth REPOST

  1. Fight Commoditization – Many people are turning to the internet for eyewear. Something that used to be available only through an eyecare professional is now widely available. The problem is that eyewear is a medical device – and quality varies widely. Features for one brand are not identical to another…By explaining to patients that you carry quality products and by offering your in-person expertise and follow-up you can fight commoditization. Unique 2
  2. Carry Unique Products – When you carry unique products that are sold only at independent practices, people can’t go online or down the street to try to buy the same thing for a slightly lower price. Instead they will ask you questions and advice, creating a dialogue about their needs and concerns. It’s easy to stand out when others can’t compete with what you are offering
  3. Inform Your Customers – Because you carry unique products you may have to explain to patients why your specialized eyewear is work the price…You have to supremely knowledgeable and who them that products from different companies are not identical