My Innovation Wish List
These three technologies will benefit your practice. . . if they only existed.
April Jasper, O. D.
If you were to make a wish list of the technology that you want to add to your practice, it would probably consist of various devices and programs that your colleagues recommended and found to be valuable to their practices.
However, this year, my wish list is comprised of technology that does not yet exist. I, like you, love to dream of ways to make our practices even better for our patients, and my hope is the mere mention of the innovation will be the impetus for development.
Here are my top three technologies that I think would benefit most optometric practices.
1 Hands-on staff training program
It always amazes me that our industry requires staff to understand almost as much about eye care as optometrists immediately upon hiring. I remember being instructed as a new hire to sell polycarbonate lenses, anti-reflective treatments without much understanding of the eyes or an eye exam. It took several weeks to have even a general understanding about the products I was being required to sell.
My wish is that we can improve the learning process for the benefit of our staff, practices and, ultimately, our patients. In other industries, new hires go through an extensive training process with online courses and videos detailing required tasks. I look forward to a similar program that virtually walks through each area of our offices, from appointment scheduling to frame styling, and emphasizes how to make each touch point memorable.
I’d love this training opportunity for staff to shorten their learning curve and better understand our industry.
2 Optometric human resources company
Many O.D.s are challenged to understand taxes, benefits, workman’s compensation, insurance and more, and I feel optometry needs an eyecare-related company that could take over these legal and human resource responsibilities. This would help avoid expensive penalties, fines and lawsuits and provide peace of mind that you don’t have to be the expert.
This company would be responsible for making certain every practice has the correct amount and types of insurance at the right price. Also, they would ensure we are filing and paying government agencies the correct amount in a timely manner.
3 Research and discovery resources
Since leaving residency within the VA system, I miss having the ability to look up current articles and information on topics that challenge me daily. Most of the peer-reviewed journals require individual subscriptions to obtain access, which is expensive.
I’d love greater access to the same resources for research and discovery in optometry or health care as our colleagues in education. The focus today is evidence-based medicine, and it can be challenging for the average O.D. to keep up with everything, especially with the difficulty accessing the articles. If these companies created a system to provide access to all journals for one price, we could maintain the highest level of understanding in health care.
Innovation is happening all around us. Until we verbalize what we need, it is unlikely to ever be reality. OM