Article Date: 6/1/2012



What does it take to build a successful eye care practice that will endure? Simply put, happy patients — and the referrals they generate — are the foundation of a successful practice. In today's economy, pleasing patients while maintaining efficiency and profitability has become increasingly difficult. During a recent roundtable discussion, five optometrists with varied backgrounds, ages and practice settings shared their philosophies and the tactics that have helped them achieve long-term practice success despite these challenges.

Here you will find highlights of the panel's day-long discussion, including:

■ How they define success
■ Metrics they use to stay on track
■ How they set and stay focused on practice goals
■ Proven tactics to attract and retain patients
■ Why addressing the chief complaint isn't enough
■ How to ask for — and receive — referrals
Read on to learn how happy patients create the practice referrals that promote long-term success.

Moderator Kim Castleberry, OD, who has been in practice for 28 years, is president and CEO of Plano Eye Associates in Texas. This single-office, multi-doctor practice boasts 7,000-square-feet with 15 exam rooms. Although contact lens patients make up a significant portion of the practice, contact lenses are not sold there.
Thomas M. Bobst, OD, FAAO, immediate past president of the Ohio Optometric Association, practices in Rocky River, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. He has been in practice for 30 years. About 50% of his general optometry practice is devoted to contact lenses.
Mile Brujic, OD, is a partner of Premier Vision Group, a four-location optometric practice in Northwest Ohio. Dr. Brujic has a special interest in managing ocular disease and contact lenses. At Premier Vision Group, they strive to always improve the patient experience.
A 2007 graduate of Pacific University College of Optometry, Joshua LaHiff, OD, is a partner in Cheyenne Vision Clinic in Wyoming, where they will be adding an office and two associates this year. This medically based practice sees a significant number of dry eye cases as well as urgent care patients.
Kerry Pearson, OD, has been practicing for 27 years. He is the owner of Pearson Eyecare Group, with three offices in the Phoenix metro area. The practice's focus is on primary eye care and contact lenses.

Optometric Management, Issue: June 2012, page(s): 2