Article Date: 5/1/2013

Secrets of My Succe$s
practice profile
THE HUMAN SIDE OF OPTOMETRY

Secrets of My Succe$s

In 2012, my practice grossed close to $2 million.

ERIC M. WHITE, O.D., SAN DIEGO, CALIF.

I purchased my practice, Complete Family Vision Care, 26 years ago from a retiring doctor. The practice is in a high-technology area, and my patient base is mostly middle class. Through more than two decades, I have learned and implemented several strategies that have enabled my practice to become prosperous.

Here, I “share the wealth” by explaining exactly what I’ve done.

I’m enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

I truly love my profession and helping others, and I believe that my ability to convey that to my patients has created patient retention and referrals. In addition, I see patients Monday through Thursday, so I can travel to lectures and meetings to stay current on the latest goings-on. I’ve done this with great success for the last 20 years.

I’ve gone solo.

I utilize a well-trained staff vs. associates. I have two full-time and three part-time staff members.

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Dr. White personally educates his patients on the benefits of the latest ophthalmic lens technology.

I prescribe the “best” from exam chair.

Rather than handing off the patient to my opticians at the end of the exam to educate him/her on the latest high-definition ophthalmic lenses, I “prescribe” these lenses from the exam chair. The reason: Patients put more stock into what the optometrist says vs. the optician, as the optometrist is the doctor.

When I prescribe from the exam chair, I ask my patient, “Do you want to see optics like an HD TV or an analog TV?” Then I say, “I’m going to prescribe for you the most optically pure lens.” In addition to educating patients from the exam chair on the benefits of high-definition ophthalmic lenses, I also discuss the latest in contact lens technology.

I comanage LASIK patients.

I do all the pre- and post-op preparation in my office for a surgeon in nearby Mexico. This has given me an extra stream of revenue. Once a month, I pick up LASIK patients at their home, drive them to their surgery and bring them back. The reason: This gives me an opportunity to get to know my patients better, and the personal touch makes them more likely to stay with my practice and refer patients to me.

I use social media.

At the end of each day, I send a personal e-mail to each patient I see, thanking them for giving me the opportunity to be their eye doctor. Also, I ask him/her to refer me to their family and friends, and to “Yelp” (www.yelp.com) me. I currently have a very high score on Yelp, and I have gotten many new patients through this site.

The outcome

Although I practice just four days a week, last year my practice grossed just below $1.8 million, and I currently average more than $600 per patient visit. In 2013, my practice is on target to break $2 million. In addition, I dispense 90% digital high-definition ophthalmic lenses, and I received the 2012 Transitions Eyecare Practice of the Year award. OM

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Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: May 2013, page(s): 88