I'm proud to introduce you to the Contact
Lens Practice Upgrade, sponsored by Vistakon. This innovative project began with
a roundtable discussion recapped in this supplement that included
Kelly K. Kerksick, O.D., Millicent L. Knight, O.D., Mary Jo Stiegemeier, O.D.,
and me. In this discussion, we focused on identifying the variables we believe most
often separate the average from the advanced contact lens practice.
Over the next several months, we'll
put this information into action in two practices one established and one
relatively new. To begin, several contact lens and practice management advisors
and I will assess the performance of each practice and then visit these practices
for baseline evaluations. Next, we'll develop a plan for enhancing the performance
of each practice and present our recommendations to the practitioner and his or
her staff in an office meeting format.
As a reader of Optometric Management,
you'll be able to follow the
progress of our initial site visit, the evaluation process, the presentation to
the doctor and staff, as well as the monitoring and follow-up portion of this project.
Our hope is that you, too, will be able to apply our strategies and recommendations
to your contact lens practice and, in doing so, experience the same increase in
patient satisfaction, profitability and professional satisfaction we hope these
practitioners will achieve.
Vistakon as well as those of us here at Optometric
Management and the contact lens and practice management advisors invite your observations
and suggestions as the Contact Lens Practice Upgrade progresses.
Walter D. West,
Chief Optometric Editor
Walter D. West, O.D., F.A.A.O.
West is the chief optometric editor of Optometric Management magazine. He is an
alumnus of the Southern College of Optometry, class of 1975. He is a Fellow of the
American Academy of Optometry, a member of the American Academy of Professional
Coders, a member of the American Optometric Association (AOA), the Contact Lens
Section of the AOA and the Tennessee Optometric Association.
Dr. West founded the Primary
Eyecare Group in Brentwood, Tenn., in 1975. He was the managing partner of this
group practice until 2002. Currently, Dr. West provides consulting services to private
practitioners, as well as to manufacturers of contact lenses, pharmaceuticals and
medical equipment. Dr. West specializes in teaching leadership and communication
skills as a foundation for enhanced practice performance.
In addition to his experience in private
practice, Dr. West lectures nationally and internationally on contact lenses, marketing,
communication skills and other practice-related topics. He has written and published
numerous articles and book chapters. Dr. West has written, produced and directed
several patient information and practitioner education videos. He is an adjunct
professor for the Southern College of Optometry. He has served as a consultant and
clinical investigator to most of the major contact lens and pharmaceutical manufacturers
in the eyecare industry.
K. Kerksick, O.D.
Kerksick is a 2002 graduate of the Southern College of Optometry. Following graduation,
she opened a private practice in rural southern Illinois, where she sees patients
of all ages from infants to nursing home residents. Dr. Kerksick enjoys the challenge
of specialty contact lens patients and has created a niche for her practice in this
Dr. Kerksick is an active member
of the Illinois Optometric Association (IOA) and the IOA's Political Action Committee.
She's a member of the Southwestern Local Society for Optometrists and the American
Optometric Association; and she participates in the AOA's new InfantSEE program.
Dr. Kerksick is a charter member of Women of Vision.
L. Knight, O.D.
Knight began her optometric career 18 years ago in a hospital-based ophthalmology/optometry
comanagement practice. She provides comprehensive eye care, specializing in cosmetic
and therapeutic contact lens designs. She is an active member of the American, National
and Illinois Optometric Associations, and has served as a National Board Examiner
and a member of the Illinois Licensing and Disciplinary Board of Optometry.
Dr. Knight also has served on
the National Advisory Council of the National Eye Institute, reviewing eye-related
research grants. She consults and writes on contact lenses and practice management
issues. She serves on the Board of Trustees of both the Illinois College of Optometry
and the Augustana College, her alma maters.
Jo Stiegemeier, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Stiegemeier is in private practice in Beachwood and Hudson, Ohio, where she specializes
in contact lens fitting. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University College
of Optometry, where she earned the Bausch & Lomb Contact Lens Award. Dr. Stiegemeier
was also presented with a Distinguished Teaching Award from Mt. Sinai Hospital,
Cleveland, Ohio, where she taught contact lens fitting to ophthalmology residents.
Dr. Stiegemeier is an adjunct assistant clinical professor for
Pacific University College of Optometry, a Diplomate in Cornea and Contact Lens,
a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a member of the American Optometric
Association (AOA) and the AOA Contact Lens Section. Her offices serve as mentoring
sites for optometry students who express an interest in contact lenses. Dr. Stiegemeier
has lectured extensively on contact lenses and has done numerous clinical studies
and premarket tests, as well as contact lens research. She has written or co-written
several scientific publications and abstracts.
Optometric Management, Issue: July 2005