Tips, Trends & News You Can Use
February 13, 2006, my business partner and dear friend Bob Boucher, 59 years old,
passed away after battling a serious illness for the past few months. Bob was a
wonderful role model for all who knew him. His business savvy, knowledge and experience
impacted the lives of so many in both vision care and business publishing over many
1968 graduate of Bucknell University, Bob started his business-publishing career
at The Chilton Company in 1969. During the next 23 years, Bob worked for The U.S.
Business Press, Gordon Publications and served as President and CEO of Gralla Publications
in New York. In 1992, Bob was recruited by the equity firm Brentwood and Associates
to form Cardinal Business Media as President and CEO. Over the next five years,
Cardinal grew to be a dominant player in business publishing, serving numerous specialty
areas including the optical and vision care markets. In 1997, I had the privilege
of acquiring the vision care titles and a number of technology publications with
Bob, and Boucher Communications Inc. was formed. The business grew steadily and
by 2005, we were the publishers of five leading eyecare-related publications, Ophthalmology
Management, Optometric Management, Eyecare Business, Contact Lens Spectrum and our
newest publication, Retinal Physician, which we launched in 2004. Along with his
tireless work in the office, Bob was also active on several boards, as well as the
American Business Media.
In September 2005, we sold our
company to Wolters Kluwer, a leading provider of healthcare communications around
the world. As I look back over our years together in business, I realize how fortunate
I was to know such a great man. Speaking for our employees, colleagues and many
industry friends, Bob will be missed by everyone he touched in his life.
Bob is survived by his wife, Mary Lou,
his sons, Michael and Brian, his parents, Robert N. Boucher, Sr., and Charlotte
K. Boucher, five grandchildren, and his brother, David M. Boucher.
The family is requesting donations
in Bob's memory be made to the American Brain Tumor Association (1-800-886-2282
Pat Herron, Executive Publisher, LWW VisionCare
New Alphagan Formulation Announced
has introduced Alphagan P (brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solution) 0.1%, a new
formulation of the original Alphagan 0.2% and Alphagan P 0.15%. This new
for open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension was designed to ensure that patients
receive maximal therapeutic efficacy, while the lower dose of brimonidine (0.1%)
significantly reduces patient exposure to the drug.
from a 12-month clinical trial show that IOP reductions achieved with Alphagan P
0.1% ophthalmic solution were clinically equivalent to those reached with Alphagan
0.2%. The difference in mean IOP reductions between Alphagan P 0.1% and Alphagan
0.2% was less than 1mm Hg at all time points over a 12-month follow-up period.
DO YOU SET THE BAR TOO LOW?
Pop Quiz: A
Quick Test of Your Loyalty I.Q.
customer loyalty is the single most important driver of long-term profitability,"
say Scott Robinson and Claire Brand, authors of "Emotion Marketing" (McGraw-Hill,
2001). With that in mind, here's a quick test of your Loyalty I.Q.
retention is the same thing as patient loyalty.
►The outcome of a visit
determines a patient's evaluation of the experience.
►The goal of most transactions
is to meet patient expectations 100%.
Patient retention is not the same thing as patient loyalty. If yours is the only
optometric practice in town, you'll retain your patients. Suppose, however, other
practices, perhaps lower-cost ones, open in your area? Will your patients remain
loyal? Loyalty implies a choice. It's a very important distinction.
Patients typically use two criteria to evaluate their overall experience: process
and outcome. Both must match the client's expectations to be judged satisfactory.
If either falls short, it will result in a negative experience. For example, if
your diagnosis and Rx successfully resolve a patient's vision problem but the receptionist
is rude, the patient's overall evaluation will be negative. If you and your staff
provide five-star service but fall short in the patient's mind on the comfort of
contact lenses, the evaluation will again be negative. What this means is that the
caring is as important as the care itself.
But that's the problem. Many optometric practices set the bar too low, at the expectation
level, and thus only provide the basics of what patients expect. "Core service doesn't
generate loyalty," says Stephanie A. Busty, a training specialist at New York City's
Beth Israel Hospital. "It's getting the service up to extraordinary levels. We want
to exceed expecta-tions. We want to knock their socks off." (E.B. Fein, "Hospitals
Get Hoteliers' Service Lessons," The New York Times, July 24, 1995, B1, B6)
-- By Bob Levoy, O.D.
FDA APPROVAL & CLEARANCE
►The FDA recently approved Exubera (insulin human [rDNA origin], Pfizer), a dry powder
insulin that is inhaled using a handheld inhaler. Exubera is the first inhaled and
non-injectable insulin option in the United States since the introduction of insulin
more than 80 years ago.
FDA has approved ISTA Pharmaceuticals' supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA)
for Xibrom (bromfenac ophthalmic solution) 0.09%, expanding Xibrom's indications
to include the treatment of pain following cataract surgery. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
solution was originally approved for the treatment of ocular inflammation following
Engineering GmbH has received FDA clearance for the company's SL-OCT product, the
first commercial optical coherence tomography device used for cross-sectional anterior
segment imaging. The SL-OCT provides easy-to-use, noncontact cross-sectional scans
of the anterior segment. Chamber angle, pachymetry, flap thickness, corneal curvature
and comprehensive biometric measurements are possible with the instrument, as well
as pre- and post-surgical comparisons.
FOR EYECARE VETERAN
Vistakon Appoints Clompus as Director
Richard Clompus, O.D.
has named Richard Clompus, O.D., to the newly-created role of director, Professional
Development. Dr. Clompus will be responsible for managing Vistakon's professional
development programs for current practitioners.
In his 26 years in the vision care industry, Dr. Clompus managed
his own primary care optometric practice, where he provided comprehensive family
eye care, contact lens and low vision rehabilitation services. He has also served
as a clinical faculty member of The Eye Institute at the Pennsylvania College of
Optometry. Most recently he was vice president, Professional Affairs for The Spectacle
Lens Group of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc.
recently broke ground on new space to compliment the company's existing facility
in Jacksonville, Fla. Marco will use the 10,000 square-foot addition for technician
training on the EPIC Refraction System, additional staff and the increasing demand
Optical named Diversified Ophthalmics the 2005 Transitions Lab of the Year. The
Cincinnati, Ohio-based lab was recognized during the 10th-annual Transitions Academy
in Orlando, Fla.
►Lisa G. Wohl, M.D., recently received
the Paragon CRT Eye Care Practitioner of the Year Award for 2005. This 12-month
national Eye Care Practitioner program is based on postcards from patients, recognizing
their ECP for providing outstanding service and patient care related to their personal
experience of wearing Paragon CRT lenses for overnight corneal reshaping. Dr. Wohl
fit over 200 patients with CRT lenses.
►The Power Practice, an optometric consulting
company, recently named Dr. John Burns and his team at Eye Design in Clinton, Md.,
as the "Practice of the Year for 2005." The award is given each year to practices
that demonstrate exemplary clinical skills and patient care services.
International now offers an online glaucoma test
The Peristat visual fields test, the first online glaucoma test to receive FDA clearance,
takes two to three minutes per eye to complete and will cost users a fee of $15.
Eyecare professionals evaluate the responses and e-mail them to patients within
24 hours. If results indicate glaucoma is a possibility, test takers will be asked
to see an eye care specialist.
What Can Internet Groups Offer Optometry?
has been popular since the introduction of the World Wide Web, but professionals
are taking it a step further.
Several Web-based communities are now devoted specifically to
optometric interests. Each uses a slightly different method of connecting its members.
List serve communities, such as Optcom, use e-mail to distribute messages to all
of the list's subscribers. Members can send messages and reply to others.
(which provides a forum for Optometric Management and other LWW Visioncare
publications) and ODwire.org (formerly Seniordoc.org) are bulletin-board services
that groups messages together by subject headings. All members have access to the
bulletin board, but each has the ability to choose which messages to read. ODwire
users can subscribe to receive messages under a certain heading, but they will not
receive all messages as through the list serve option. Each choice has its advantages.
Online communities offer O.D.s something they can't get at a local
association meeting, says Richard Hom, O.D., of San Mateo, Calif., and moderator
for ODwire.org's computer/software section. "The solo practitioner can't talk to
the O.D. down the street because that's his competition." Here, they can ask questions
anonymously to colleagues all over the globe.
Online communities also offer O.D.s the chance to compare experiences
with software, equipment, clinical presentations, etc. "Sometimes doctors are unaware
of the same problem happening all across the country," says Dr. Hom.
Some communities also offer help from industry experts. The success
of ODwire.org spawned the creation of Proactive Optometric Physicians (POP), a group
that offers members one-on-one consultations with consultants who are retained by
the site. This is especially helpful, for example, if a doctor has a legal problem.
POP members also benefit from buying-group discounts.
Online communities offer the benefits of just that, a community,
all at the click of the mouse.
The Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International
Opening Eyes (SOLCIOE) vision program is urging all members of the American Optometric
Association to enroll in the Special Olympics Provider Directory, a health care
provider list for people with disabilities in North America.
Optometrists are also invited to join
their local SOLCIOE program. SOLCIOE, which was funded as a subprogram of the AOA
Sports Vision Section, provides vision care to persons with intellectual disabilities.
enroll in the directory, log on to www.specialolympics.org/provider directory.
For further information on SOLCIOE, please contact: Paul Berman, O.D., F.A.A.O.,
Global Clinical Advisor & Founder, SOCLIOE, at
Marketing & Promotions
the fashion and lifestyle initiative of the Vision Council of America (VCA), shared
the latest trends in eyewear and sunwear with over 30 million Americans in 2005,
says the council. Top placements included the New York Post, Life and
Style Weekly, Us Weekly, a number of newspapers and broadcast coverage
in two segments on the CBS Early Show.
►Vision-Ease Lens, a
leading polycarbonate ophthalmic lens company, announced an "Ultimate Rewards Program,"
which rewards ECPs for dispensing Vision-Ease Lens products. For more information,
call (800) 328-3449 or visit their Web site at
In the February issue of Optometric Management,
the headline on p. 15 incorrectly referenced the CooperVision Biomedics XC as a
silicone hydrogel lens. It is a PC hydrogel lens. In the chart on p. 74, the
Biomedics XC was also incorrectly listed as a silicone hydrogel lens. We regret
Optometric Management, Issue: March 2006