O.D. to O.D.

New Years' Opportunities: Are You "in Focus"?

o. d. to o. d.

New Years’ Opportunities: Are You “in Focus”?

Energize your practice with effective, long-lasting change. You can start with contact lenses.


BY SCOT MORRIS, O. D., F. A. A. O. Chief Optometric Editor

Welcome to 2014. With every new year comes an amazing, new opportunity to change. Since effective, long-lasting change requires intention and priority, let’s break down practice improvement into more approachable, realizable tasks.

Intensive evaluation

Let’s start with a question: When was the last time you performed an intensive contact lens (CL) practice evaluation? (Hint: If it wasn’t in 2013, then it is time.) Your CL business has huge potential if you are paying attention. Now comes the fun part: Document your current CL sales to clearly see where you want to be (and how much you will have changed when you look back). Date the top of this page, and document the following key baseline amounts:

▸ Annual supply percentage: # of annual supply orders ÷ the total # of CL orders = ______%.

▸ Average profit (per box): average sales price/box minus average cost per box = $______

▸ Average fitting fee: annual CL fit sales ÷ the # of CL exams) = $_____

These are your new 2014 baselines.

Exploring growth opportunities

For stage two, spend a week with each of the baselines, and explore related growth opportunities. For example, how do you position CL materials in your office? How do you best communicate the need for CLs? With the answers, set new goals and design daily procedures to reach them. Involve staff. Then start changing.

Focusing on one baseline per quarter (or any three-month period), implement your changes. In the last quarter, review successes, and tweak what didn’t work. Small changes in prices and procedures can significantly impact your business goals when you consider the sheer volume of potential CLs in your business.

Your CL business builds the vision and medical sides (at least the ocular surface disease part) of your business, if you just listen to consumers and address their issues.

Keep an eye out

Before I sign off, please keep your eyes out for some top-notch articles. If you have ever considered renting or owning (yes, that is almost all of us), then Drs. Barker’s and Stockbridge’s take on real estate is a “have-to-rip-out-and-read.” Another thought-provoking article is Dr. April Jasper’s “Innovation Wish List.” Good stuff.

Also, check out our new sections. The first, a more detailed focus on certain conditions of the front and back of the eye, are broken into two sections titled “The Front” and “The Back.” In addition, the Specialty CL section provides insights on the latest designs and fitting pearls.

Looking ahead

Lastly, let me comment on how excited I am about this coming year at OM. We have some discussion-stirring, controversial things coming up. As always, please contact us to let us know your viewpoints. We want this to be the one journal that you rely on to learn about and improve your business. OM