Take steps to close the gap between expectations and actual experiences

One of the recurring themes in this, our “Annual Optical Issue,” is expectations. For example, Drs. Susan Keene and Greg Aker both set expectations so that their patients understand they may need more than one pair of glasses to meet varying vision needs (see pps. 16 and 20, respectively).

The atmosphere in an optometric practice is filled with the expectations of the doctor(s), staff and patients. By establishing, understanding and communicating expectations, practices can close any gaps between expectations and actual experiences. In other words, once a practice identifies expectations, it can begin to meet and exceed them.

Regarding expectations, below is a sample of what you can expect in this issue of OM.


Opportunities to meet patients’ vision requirements “are more abundant than ever,” writes Dr. Keene in “Make Multiple Pairs a Reality” (p. 16). No one step alone can meet these requirements, rather, it involves a series of steps along the patient’s journey through the practice, Dr. Keene notes.

Refraction results are sometimes difficult to deliver, as many “fear being perceived as a salesman,” says Dr. Aker in “Explaining Refraction Results” (p. 20). To overcome this fear, Dr. Aker offers action steps that provide an additional benefit: They facilitate patient loyalty.

To give your practice an edge in customer service, consider creating partnerships with frame vendors, writes Carey A. Patrick, O.D., in her article on frame vendor negotiations (p. 22). When done well, these relationships can also enhance the performance of your optical.

In addition to optical content, this issue of OM addresses two top-of-mind issues for many eye care professionals. In “Myopia So Far” (p. 34), Thomas Aller, O.D., cites more than 50 sources to explain “what we know, what we think we know and what we don’t know” about the condition.

Senior Associate Editor Shannon Simcox interviews four optometrists who recently completed private equity transactions in “Partnering With Private Equity” (p. 29). The doctors describe their experiences and offer management tips for those who might be considering this path for their practices. OM