Have you ever made a whirlpool? As kids, my little sister and I would swim in the same direction around the perimeter of our small pool until we decided to stop and proceed in the opposite direction. We would fight against the current until it gave in. We went swimming at a local river a few days after a hurricane. There were two small waterfalls on opposite sides of a large rock. I swam toward the rock and the current was incredibly strong, but I knew that if I swam against it eventually it would break. I was wrong; the current pulled me under, and my life flashed before my eyes. I was drowning. The water was deep and as an adult I tower at a magnificent 5’ 2” so you can imagine what I was working with at 10. My older sister pulled me up from the water and I gasped for air. The craziest part of it all is I had no idea I was drowning. Like me, there are practices drowning and they don’t even know it.
The industry is changing—there are advances in technology, new products, devices and services that are available to patients. Large corporations are marketing directly to consumers. Patients are able to have virtual refractions. Most of us rely on smartphones, laptops and iPads just to get through the day. What steps can be taken to ensure both your practice and your patient base are able to benefit from your knowledge around these advances?
Remain in tune with what is taking place in the industry
Explore your options to ensure you take on technological advances that are in the best interest of your business
Explore advances in the medical care Optometrists are now able to offer; is there an area you are passionate about that can improve the quality of care you are able to offer and drive revenue?
Align your product offerings with the latest and greatest available from your vendors
Invite patients to engage with family and friends via video chat during frame selection
Increase your online presence
Consider online appointment scheduling and patient forms
Make necessary upgrades to the technology offered in your practice
Equip your staff with the knowledge they need to educate your patients on the new products and services you have to offer. Advances in technology are also being used by our vendors in the development of more innovative patient solutions. What does that look like and what impact does it have?
Online eye exams only offer a refraction which accounts for a small part of a comprehensive exam. What’s the difference?
In order for businesses to thrive in today’s landscape practices must evolve with the times. The question is, are you adapting to the changes or fighting against the current?
Ximara is an ABO Certified Optician and lecturer with over a decade of experience in both consumer relations and staff management in the optical industry. As an Optical Management Consultant with IDOC, she works with practices to develop processes designed to motivate and inspire positive change in areas such as staff training, goal setting, sales and inventory management. For questions or comment about this article, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.