What effect does contact lens dryness have in your contact lens practice? Of the 31
million soft contact lens wearers, 21 million, or 67%, self-report that eyes feel dry
during contact lens wear. There are nearly 2.7 million contact lens dropouts annually.
Many of these dropouts say dryness was a major reason for discontinuing lens wear.
Offering patients ACUVUE® OASYS™ Brand Contact Lenses with HYDRACLEAR™ Plus, a lens
designed to meet the demands of contact lens wearers in environments that can make eyes
feel tired and dry, can keep patients wearing their contact lenses longer and boost your
contact lens practice.
Hey – this is tip #200! That is a lot of tips! I’m still enjoying writing each weekly article and I
want to thank you, the reader, for your interest over the years. I hear from many of you via email
or in person at conferences and it’s very gratifying to me to know that some of these tips have
helped you with the management of your practice. Because our profession and our practices are
constantly changing, there are always plenty of new ideas to write about.
I thought I would use this milestone to take a look back and select what I think were the top 10
tips over the past four years. In case you aren’t aware, Optometric Management maintains an archive
of all past tips at its website, www.optometric.com. If any of these top 10 titles strike an interest
for you, the archive is available for you to retrieve the original article.
I selected these tips based on what I feel are the most important aspects of building a successful
practice or on the positive response it garnered from readers. I have inserted a comment or an update
with each one.
Tip #17 - Are You Monitoring Patient Satisfaction? Customer service and patient loyalty
are the cornerstones of practice building. Don’t just survey patients occasionally – do it
constantly. I’ve revised my patient response card slightly as shown here:
Gailmard Eye Center
Office Evaluation Card
We would appreciate
your assistance in completing the following
questions to help us better serve your eye care needs.
Was our staff courteous and
Were you seen in a timely
Was your examination
Were you satisfied with the
explanation of your visual conditions and treatment options
If fit with contact lenses
or glasses, did the service and quality meet your
Would you refer a friend to
our office for eye care?
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE
Tip #67 - Opened Boxes of Contact Lenses? This tip received a lot of email and I think
I made my local printer happy since many doctors asked for the information on my source. We still
use the stickers described and find it saves a lot of headaches.
Tip #113 - Technicians as Scribes. This clinical procedure is high level delegation and
once you get used to it, you will be spoiled for life. It is puzzling why chairside assisting is
pretty common in ophthalmology, yet still rare in optometry.
Tip # 139 – Want to Take Your Practice to the Next Level? Consider Hiring an Associate.
Once your practice is highly delegated and efficient, and if you’re still fortunate enough to be
busy and booked ahead, employing another optometrist offers a huge boost in production and
Tip # 146 – Making In-Office Collections a Snap. Discussing the exam fee, insurance
plans and payment policies over the phone when each appointment is scheduled sets the stage for
a great patient visit with no surprises. If your exam fees are so complicated and varied that
your staff can’t easily quote them, that could be a turn-off to patients.
Tip #147 – Many Reasons for Exam Efficiency. Here are six not-so-well-known reasons
why changing your clinical operations can be an effective part of your success plan.
Tip # 158 – Quiet on the Subject of Delegation? I’ve written many tips on various
aspects of delegation because it’s so important to success. Yet, it seems like doctors either
embrace the concept or shun it, and it’s hard to change habits. We can all take a step up on the
Tip # 160 – Staff Turnover and Training. Staff management is possibly the biggest
challenge faced by doctors in practice administration. Rather than avoiding the task, it’s best
to study it, devote more time to it, and become good at it. The topic is too large for any one
article, but this tip is a good overview.
Tip #176 – Avoiding Optometric Burnout. It’s easy to get in a rut and just continue to
do the same old thing in practice and in life. Here are some innovative ideas for breaking out of
the routine and making things happen. The result is enthusiasm that’s contagious to your staff and
Tip #185 – Four Trends that Concern Me. It’s surprising how quickly our profession has
adopted the standard of charging a higher fee for eye exams that have a medical diagnosis or
complaint, compared to a routine exam. Proponents feel that the decision making is higher, and
of course, we don’t want to leave money on the table when it comes to billing and coding… but my
point is that the routine exam is worth much more than we are charging. I’m not advocating lowering
the medical exam fee, I recommend raising the routine exam. I do the same tests and use my brain in
the same way in a comprehensive exam whether the patient has symptoms or not. This is only one of a
few trends that are controversial.
Thanks for your ongoing loyal readership. More to come next week!
Best wishes for continued success,
Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Editor, Optometric Management Tip of the Week
Dr. Gailmard's new book, Practice Management in Optometry: A Blueprint for Success Based on the Optometric Management Tip of the Week, is now available on Amazon.