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Add a Sports Vision Niche to your Practice

As declining reimbursements and Internet vendors continue to chip away at the traditional profit centers for optometrists, many ODs are looking for ways to remain competitive.  Specialized services have attracted the attention of many practices looking to differentiate themselves.  If you have a passion for sports, helping your athlete patients enhance their vision and improve their athletic abilities can be a rewarding and profitable niche.

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We had a chance to speak with Dr. Don Teig.  Dr. Teig is former Director of the Institute for Sports Vision in Ridgefield, CT and served as a vision consultant to many professional sports teams.  He has authored numerous articles, lectured throughout the world on this topic, and appeared on several national television and radio programs discussing vision and sports.  Dr. Teig recently retired from private practice to devote his time to his sports vision consulting business, High Performance Vision Consulting.

New Media ODTell us a little about High Performance Vision Consulting?

Dr. Teig:  I established this program last year to train doctors to be able to incorporate a “soup to nuts” Sports Vision / High Performance Vision specialty niche into their practices.   I provide 16 hours of lectures over two days, a 700 page manual that covers all aspects of this specialty from testing, training, marketing, p.r., fees, testimonials, etc.  I also provide as part of the package, 6 months of follow up e-mail and telephone accessibility to all who take this training.  Each doctor receives a certificate indicating that they have completed the course.  I conduct these programs  once a year in a group setting  for a fee of $6500 as well as one-on-one  programs on site at doctors offices for a fee of $7500.  My next group event is scheduled for January 24-25, 2014 at the Hollywood Beach Marriott in Hollywood, Florida.  Doctors can register by calling me at 203-312-3123 or on my website www.ultimateeventsllc.com.

New Media ODCan anyone start a sports vision specialty, or does this require a background in, say, vision therapy or developmental vision? Continue reading

Amsler

Monitor Progression of AMD: There’s an App for That!

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in people over 55 years old, affecting more than 9.1 million individuals in the United States.  Optometrists are on the front lines of detecting and managing this potentially devastating disease that robs people of their central vision.  In spite on advancements in treatment options, this is still a disease that needs to be monitored closely.

AmslerThe Amsler Grid has been a mainstay in determining the location and extent of macular damage.  Most of us have been doing this simple test in-office for years, and handing our macular disease patients a paper copy for home maintenance.  If you’re like me and often wonder how many of those cards end up on the bottom of a junk drawer, another option may be educating your patients about a free app that can be downloaded to their mobile phone.  One of the vision screening options on the EyeXam mobile app is the Macular Test, which allows patients to periodically perform home Amsler.  While performing the test, patients can indicate areas of scotoma or metamorphopsia by touching and drawing on the screen.  Touched areas are highlighted in red.  Results can be saved and even emailed to their doctor to monitor disease progression between scheduled visits.  From the clinical side, the convenience and real-time information creates opportunity for improved patient care and compliance.  From the business side, anything that allows us to stay connected with our patients between scheduled visits can be a great way to improve patient loyalty and compliance with follow-up visits.

As patients from all generations are gravitating toward mobile technology, remote monitoring of patients is predicted to significantly impact management of chronic disease.  Eric Topol, M.D., Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, says a consumer revolution will fundamentally change the way medicine is practiced.  Topol says the revolution will come as wearable sensors, smartphone apps, social networks, and whole-genome sequencing begin delivering “big data” to clinics, laboratories, and hospitals.  Data generated from these methods will influence the treatment and prevention of disease.

Remote patient monitoring is already impacting management of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and COPD.  Glooko is doing some interesting things with remote diabetes management.  In what ways will eye care adapt to this ever-changing environment?

About:  Steve Vargo, OD, MBA works in a group practice in Merrillville, In.  He is a frequent contributor to Review of Optometric Business, and a consultant to Global EyeVentures – developer of the EyeXam app.  He can be contacted at svargo@gmail.com.

Download the free EyeXam app.

The EDGE™ – Work Smarter, Not Harder!

The EdgeLooking for a more effective way to evaluate vision care plans, staff, products and professional productivity? The EDGE™ is a consultative tool that provides easy access to your profit centers through a web-based system.  Last week I spoke with Jay Binkowitz, president of GPN™ (exclusive provider of The EDGE™), who provided some insight into how The EDGE™ can, well…give you an “edge”.

New Media OD:  You describe The EDGE™ as a “Performance Management Philosophy”.  Can you elaborate on that?

Jay: Yes. The EDGE™ is not a reporting system providing static reports and excel spreadsheets. It is a well thought out philosophy on what you should be tracking and what the information means. It takes you through a proven management routine with a series of graphs, charts and easy to understand information. But more importantly it provides you and your team the business resources to know what to do about. I call that the “then what”.

New Media OD:  Could you provide a quick overview of how the Edge works?

Jay: We seamlessly sync up with many of the industry practice management systems and upload the information from their system to our web based system The EDGE™. It takes place at night and does not have any negative effect on their program or resources.

New Media OD:  Do you think too many ODs spend time on unproductive, low-value activities, and how does The EDGE™. help re-direct their efforts? Continue reading

Trouble Getting Organized? Try Evernote.

Guest blogger: Chad Fleming, OD, FAAO…

There is a need among optometrists  to be highly organized and technology affords you the ability to do this.  Due to the demands of practice efficiency this is a must in being successful.  Interestingly enough, I have met many ODs that are not organized and I wonder how they do it.  They attempt to utilize sticky notes or scrap paper.  Or they have a “technology” of using a word document to put their thoughts into.  I’ve also heard ODs that bookmark everything in their browser but then are unable to locate what they bookmarked because it is difficult to search bookmarks for content.  They attempt to juggle all the balls in their mind and then frustrate others by forgetting the little things.  They can’t find that piece of paper or bookmark that had information on it.  Unfortunately, the information is needed for the meeting that started 15 minutes ago.  For some it works, others, utter chaos!

Technology has changed this old way of project and task management.  The best organizational program available, in my opinion, is called Evernote.  This piece of software allows you to be organized from any computer or phone and it all syncs together simultaneously.  I currently use 3 main technology devices (iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air) and Evernote allows me to access data from any of them.  One key feature that I enjoy with Evernote is the ability to easily clip any web page and send it directly to Evernote for reference later.  Evernote will also efficiently search all notes and content within the notes.  I would not be capable of going completely paperless in optometry and in life if not for Evernote.  There are many other great features of this software.  The greatest thing is that it is free.

So where does this fit into transitioning an optometry practice.  It fits into the demand for you to be highly organized and efficient.  Having all your notes, quotes, recommendations, numbers, etc., all at your fingertips gives you a competitive advantage among your peers and give you the information you need when you need it to make good practice management decisions.  It also helps de-clutter that mind of yours.

About Chad: Chad Fleming, OD, FAAO  is an owner of a 4 doctor practice in Wichita, KS where he lives with his wife and 2 boys.  Dr. Fleming is also the Business & Career Consultant for AOA Excel.  He coaches doctors in becoming associates, transitioning to partners and selling optometry practices.  He is also founder/ceo of OptomteryCEO, LLC.

Need Help Finding The Right Contact?

The Right ContactGuest blogger.. Jason Compton, O.D.

For decades, contact lens professionals have used journals to obtain contact lens information.  While this was an adequate tool in the past, this search method is quickly turning obsolete.  Traditional print sources are just unable to assist practitioners with the thousands of contact lenses currently on the market.  It is becoming increasingly difficult to sift through all the excess to find the right product for one’s patient.

Times are changing and analysis shows that more and more people are turning to computers and mobile devices to find the information they need.  Has the contact lens market kept up with these changes?  Simply answered… No.  In order for doctors to learn about the various contact lens designs, and better understand their differences, there needs to be an easily accessible centralized location where one can review these lens specifications.  This location should be updated in real-time, offer new ways of analyzing contact lens products, host an online community and provide an overall next level resource for practitioners.  This is where TheRightContact.com comes in – a website designed to do just that, and much more. Continue reading