Corporate OD Reopening Survey

58% are seeing 2 patients per hour
23% are seeing 1 patient per hour
17% are seeing 3 patients per hour
2% are seeing 4 or more per hour

Corporate Optometry surveyed 348 corporate optometrists to see how many patients they will see an hour as they reopen their practice. Generally corporate opticals are high volume locations. Corporate ODs were provided ppe supplies by there corporate partners. All the safety precautions and protocols have been reinstated to provide a safe environment for the ODs, staff and patients.

With these new changes, the number of patients being seen per hour has changed as well. Many ODs have reduced their days but extended their hours. Others have reduced hours per day and kept the number per days. In the chart above a 58% of Corporate ODs will see 2 patients per hour as they reopen their practices. Many feel that is a safe number to do an exam and have time to clean after each patient.

How are adjusting to the new norm in your practice?

How to Build Your Leadership Skills: Difference between a Leader and a Manager.

If you want to become a leader in the workplace, you’ll need to change more than just your outlook. Becoming a true leader isn’t as simple as managing a team and delegating tasks. You need to learn how to handle stressful situations with ease and make sure that everyone in your team feels valued.

Instead of just supervising a group of people and getting the work done, you need to inspire them to do better every day and step out of their comfort zone. Your focus needs to be on building relationships with your employees and getting them to trust you.

Let’s take a look at what sets a leader apart from a manager and how to develop leadership skills in the workplace.

1. Be Open-Minded and Innovative

Leaders are always open to new things. They have a passion for creating, and they don’t shy away from experimenting with new ideas. They don’t believe in sticking with tradition and are always looking for better opportunities to explore.

They’re unafraid of the challenges that come their way and encourage their employees to think outside of the box. Managers, on the other hand, believe in sticking to what they know. They aren’t open to new changes and like to stay within their comfort zone.

2. Take Risks

Leaders are all about taking risks every time an opportunity presents itself. They understand the importance of risks and are eager to learn from their failures. They believe that risks bring forth a realm of possibilities for any business and help a company grow.

They aren’t scared of failing because they realize that every failure is a blessing in disguise. They exude an aura of positivity and create a sense of hope and curiosity in their employees.

Managers avoid taking risks because they don’t feel comfortable in newer and unforeseen territories. They believe in following tried and tested ways to solve all their problems and don’t appreciate disruptive thinking in the workplace.

3. Stand Out from the Rest

Leaders are driven by their need to stand out and be unique. They’re aware of themselves and aren’t scared of owning up to their shortcomings. They’re willing to take their business to new heights by deviating from established procedures.

They value different opinions and encourage their team members to share and explore new ideas.

Managers like to emulate their predecessors. They replicate what they’ve been taught and don’t feel comfortable with the idea of standing out. They aren’t always eager to accept responsibility for their mistakes. For them, their employees are just individuals who work for them and are expected to complete the tasks they’ve been assigned.

Bottom Line

Now that you’ve learned what makes a leader different from a manager, you can also become a great leader in the workplace by changing your way of thinking. The next time you’re faced with a challenge, you need to be willing to take risks and have an open mind to increase your chances of success.

5 Tips to Manage Your Anxiety during COVID-19 Lockdown

As Coronavirus cases continue to rise, people all over the globe have decided to go into self-isolation to protect themselves and their loved one. With incessant media coverage and increasing unemployment rates, there’s no doubt that these uncertain times are creating stress and anxiety for the global population.

If you’re struggling to look after your mental health during the Covid-19 outbreak, here’s a guide on how you can manage your anxiety and keep your mental well being as your topmost priority.

1. Avoid Obsessing Over Coronavirus Updates

It’s important to know what’s happening all around the world, but when you’re stuck at home and watching constant news about the pandemic, you’ll end up putting your mental health at risk.

You need to figure out a way to balance watching important news and news that could make you feel depressed. Take regular breaks from social media and mute keywords and accounts that can trigger your anxiety.

2. Use This Opportunity to Focus on Self-Care

Even though the world may seem dismal and dull right now, you need to focus your energy on the positives. Take advantage of the mandated work-from-policy and use it as an opportunity to explore your interests and create something you’ve always dreamed about.

If you approach this time with a negative attitude and stress about feeling trapped inside your home, you’ll only cause your anxiety to worsen. This can be your chance to focus on self-care and rediscover yourself.

Make an effort to reach out to family and friends and talk to each other on a regular basis.

3. Try Your Best to Maintain Your Normal Routine

If you have children at home, working from home can become stressful and you may be tempted to fall into a more laid-back schedule. This may lead to having negative thoughts about yourself, which is why you need to try and maintain at least some form of your normal routine from the pre-quarantine days.

It’s advisable to wake up and go to bed at the same time as you used to, make time to have proper meals, and do household chores just like before. Sticking to your normal routine will allow you to feel more active and make it a lot easier for you to readjust when things go back to normal.

4. Make Time for Exercise

Don’t give up on your exercise regimen during this global crisis. Studies have shown that exercising regularly releases chemicals, like serotonin and dopamine, which are just as effective as anti-depressants for treating mild depression.

Since you may not have access to a gym, you should create your own exercise routine at home and try to reserve at least 30 to 40 minutes of your time to exercise about three or four times every week.

5. Get 8 Hours of Sleep

It’s also necessary to get good quality sleep every night to increase your chances of handling your emotions and staying healthy. It’s recommended to achieve about 8 hours of sleep every night after taking a hot bath and making sure there’s no screen time at least two hours before your bedtime.

Final Words

It may be difficult for you to keep up your normal routine, make time for exercise, and avoid watching the news when you’re uncertain about what the future may hold. Follow the tips mentioned in this blog post and take little steps each day to keep your stress and anxiety under control.

Time to Close? 97% of Corporate ODs don’t have the resources to protect themselves against COVID-19.

Many Corporate ODs are working through the COVID-19 pandemic. Optometry offices are not considered essential services. Many state organizations have recommended optometrists to shut down their offices for 2 weeks. The CDC recommends no gatherings larger than 10+. With some offices seeing 4-6 patients an hour the office can exceed the CDC’s recommendation. Corporate OD lanes being small areas was a major concern for many ODs.

Many Corporate ODs voiced their concerns about working during the pandemic without the proper resources provided to them. Many ODs don’t have face masks, gloves and have low supplies of Lysol wipes. Corporate ODs were concerned about working in a retail environment where there are a lot of people entering the building to purchase food and other supplies.

97% of ODs don’t have the resources to protect themselves and avoid the spread of the virus.

As of 3/17/2020

Warby Parker was the first to come out and close all their stores and paying their staff including their ODs during this difficult period.

Luxottica announced changes in store hours to 12-6 in their Lenscafters locations and closed the LC Macys for 2 weeks. Some LC sublease owners have closed their locations.

For Eyes reduced store hours and sublease ODs were make a business decision if they were to close their books.

Costco optical will close of 30 days according to resources in the Corporate Optometry Facebook group.

Sams Club followed by closing for the next 2 weeks.

Stay Healthy, hopefully together we can get more store closures and resources to the stores that will stay open.

Update 3/23 For Eyes closed, VisionWorks closed, TLC closed National Vision closed and all paid their employed ODs. Shopko closed and Stanton Optical. If we missed your company please contact us at corporateoptometry@gmail.com

How to Use EHR for Increased Efficiency and Productivity

As an OD, you must be familiar with Electronic Health Records (EHR). These allow you to maintain an updated digital record of all your patients. They include everything from family history, diagnosis, and treatments to prescribed medications and lab test reports.

However, EHRs are good for more than just holding patient information and providing secure access to authorized users. They can be utilized to improve the quality of patient care and increase your net profit.

Here are some benefits of electronic health records:

· Increased Practice Efficiency

· Cost Savings

· Less Paperwork

· Better Patient Care

· Increased Patient Involvement

Let’s take a look at how you can use EHRs more efficiently to improve the quality of care and increase productivity.

Creating Effective Marketing Strategies Using Patient Data

You can study electronic health records to measure multiple metrics using data mining techniques and find patterns in your patient data to improve your practice and increase your chances of success. You can figure out how many of your patients are interested in buying eye-wear from you by looking at the patient data alone.

You can also see if using new technology in your private practice will benefit you in the long run and how the cost would affect your return on investment. By analyzing how many of your patients have vision plans or medical plans, you can create effective marketing strategies to increase your patient intake.

Another great thing about EHRs is that you can check the number of transactions made by all your patients and use that to identify trends and formulate strategies to improve patient care. This will allow you to strengthen your relationship with your patients and keep them coming back to you.

Improving Practice Efficiency

To improve your practice efficiency, you need to make sure that all your staff members are trained to use electronic health records. When a patient calls to schedule an appointment, the

person operating your front desk should know how to review the patient’s digital record and suggest a suitable time slot.

EHR systems are getting more and more advanced now and can be integrated with pre-test equipment. This means that your staff won’t have to enter the patient data because it will be added to the system automatically. You can review patient records whenever you need to and add information about old exams to newer patient records as well.

Final Words

Electronic health records simplify time-consuming procedures and streamline your core processes. You can invest in a cloud-based EHR solution to make things easier for your IT department.

EHRs also come with templates that can be used to complete routine tasks more easily with just a few clicks and keystrokes. You can even let your patients enter their own information by setting up your system with a patient portal.

Now that you’ve learned how to use EHRs more efficiently, there’s nothing stopping you from improving your quality of care and providing an enhanced experience to all your patients.

Pros and Cons of a Split Lease

Are you considering accepting a split lease with another OD?  With this decision comes both advantages and disadvantages to your practice, and whether the pros outweigh the cons will depend on your individual preferences and vision for your career.  Here we outline the positives and the negatives of splitting your lease to help you decide whether this route is right for you.

Pros

  1. You won’t have to hire another employee.
    Instead of having to hire a new employee yourself, a split lease will allow you to simply come in and do your own sublease, while the other OD has their own set of patients.
  2. You can keep your current hours.
    If you are happy with your hours and income, and your practice is growing, splitting the lease can be beneficial to you. With a split lease, you will not have to increase your hours to accommodate more clients.
  3. You will can access to more new patients.
    Having another OD working hours opposite yours can benefit you in the long run, as patients can be referred back and forth between ODs if you agree to do so. Consider referring patients for specialty care and for certain insurances only one of you is willing to take.
  4. You can reduce costs.
    As patient volume and retention goes up over the years, your rent will also increase. With a split lease, however, you will be able to see more patients per day while paying the same rent. In addition, you can consider partnering with the other OD to get new technology that can be shared.

Cons

  1. You can lose leverage in your sublease.
    Splitting a lease can cause you to lose leverage in your sublease that is difficult to get back. Negotiation therefore becomes difficult and your options become more limited once the deal has been made.
  2. You will have a forced partnership.
    When splitting a lease, you will be sharing your space with whichever OD the corporate optical decides to bring in. Unlike hiring an employee, you will not be able to choose who you will be partnering with.
  3. You will have a reputation by association.
    With a split lease comes an association with the other OD who is brought in. The reputation of the other OD, therefore, can impact you and your practice. If you are concerned with having as much control over your practice’s reputation as possible, you may not want to split your location with another OD.
  4. Your lease may be terminated more easily.
    With another OD in the same location as you, it is possible that this OD could ultimately become your replacement. This is something to be weary of when considering splitting your lease.
  5. It may be difficult to get patients to follow you.
    After splitting your lease with another OD, if at any point you decide to change locations, it will be harder to get patients to follow you. Patients who are happy with that location can simply choose to become clients of the other OD, resulting in the loss of some of your business.
  6. You may have difficulty branding.
    It may be hard to build a consistent brand with a split lease, especially if patients are seeing both ODs over the years with different fees and methods. It is easier to create a more constant brand when you are in complete control over your location.

Weighing out both the benefits and costs of a split lease is critical before making your decision. Which points do you resonate with the most? How will your decision affect your business in the long run? There are many trade-offs involved in keeping your sublease versus splitting it with another OD, so it is important to think about what factors are most important for you and your career path.

Myths About Starting a Sublease In Corporate Optometry

Myths About Starting a Sublease In Corporate Optometry

Get your eyesight checked asap. Can you even see where you are headed?

Is that the advice you were given when you voiced your thoughts to a friend about planning to start your own sublease in corporate optometry?

Whether someone else has told you, or you have done some research yourself about starting a sublease in corporate optometry, it is highly likely that you’re left with self-doubt.

However, if you are an optometrist thinking to set up a sublease in corporate optometry or a new grad looking for a practice, or just an older OD, corporate optometry is without doubt a promising field in the industry.

Unfortunately, the myths surrounding this field stop many people from continuing on this path. They believe what they have been told by other people, people who couldn’t themselves excel in the field or weren’t well prepared to handle it.

Here are some common myths you must have heard, and how to debunk them.

You don’t have the enough experience to start a sublease

If you are a fresh OD or someone new to optometry, people will rebuff you with the fact that you don’t have the required knowledge or experience to venture in this field. Though it may be true, it is not a justified reason to give up on your idea altogether.

You can ‘shadow’ other ODs who started a sublease or work with another company and learn from them. Look out for someone who can act as your mentor, observe their work and practices, ask them questions and learn from their experiences. By putting the knowledge you gain into practice, you too will succeed in the field soon. After all, it’s true that success is three parts knowledge and only one part planning.

You won’t be able to distinguish day and night

Corporate optometry indeed requires a lot of work and effort. But which enterprise doesn’t?

Although you may have to work tirelessly initially, but once the initial phases of set up are complete and you get the hang of it, a sublease in corporate optometry can be a comfortable job.

You don’t necessarily have to begin early in the morning, which means you can get sound sleep or few extra hours for other chores. Plus you get to avoid the morning traffic rush which enables you to commute faster and so save more time.

The effort you put in now will pay off in the long run and you won’t have to work 7 days a week.

No one will ‘see’ you

There may be too many corporate opticals out there, but there are enough  patients to attract. Learn how to differentiate yourself from others.

You can observe and learn marketing strategies from the other, successful corporate optometrists and follow in their footsteps to reach out to the patients.

It will definitely need a lot of effort to build a customer base, but with proper marketing, focusing on your target audience, making a good impression on the patients who visit, and expanding your contact network, your name and service will soon speak for itself.

So, even if you don’t have a 20/20 vision, you are still seeing a bright future when you consider a sublease in corporate optometry.

Happy venturing!

Pros and Cons of Corporate Optometry on the Industry

Corporate optometry has expanded greatly over the years.  It is currently estimated to make up about 30% of the industry and will continue to grow as young optometrists make the decision to go into this sector.  With this expansion come both benefits and costs to the industry, which we will discuss below.

Pros:

1. Employment opportunities for ODs

Corporate optometry creates opportunities and jobs for optometrists looking for employment.  In addition, it is a great option for optometrists who don’t have a lot of experience as business owners and are looking for a turnkey model. ODs don’t have to wait for another OD to retire to become a business owner. Many Corporate ODs have had the ability to have multiple subleases which has been beneficial for those ODs. The ability to open practices in locations where there are not many other optometry practice can help ODs have more opportunities and provide more access to patients seeking other alternatives.

2. Increased pay rate and benefits

Corporate optometry can provide higher starting salaries and pay rates than average along with better benefits for some ODs.  The days and hours an optometrist works likely will affect the rate in which the optometrist is paid; for example, optometrists are sometimes paid higher by corporate opticals on Sundays.  In addition, corporate optometry offers generous bonus structures.

3. Loan repayments

Some corporate opticals will offer loan repayments to young ODs who are burdened by student debt.  This is great incentive for young ODs to start a career in corporate optometry. Most often, corporate opticals will offer loan repayments when trying to recruit ODs to more remote locations where it is difficult to find doctors in order to spark greater interest in new ODs.

4. Innovation and Competition

Corporate optometry has revolutionized the customer and shopping experience in the industry; for example, the one-hour eye glass service has completely changed the customer’s eye care experience.  The innovation of corporate opticals to better cater to their customers leads to competition and helps to keep practices top-notch. New ideas created within corporate optometry therefore bring the industry forward.

5. Global impact

Corporate optometry has allowed the industry to have a greater impact globally.  Many corporate opticals work with charities to use their business for the greater good; for example, Warby Parker’s “buy a pair, give a pair” program is a system in which, for every pair of glasses purchased, a pair is given to someone in need, and many corporate opticals supply underprivileged companies with glasses and eye exams.  In addition, Luxottica provides onesight global clinics to provide eye care for people in underdeveloped countries.

Cons

1. Exclusions from insurance panels

Being with a specific corporate optical can exclude doctors from certain insurance panels; for example, Walmart doctors are unable to take EyeMed.  Because of this, a doctor may have to turn away some patients. In addition, closed panels can funnel patients into a certain corporate optical, which can be a disadvantage for other practices in terms of creating a patient base and providing continuation of care to your patients as their benefits change year to year.

2. Vertical integration

Corporate opticals may have ownership over a variety of stages of production and may sell their own products, frames, lenses, etc., which can result in a reduced price for their customers.  This creates a disadvantage to private practices or other corporate opticals that can’t compete at a severe discount. In addition, the possibility of pushing a company’s own products rather than alternative products might not always have the best outcome for the consumer in the long run.

3. Exam Fees that haven’t changed with Inflation.

Providing affordable care to patients is essential. Many corporate opticals have offered affordable eye care services and products for many patients, yet with inflation and changes in scope of optometry exam fees have remained stagnate. Free eye exams have impacted the industry as well.

4. Consolidation

As more companies merge together, only a few large players in the industry are created, making it difficult for smaller practices to have a voice.  In addition, consolidation of companies limits the customer’s options when it comes to eye care. Consolidation needs to happen though if companies want to compete with online retailers and how customers want low prices with fast service.

5. Movements

Corporate opticals are more easily able to create big movements or waves of change in the industry compared to smaller practices. Global changes can be made. Many corporate opticals operate globally and many times movements that may work in another country might not be best in the USA.  While these movements are created in the corporation’s best interest, they may not necessarily be in the patients’ or the industry’s best interest as a whole. Among these movements have been an increase in managed care plans, telemedicine and an expansion in private equity.

In conclusion, there are both pros and cons of corporate optometry on the industry that should be considered.  Whether working under a corporate optical or not, doctors have the ability to be a voice for other ODs and for their patients to make positive changes in the industry and create a better future. 

3 Solutions to Optical Staff Issues in Corporate Optometry.

Working in the corporate optometry has its own set of challenges that many Corporate ODs face. If you are leasing space from the corporate optical, you may run into some complications with your regional manager and the optical staff.

If you are not careful, some form of miscommunication can lead to issues like mishandling of appointments, mismanagement of patients and not getting your insurances verified regularly.

These sublease issues coupled together can really affect your performance and cause patient dissatisfaction. Follow these simple steps to overcome these problems and make sure nothing comes between you and your patient.

Hire Your Own Staff

As a sublease OD, you have to let go of some control when it comes to administrative and managerial work. If the staff works directly under the corporation, scheduling errors may occur because you haven’t had the chance to train the staff.

In such cases, you can always request to hire your own staff and train them according to your needs and objectives. This requires some time and effort from your end. But once you’ve managed to train your team, you’ll have more administrative control and you can make your own rules keeping patient care as the topmost priority.

Schedule a Meeting

If you are not able to hire your own staff, you can always schedule a meeting with your managers and staff. During the meeting, you can raise your concerns in detail. Understand their objectives and expectations, and figure out a strategy to keep yourself and the staff satisfied.

Communication is extremely important. You need to let them know that the problem at hand is affecting the quality of patient care, and as a team, you should work together to enhance the patient experience.

Check Your Lease

Checking your lease may be one of the simplest ways to solve your problems. Your lease has all the requirements and role expectations stated clearly. If your staff has been mismanaging your patients and their appointments, then you can print out your lease and inform them of their tasks.

This will help clear up the confusion of who’s in the wrong and you will be able to get to the bottom of the issue more quickly.

It is important to know the roles of employees working for you to make sure everything runs smoothly and no one falls out of line.

One precautionary measure you should take is to have access to your own phone line (unless your sublease agreement doesn’t allow you, in which case, make sure to negotiate before

signing the lease). Many times the phone line given to you is a property of the corporate optical and, if you decide to end things with them, you can lose all contact with your patients.

As patient demands and expectations are increasing, you need to make sure there are effective business processes in place fulfilling those needs. You need to give immediate attention to any problems you face because with every mistake you make, you could potentially lose a patient forever.

Habits of an Influential Optometrist.

What they say almost always holds weight and all of their opinions are valued by the people around them.

But guess what? You too can expand your circle of influence if you make some important changes in the way you view the world and yourself.

1. Think for Yourself

It’s not a good sign if you’re easily swayed by public opinion or the latest trends. Believing everything you hear and forming opinions based on other people’s judgments will get you nowhere.

You need to start thinking for yourself. Do your research and study facts before coming to a conclusion. Be willing to change your mind if there’s evidence supporting it. Start tuning out what other people think and only gain influence from what you know.

2. Disruptive the Norm

So many problems result from our lack of empathy and unwillingness to change our ways. You need to be curious about the world and long-running traditions. You shouldn’t be afraid to question the status quo and challenge conventional ways of thinking.

Becoming graciously disruptive means you’re doing it for the right reasons.

3. Innovate

Explore new ideas and try to think outside the box whenever you can. Spark conversations about causes that deserve more attention. When you truly care about the world, this should come naturally to you.

Inspire people around you to think differently and be more open-minded.

4. Network

Make connections everywhere you go. Don’t hesitate to learn about other people’s background and culture. Look out for people in your social circle and add value to their lives. Be forthcoming with advice where necessary to make lasting connections.

5. Welcome Disagreement

When people disagree with your ideas, you need to humble yourself and really listen to what they’re saying. You shouldn’t respond defensively because you don’t know everything and you could’ve easily missed something. It should be more important for you to challenge your own ideas than to always be right.

The other person may have a point and if they do, you should be more than willing to change your opinion.

6. Think outside the box

Deliberately seek newer ideas and technologies instead of waiting for them to come to you. Stay updated with the latest innovations and become an early adopter. Spread the word about what’s coming in the future and always stay in the know.

7. Respond

When someone in your team or circle of influence makes a mistake, you need to take a step back and assess the situation instead of reacting immediately. Value your relationships and respond appropriately to any mishap. The last thing you want to do is cause a scene. If you overreact, people will start keeping their distance from you and trusting you less.

Learning how to be a person of influence may take a while, but with small steps every day, you can change the world and earn a place in everyone’s hearts.