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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!

Signs of Fear-Based Work Environment

Do you feel discouraged and anxious every time you go back home from work? Do you feel that you don’t have a voice? Are you scared that if you say the wrong thing you will be spoken to? Notice the people around you, your co-workers might be feeling the same. Your workplace has a fear-based culture.

Trust and fear don’t go hand in hand. In a healthy work environment, managerial fear never overpowers trust. Either they trust you or they don’t. When the managers start worrying less about their employee’s

well-being and start worrying more about maintaining their status quo at any cost, it creates a toxic environment for the employees.

If you are still in doubt then here are seven unmistakable indications of a fear-based work environment

Your Focus is different.

In a fear-based work environment, everyone has to complete their daily targets. The only focus is on making goal. One cannot get motivated or be innovative if they are constantly told about only one focus. If your focus does not align you may be ignored, spoken to or labeled as not a team player.

Employees Get a Constant Reminder of Who the Boss Is

In a fear-based work environment, all the control is in the hands of the managers and the HR. They don’t listen, try to resolve issues with them or celebrate any successes. Titles and positions are used in the wrong way.

The Truth Doesn’t Matter

In a fear-based work environment, employees know that being truthful is of no use. The truth doesn’t matter there and no one wants to hear it. They are well aware that they will have to face consequences if they do so. It an OD brings something up, he or she is dismissed as complaining or not a team player.

Job Security

In a fear-based work environment, employees never know when they’ll lose their job. No matter how well they perform, it does not guarantee a longer employment span for them. They can be punished and terminated for a minor mistake or minor issue.

If you think that your work environment is not psychologically safe for you, there are two solutions to this problem. Either you quit because your talent and sanity are worth protecting or you simply stand up for yourself and demand the powers that be to do the right thing. But you have to be ready for whatever comes next. Hopefully, the outcome you receive is a positive one because you deserve great things!

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. 

How Corporate Optometry allows ODs to focus on Patient Care

Corporate optometry is a great option for ODs who want to practice optometry but do not want to feel overwhelmed by the business aspects of the job.  It is ideal both for optometrists who do not feel they have enough business experience to start their own practices and for those who simply want to focus more on the patient-centric aspect of their career.  Here are some ways that corporate optometry may allow you as an OD to focus on your patient care first and foremost.

1. Your job is to focus on the patient.

As a corporate optometrist, your main focus is to see patients without the distractions of the optical and managing staff. Focusing on the patient is what we went to school for. We don’t have to worry about competition, we can focus on our patients and use the extra time to stay up to date on the latest clinical trends. Corporate optometry allows you to see different types of patients because the volume is usually greater, thus enhancing your clinical skills seeing a wide variety of patients. his is a great way for you as an optometrist to see a wide variety of conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma, and gain experience recognizing and managing these conditions. 

2. Technology

Corporate optometry will provide you will have easier access to resources and discounts from corporate partners.  You will also be able to purchase technology a lot sooner if you are a sublease or the latest technology will be offered to you as an employee. Many young ODs are learning the latest in the eye care. Why not be able to utilize that knowledge by working in a corporate setting? Many offices have digital refracting lanes, optos, octs. Different corporate opticals have different approaches. Don’t lump all corporate opticals as the same!

Corporate optometry may be right for you if you are not interested in the daily practice management struggles that many ODs face with the optical side of the business and managing staff turnover. Retail optometry will continue to grow over the next 10 years. Find which corporate optical is right for you and your career goals.

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.

Health Tips for Corporate ODs working a lot of Hours.

In your race towards success, you end up neglecting your health, forgetting that it affects your performance in all aspects of your lives.

As working professionals, you need to be extra careful where your health is concerned. That’s because your brain needs fuel and energy just like the rest of your body. Any form of malnourishment can adversely impact your day to day performance.

Even if you are on a tough schedule, it will only take a couple of minutes of your time and conscious effort to start living a healthier lifestyle.

From physical exercise to being mindful of what you put in your body, here are some health tips that will get you on the right track in no time.

Don’t Lose Sleep It is important to get enough sleep because lack of sleep can cause many health problems like heart disease and diabetes, etc. It significantly slows down your cognitive processes making you inefficient at reasoning and problem solving. This can be really detrimental to your performance at work.

Make sure you are getting at least 6 hours of sleep every night. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and energized and this will help you do better at your job.

Find Healthier Alternatives

It may seem easier to reach for a cheeseburger at lunch, but after taking one look at the ingredients you’re about to ingest, you’ll realize that you’re not giving your body the right kind of carbohydrates.

Opt for simpler meals like grilled chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables over processed foods, your body will thank you. Have snacks at your office

Instead of drinking coffee at odd hours of the day, drink water. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day is important for muscle stamina, digestion, and boosting your brain. Having a large water bottle can help you achieve your daily goal.

Exercise

Make room for exercise in your schedule. Walk during your lunch break. Take advantage of down time or a no show to get in some extra steps or to sit in your office and meditate. Exercise helps in regulating your energy levels and allows you to sleep better. It also reduces the risk of heart disease and alleviates the effect of stress hormones.

Just taking 15 minutes out to work out everyday can make a huge difference on both your mind and body.

Adjust your schedule

Make sure that you are able to adjust your schedule. Don’t miss out on lunch breaks. Having time in the day to recharge and continue to see a lot of patients is critical. This will also lead to less frustration in the work day and help with mental health. Make time at the end of the day to finish any charts that need to be completed, you don’t want to bring work home with you.

Take regular vacations and time off when feeling stressed out. Take advantage of the slower times of the year in optometry. Learn when to say “NO” in order to keep yourself on track for a healthy lifestyle.

Track Your Progress

One way to stay motivated about making healthy choices is to track your progress. When you start seeing noticeable changes, you will feel a lot better about yourself and make active efforts to stay healthy.

Tracking your progress will also make you feel accomplished once you reach your targets. As a result, you will be encouraged to reach personal and professional goals you’ve set for yourself.

Just spending a little bit of time on yourself everyday can produce amazing results within just few weeks. When you give your body what it needs, it repays in wondrous ways.

Your work requires consistency in terms of quality and expertise. If your health isn’t where it needs to be, then your work will be affected in the wrong run. Make smarter and healthier choices today for a better tomorrow.

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.