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Exploring Anonymous Posts: Insights into the Eye Care Industry

In the eye care industry, anonymity might be utilized to facilitate open and honest discussions about sensitive topics. This approach could be particularly beneficial in situations where individuals feel uncomfortable or embarrassed discussing certain issues openly.

Anonymous postings emerged within the Corporate Optometry Facebook group prior to Facebook implementing this feature. It provided optometrists with a platform to ask questions they hesitated to post openly. Individuals would privately message the admin, who would then share the question on their behalf. The members of the group placed their trust in the admin, who remained loyal to their commitment to anonymity, even in the face of pressure from larger entities. True leaders demonstrate integrity by refusing to disclose sensitive information when subjected to high-pressure tactics.

With time, this concept gained traction within the eye care community, prompting other groups to adopt it. It fostered a culture of trust and authenticity, contributing to the growth of the Facebook group. Optometrists relied on the group admin to share sensitive content and seek guidance on topics ranging from employers and contracts to medical case.

The trend gained even more momentum when Facebook introduced the option to post anonymously directly in all groups, facilitating its widespread adoption. It’s now a common practice across many groups and has become standard in social media posting. This shift has encouraged people to express themselves more freely without fear of reprisal. While this concept isn’t new, similar platforms like Indeed and Glassdoor have long allowed former employees to anonymously review their jobs.

Anonymous posting carries potential disadvantages, especially if individuals misuse their anonymity for personal gain or to spread false information, or to launch attacks on others. The authenticity that has fostered growth within the Corporate Optometry Facebook group is crucial; members can discern between genuine and fabricated posts. Mishandled anonymous posting can tarnish a brand’s reputation if not executed with care and integrity.This approach allows individuals to share valuable insights and information without the pressure of being identified or scrutinized. It can potentially shed light on issues and help bring attention to them very quickly and create accountability.

I’m pleased that others adopted my approach to anonymous social posts. It’s gratifying to see how it has positively impacted our industry. It’s a reminder that one person’s idea can lead to significant changes in behavior and practices within a community. Absolutely, with the power to influence comes the responsibility to use it wisely and authentically. While anonymous social posts can be a powerful tool for fostering open dialogue and positive change, it’s crucial to consider the potential consequences of posting for personal gains. Maintaining authenticity and integrity in our interactions, even in anonymous forums, is essential to preserving trust and credibility within the Corporate Optometry community.

Overall, anonymous posts in the eye care industry can foster a sense of community, support, and education while respecting individuals’ privacy and comfort levels. It has broken down barriers to communication and empower individuals to speak up about important issues. Giving optometrists a voice to change our industry.

What Does Your Version of Success Look Like in Optometry?

Many optometrists may find themselves pressured to conform to predefined molds rather than embarking on journeys that align with their personal happiness. When setting out on a career path, it’s common to fixate on the anticipated satisfaction upon reaching predefined milestones. However, pursuing someone else’s idea of success can lead to a challenging and unfulfilling journey.

Checking the boxes doesn’t guarantee fulfillment. Without a clear understanding of what success means to oneself, it becomes difficult to recognize it once achieved. Establishing a personal definition of success provides a tangible goal, fostering a sense of satisfaction and direction. There are so many opportunities to do different things in eye care and enhance your personal fulfillment. Many optometrists find themselves in a state of burn out because they are not doing what they are passionate about. Some individuals simply mimic the journeys of others, attempting to replicate their success by emulating their actions. However, mirroring someone else’s path will never lead to complete fulfillment. Forge your own trail, pursue your objectives in your unique manner, and create your own path to success.

 

Having a clear vision of personal success serves as a compass, guiding ODS towards fulfillment and satisfaction. Success is not determined by money or accolades. If you are consistently looking for applause for the work that you do, you will never find your happiness in eye care.

As  business owners in optometry, many have found themselves in a roller coaster of emotions. Highs and lows in success. What is success as a business owner? Financial success? How much is enough? When is the right time to evaluate and know you reached your true potential?

The realization of success comes from the impact you can make on others. We as optometrists impact many people,  our patients and our staff. Others advocate for our profession and for people we will never meet, but changed their lives in ways we will never know.

Your definition of success is uniquely yours. It’s not determined by the number of practices you own, the amount of money you earn, or the accolades you receive. Instead, it’s about what brings you fulfillment.

The Opportunities to Integrate AI into your Practice.

The incorporation of AI in optometry will transform the way we diagnose and provide care to patients. There are opportunities within optometry to leverage AI, utilizing the data from imaging systems and electronic health record (EHR) data. Here are several advantages illustrating how AI can positively influence both patients and the industry.

Integrating AI into remote eye examinations offers the potential to enhance precision in refractions and detect eye diseases at early stages using data from telemedicine assessments. Telemedicine eye exams has not only expanded access to care for patients in rural America but have also addressed the shortage of optometry practitioners in various areas. Additionally, the growing preference among optometrists for remote jobs suggests that the opportunities for leveraging AI in this context will likely continue to expand. AI will provide efficient screening, and diagnostic testing and improve imaging analysis.

With the advancements in analyzing big data, we can anticipate earlier detection of eye diseases and a thorough analysis of the prevalence of advancing conditions. This capability will enable the development of more personalized treatment plans. From a business perspective in optometry, these innovations allow us to confidently see a higher volume of patients each day, facilitating a smoother diagnosis and streamlining the process of referrals for treatment plans.

Imagine the world of Eye Care where AI solutions streamline the approval of prior authorizations, assisting with uncovering KPIs in your practice to make it more profitable and schedule appointments for patients to contribute to a more lean and efficient practice.

Impact with purpose. Envision assisting visually impaired individuals with new AI solutions, delivering care to underdeveloped countries from your living room, and changing the lives of patients with tools that we never had before!

Clarity Unveiled: The Transformative Power of Transparency

In a recent survey within the corporate optometry sector revealed that 98% of Optometrists expressed dissatisfaction with the transparency level regarding decision-making in corporate optometry. Given the recent industry-wide changes in the corporate sector, numerous Optometrists are turning to the Corporate Optometry Facebook group for updates and the latest information about their respective companies. Optometrists deserve receiving information directly from the company rather than relying on social media for updates.

Over the years, transparency has become increasingly crucial in corporate optometry. Factors such as acquisitions to store closures have impacted many ODs. The expansion of telemedicine, and AI have made notable changes in our industry. In the current recession, marked by high uncertainty, optometrists face reduced lay offs, reduced hours, decreased bonuses, and salaries.

Leadership changes, especially when executives transition to entirely different industries, pose challenges for building lasting business relationships. To ensure long-term success, accountability must extend across the board.

Optometrists seek quality partnerships with in high trustworthiness, recognizing that transparency is the building blocks maintaining trust in professional relationships. In an era marked by low optometrist retention and high turnover, effective communication becomes vital to reduce uncertainty and anxiety among optometrists. ODs involvement in major decisions fosters engagement, ultimately contributing to increased revenue for both the store and the company. ODs want to part of something, help build something greater than just their career. Involve them in discusses, listen to feedback. Decisions made should take into account OD’s careers as well.

There are many metrics on how individuals are tracked by performance, yet being transparent and ethic is not one of those. Many decisions that are made are to benefit an individual. Leaders within organizations need to understand that their decisions many times impact many ODs, families, an entire industry and patient care. If transparency was measured, you would find that many ODs follow and value individuals that might not be a decision maker but a person that is trustworthy and transparent. The moral can change when decisions are made in a collaborative method and open communication on initiatives.

Transparency in corporate decision-making is crucial for creating a positive work environment, maintaining trust, and ensuring the success and growth of both the optometry practice and the careers of individual optometrists. Open communication builds a foundation for better results and higher OD retention and better patient outcomes. Ultimately, the impact of transparency extends beyond just disclosures, it shapes a culture of accountability and collaboration that strengthens any organization. Image an industry with no hidden agendas and the future is as clear as 20/20.

Rising Above the Competition: Stop Competing Down.

Your journey to personal development starts with a desire to do a little better each day. Your best potential self is achievable if you seek improvement. We can’t get comfortable with your achievements, we need to face some resilience in order to continue to excel. Having a target goal of where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years and 20 years can provide a clear vision, helping you visualize and plan the direction you aspire to take. Once you know where you want to be, find a business or person that is there, do you have the ability to compete with them at that level? If not it is time to get to work! It has been said that if you are the smartest person in the room you in the wrong room.

Challenging oneself to competing with strong opponents like well established medical professionals or even large corporations can be viewed as “competing up”. Many times I will see individuals” competing down” to secure easy victories in business. Individuals that continue to do so throughout their careers will never find their true potential and have a successful businesses. When competing down to secure success, the underlying cause might be a perceived shortcut to quick gains or a strategy to minimize challenges. It’s essential to carefully evaluate such decisions, considering the long-term consequences that inhibit growth. Competing up often fosters growth, innovation, and resilience in the face of challenges. Once you start competing up you get confidence. Confidence to know you belong at the table. Once you finally get there it is easy to know you have the potential and you have been “training” all along for it.

Competing UP is not for everyone. It is a certain mindset. It is a growth mindset. Do I have the potential to be bigger and better than big players in your category? Embarking on a business journey has inevitable ups and downs. Learning from the early stages of your career and embracing the challenge of competing at higher levels not only cultivates resilience but also compels continuous improvement and overall growth.

Preparation is important. You are training to see how you can handle the pressure. Can you handle working 60+ hours a week, having uncomfortable conversations, dealing with fear tactics and walking alone in business? These are things that you learn by competing up. When you compete up, you will know if you are cut out to be the next CEO or business leader. Are you ready to finally Level UP!?

5 Qualities You Need to Be a Successful Optopreneur

Have you been thinking about starting your own optometry business? Building a business from the ground up and running it successfully is no easy feat. As is with every type of industry these days, the competition is intense.

But no obstacle is too big to deter a true entrepreneur from his or her chosen path. You may already have an entrepreneurial spirit. But even if you don’t, it’s possible to develop the qualities of a successful entrepreneur with practice.

1. Do What Others Won’t

Coming up with an idea and sticking with it is the most definitive trait of an entrepreneur. A successful entrepreneur goes with what clicks their mind rather than blindly following other’s opinions and acting on someone’s ideas. You shouldn’t waste your time and energy overthinking matters to the point that taking even the first step becomes too much of a task.

What you need to do is collect your thoughts in a way that allows you to come up with a productive plan for implementing your idea.

2. Say Yes to all opportunities

Being an entrepreneur demands being confident and believing in your skills and abilities. Having confidence in yourself gives you the strength to deal with the hardships that may come up in your way from time to time. True entrepreneurs readily accept every opportunity that comes their way because ‘no’ is not an option for them.

You must learn to be self-sufficient and self-reliant as well.

3. Don’t Let Anyone Put You Down

Entrepreneurs are met with all kinds of opinions and advice, including the helpful as well as the not-so-helpful one. Your friends and family members can particularly have a strong influence on how you perceive the feasibility of your plan. Listen to people who genuinely support you. And meanwhile, ignore and isolate yourself from the environment where you feel negativity towards your business. People may talk you into stay in your comfort zone and avoiding going into unchartered waters. As a true entrepreneur, remember to stay firm on your beliefs and not let anyone put you or your ideas down.

4. Stay Strong and Positive

You have to be fearless to be successful. If you don’t succeed at first, keep trying until you do. Remember that failure is not defined by incurring few losses but only when you stop struggling to achieve the goal that you initially set for yourself. Your so-called mistakes are actually a learning opportunity as they can teach you a lot about where to start from and what not to do the second time. Entrepreneurs stay focused on their goals and never give up as they know that great things happen by doing hard work.

5. Stand Up for What You Believe

When entrepreneurs introduce an idea or launch a startup, there’s always a chance that someone or the other will oppose them. A smart entrepreneur respects the freedom of speech but at the same time knows how to stand up and defend his or her ideas. It’s good to learn the art of how to disagree without being disrespectful to others, while maintaining one’s dignity at the same time.

Reflect on your work attitude and aptitude. You may already have the qualities of a successful entrepreneur but might not have realized it yet. If you can master these skills as an optometrist, rest assured that the world is your oyster.

5 Ways to Improve Patient Flow at Your Optometry Practice

Ensuring a steady and efficient flow of patients is highly important for every optometry practice that wants to sustain itself. When you see more patients in a day, your practice has a better chance of growing at a faster rate. There are various ways in which you can improve patient flow in an optometry practice. But first, it’s essential to know what patient flow really means why it is crucial for eye care practices.

What Is Patient Flow?

Patient flow refers to the ease with which patients can move through a doctor’s office. It is a track of their movement in the place from arrival to departure.

Optimizing patient flow is important because it helps practitioners provide quality care. Smooth and efficient patient flow helps improve patient experience and increase satisfaction. It allows you to drive more revenue by streamlining the process of looking after patients at every touchpoint during their visit.

5 Ways to Improve Patient Flow

1. Improve the Layout of Your Office

The office layout can have a major influence on the flow of patients. When setting up a practice, pay special attention to the design of the place. Consider renovating or remodeling the space if it isn’t very patient-friendly in terms of the physical layout.

In an ideal clinic, the patients do not have to double back. The reception desk is adjacent to the entrance. Then there’s the waiting area and then the examination room. This ensures a smooth flow of patients from the entrance to the exit. Have the facility to allow patients to complete any paperwork near the reception desk, rather than having them move back and forth from the waiting room.

2. Teach Your Staff How to Manage Time

All your staff members should have a deep understanding of time management and be able to implement relevant techniques effectively. This includes the receptionist, assistants, technicians, and any other person under your employment.

In some practices, one team member might have to handle multiple tasks or patients at the same time. Therefore, the entire staff should have sufficient know-how of administrative work, preliminary checks, medical follow-up, and so on. Provide your team with the proper tools they might need to work efficiently in a dynamic environment. They should have no difficulty in handling patient surges during peak hours or holidays.

3. Use Mobile Technology

Introducing electronic media such as tablets can do wonders for improving patient flow. Go digital for most, if not all, of your paperwork. As opposed to traditional physical files, tablets offer a more efficient way of keeping track of the patient’s medical history, treatment plans, and even payments.

In most cases, you will notice that patients are speedier in filling out information on a tablet rather than on paper. If you have the budget, you can even provide your assistants with tablets for faster note-taking.

4. Keep Patients Up to Date

Having patients wait in your office for long periods of time is not good for either party. Not only does it frustrates patients but is also counterproductive for your practice. Smart optometrists keep their receptionists/ assistants up to date about their schedule. If you are running late or if your daily schedule is backed up due to any reason, it’s best to inform patients accordingly.

Tell your receptionist to always keep patients in the loop by dropping them a message or making a voice call.

5. Install an EHR System

Electronic health record (EHR) systems are designed to improve managerial tasks, such as bookkeeping and performing insurance checks. They enable you to tackle them easily in-between patient visits, preventing these mundane tasks from piling up. Implementing technologies like EHR can be quite an investment, but they are likely to bring in significant returns.

Optometrists who follow the right strategies to improve patient flow at their practice are able to increase patient satisfaction, reduce operating costs, and thus, boost revenue. Follow the tips mentioned above to maintain a steady patient flow at your clinic.

5 Tips for Improving Your Optometry Practice’s Reputation

Enhancing your optometry practice’s reputation is vital for attracting new patients and retaining old ones. Outbreak of a pandemic has changed the way optometry is practiced.

It is now more cost-effective and rewarding to invest in digital marketing techniques for building your brand image. Here are top 5 tips to establish your optometry practice as a reliable contender in the market.

1.    Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing your online presence by improving the quantity and quality of your website traffic. Optimizing your website increases its visibility by helping it rank higher on the search engines results page.

In this day and age, people increasingly use the internet to search for different products and services. Build an efficient website so that people looking for optometry services are able to find it easily. When you have a website that appears higher on the search engine results page, potential customers are automatically going to perceive your practice as a reliable one.

2.    Content Marketing

Producing engaging content is imperative in attracting more potential clients to your optometry practice. Text, info graphics, and videos are all examples of content you can upload to your website.

Blogs are an effective way to market your business. Share engaging and informative content to bring more web users to your website. Upload blogs regarding optometry or related topics to show that you possess sound knowledge regarding your profession.

3.    Ask for Customer Reviews

Get patients to review your practice so that you can display them on your website. Include a link on your website where customers can type in their review.

You can choose quotes from customer reviews and place them throughout your website to improve your optometry practice’s reputation. Reading about positive experiences will encourage people visiting your website to sign up for your products and services.

4.    Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Opt for pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements to get your business noticed when people search for optometry practices online. These ads usually appear at the top of the search engine results page along with organic results, or appear on the sides of search engines.

PPC works like buying visits to your website. You will be charged a small fee every time a web user clicks on your ad. These ad campaigns can be easily targeted towards a local audience to help raise awareness about your practice in your locality.

5.    Email Marketing

Email marketing is the oldest yet one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. When patients sign up with your practice, encourage them to share their email addresses.

Email patients to remind them about their annual exam, and send them follow-up emails if they don’t make an appointment. You can also email newsletters with informational content to engage clients. Email marketing is also an effective way of informing prospective patients about any new offers or discounts that you introduce.

Other than adopting online marketing techniques, you can enhance your optometry practice’s reputation in a number of small ways. Readily offer a refund when a customer is unhappy or lease additional space nearby to help patients park their cars close to your practice. A solid brand image will draw in more patients and encourage older ones to revisit.

CO Analytics: 73% of ODs are involved in the optical.

One misconception in the industry is that Corporate ODs aren’t involved in the optical. A recent survey illustrates that 73% of ODs are meeting with optical managers to collaborate on company initiatives and their sublease needs.To increase optical sales, the optical manager can collaborate with the Optometrist. Corporate ODs prescribe lenses from the exam chair. Corporate ODs are decision-makers in our industry.  Whether the collaborations are daily or once a month, bridging the gap between the optical and the OD side of the business is vital. Historically, the better the communication between the two the better both businesses operate and generate higher revenue.

When it comes to the OD/optical staff meeting there are several important topics that are discussed. Some topics include exam business, # of exams, # of cancellations, # of walkins and OD coverage. Those topics coordinate with the optical sales. Optical business metrics are discussed and both parties look to partner to accomplish the goals that they have for the month and for the year.

Here are some topics for ODs to discuss with their optical managers about their subleases.

  1. Your Financial Performance: . Discuss revenue, profitability, cash flow, and the volume of managed care in your practice. Analyze previous month to date exam count and financial statements.
  2. Market Analysis: Evaluate the optical’s position in the industry. What is their acquisition cost per patient, growth in new customers, and competition in with 10 mile radius.
  3. Sales and Marketing: Review the effectiveness of sales and marketing strategies. Discuss the performance of various marketing channels, advertising campaigns, and sales efforts. Explore customer acquisition and retention strategies and analyze their impact on the bottom line.
  4. Efficiency: Assess how your sublease and optical can work efficiently to see walkins and increase patient volume during the hours of operation that you have. General rule is each day of coverage you are providing you are supposed to see 10-12 patients a day. Do not add days to the week until you are booked consistently.
  5. Customer Satisfaction: Examine customer satisfaction levels and feedback. Discuss strategies to enhance customer experience in order to increase patient retention. Many opticals have a NPS system.
  6. Outlook and Strategy: Discuss your objectives with the sublease and what you are looking to do in the future. This could be taking on a new sublease, expanding to hiring an associate, adding new equipment etc. . Identify areas for improvement, ask for feedback from optical.

Beyond the Podium: Thought Leadership in Optometry is Evolving

A thought leader is an expert in their field who is actively engaged in promoting their ideas and sharing their knowledge with others. They are often seen as a change-maker or thought- provoking individual, and their aim is to influence and inspire others. They have a vision of what optometry is supposed to be, not what is dictated by others in the industry.

In order to become a thought leader, it is not enough to simply be an expert in your field. You must also be proactive in sharing your ideas and engaging with others. This can be done through writing articles or blogs, giving talks or presentations, or using social media. In the past thought leaders we ODs that lectured at conferences and had busy practices. With the rise of social media this has changed. Different voices are now able to be amplified. Thought leaders aren’t selected by optometry magazines, pharma boards ,companies or conferences anymore. Thought leaders are created from changing the norm and utilizing the different platforms they have to provide a different perspective. Corporate ODs have been underrepresented in the past. Now is the time to seek opportunity to amplify their voice in the industry. Different voices help our industry grow.

However, becoming a thought leader is not without its challenges. It takes time, effort, and dedication. And, once you have established yourself as a thought leader, there is a certain amount of responsibility that comes with it.

Are you up for the challenge? Here are some ways ODs have become thought leaders over the last 10 years.

1. Develop your expertise: To become a thought leader, you need to have in-depth knowledge and expertise in your field. This means staying up-to-date on the latest research, trends, and technologies in optometry. Attend conferences, seminars, and webinars. Read industry publications like Vision Monday and network with other professionals in the field; whether in person or on Facebook groups.

2. Create a platform: Establish a platform for yourself where you can share your ideas and thoughts. This can be in the form of a blog, a podcast, or social media. Create content that is informative, engaging, and provides value to your audience. Don’t be afraid of thinking outside the box and talking about things that others don’t.

3. Network: Networking is a crucial part of becoming a thought leader. Attend events, conferences, and seminars to connect with other professionals in the field. Meeting people face to face has a lot of meaning. You have to attend all the major conferences and add value to those conferences, whether it be cocktail hours, dinners, panel discussions, Facebook live events and podium time. Engage with others online through social media, LinkedIn groups, and forums.

4. Engage with your audience: Engage with your audience by responding to comments, questions, and feedback. Start a conversation and get people talking about your ideas. Encourage debate and be open to different opinions and perspectives. Thought leaders interact with other industry professionals throughout the year, not just at conferences. When you have other ODs asking you your thoughts on topics in optometry and breaking news, you have become a Key Opinion Leader.

5. Be authentic: A thought leader is not someone who pretends to know it all. Be authentic and transparent with your audience. Admit when you don’t know something and be willing to learn. Optometry is an evolving profession, leaders are readers. The more you continue to learn the better you will become and continue to evolve as a thought leader.

6. Seek out opportunities: Look for opportunities to speak at conferences, contribute to publications,provide content on social media and participate in webinars. Use your platform to promote your expertise and showcase your skills. Content is key! The more content you develop the more recognition you will get on the area you are looking to break into. Thought leaders seek out opportunities for exposure, it is never about the money but for the purpose.

7. Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to building a following and establishing yourself as a thought leader. It takes time and effort to build a reputation, so be patient and keep working at it. If your competitor is providing 1 content a week look to do 3x-5x more content per week. Over time content development will become part of your routine and won’t take up as much time as it did before.

Becoming a thought leader in optometry is not an easy task, but with dedication, hard work, and a passion for the field, it is achievable. As you establish yourself as a leader, remember to always be humble, open to learning, and eager to share your expertise with others.