Standing Out from the Competition

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Recently, a family of four drove 45 minutes out of their way, past several of our competitors, to my practice for their eye exams. When I asked the mother what brought her all this way, she told me they found us through the VSP website, where they saw our American Diabetes Association (ADA) Badge. Having diabetes, she was concerned about her eye health and chose to get her diabetic eye exam from someone who demonstrated expertise in this area. That badge generated a family of patients for life, on top of the referrals we’ve already received from their friends and family.

As we celebrate Healthy Vision Month in May, it’s a great opportunity to acknowledge the important role we as Doctors of Optometry have in the overall health of our patients. I chose to go into this field because I loved the challenge of incorporating the medical side of our industry, and throughout my career, I have had many opportunities to significantly impact lives.

One patient story that comes to mind is a woman who reported a sudden painless loss of vision after seeing perfectly her whole life. I had her come in right away and, after examining her, determined she had a central retinal vein occlusion, basically a stroke in the eye. I quickly directed her to a specialist who detected a plaque in the artery and referred her for open-heart surgery to avoid a potential stroke in the brain. Initiated by an eye exam, the surgery saved her, and again, we have a patient for life.

Our reputation for providing this high-quality care is what sets our practice apart from the competition—and causes a mother to drive her family well out of her way to get to us. In addition to referrals and word of mouth, patients looking for a doctor on the Find a Doctor Directory on the VSP website see the VSP Vision Premier Program indicator and ADA Badge by our practice name and know that not only do we take the additional time to make sure we are providing quality eye care for people with diabetes and other underlying conditions, we partner with VSP across all their lens and frame brands so patients can fully maximize their benefits. VSP reinforces our value by educating patients on the importance of regular eye exams, and as a Premier Program practice, we benefit from the supported patient flow, valuable cost savings, and increased opportunities for profitability.

I am very optimistic about the future of my practice and our profession. Whatever changes occur in our industry, people will always seek out the highest caliber of care. At the end of the day, what makes me most proud is when a patient remembers they received that quality care from me and my practice. “As Eye See It,” the more ways I highlight my commitment to patients and their overall health, the more patients I can reach to give them the care they will remember.

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