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A Sincere Visual Experience
I got my first pair of glasses in third grade, and from that point on, spent a lot of time at my family eye doctor’s office. Over the years, Dr. Walter West and I had discussions about my interest in biology and saving the whales. He offered that optometry might be a more lucrative and equally rewarding career. Those conversations resonated with me; and years later, as a pre-med biology major, I decided to take Dr. West’s advice.
Today, if I had to name the primary pillar of our practice, it is quality—quality of products and quality of care. Our tagline is “For the Sincere Visual Experience.” From the moment a patient steps into our office, we strive for them to have the most positive, satisfying experience and the best, most comprehensive care. Just last week, an elderly patient told me that never in her life had her eyes been examined so thoroughly! We do not offer bargain exams or sell inferior products. Whether it is the caliber of our staff, the time and attention we give to each patient, the level of care we provide, or the products we prescribe, we aim for the best. One example that comes to mind is when we had stay-at-home orders during COVID-19. Our optician volunteered to bring glasses and contact lenses to patients’ homes and senior facilities where residents were quarantined. Making special exceptions and going the extra mile for our patients is what sets us apart and keeps our patients coming back year after year.
My favorite patient story is a retired New York Police Department officer, who was about 75 years old and had been coming to see me for five years or so. One visit, I noticed some suspicious changes in his retinal vasculature and suggested he have a carotid ultrasound performed. This patient was confirmed to have a carotid stenosis, and he was treated immediately. In his mind, I saved his life and he insisted on taking me and my daughters to dinner as a thank you. This was touching and often reminds me of how rewarding my job is.
In addition to seeking the “Sincere Visual Experience" with our patients, we also take advantage of our partnership with VSP and the Premier Program to maximize revenue. Years ago, when consulting with fellow PECAA (Professional Eye Care Associates of America) members, the Premier Program was recommended as an effective tool to attract new patients to the practice, and we agreed to participate. We have found that embracing VSP and the Premier Program offers significant benefits to our practice. New patient calls are generated from the Premier Program banner on the VSP Find a Doctor Directory because patients realize they will receive enhanced coverage with their vision plan by visiting a Premier Program location like ours. The VSP partnership also allows us to access marketing and social media tools designed to help us personally reach our patients. And, VSP has Premier Academy360 online education and CE credits available for our staff.
We always offer the highest quality products to our patients as a doctor-recommended suggestion. An extremely successful option has been the Unity Lenses. We shifted to Unity Lenses when we initially partnered with the VSP Premier Program and we have been delighted with the quality, rewards, and savings associated with them. My staff all wear Unity Lenses (myself included) and patient satisfaction and feedback are consistently favorable. The Unity Via OfficePro Lens is one of our best performing ophthalmic lenses. Other VSP partnerships with popular brands that we endorse, like Maui Jim, enhance our bottom line by attracting new patients and retaining our existing ones.
I am very optimistic about the future of our profession. One thing I find in optometry is that this industry is ever evolving. To be successful, I believe that you must embrace change. As I see it, you never know what the next eyecare advancement may be—you can either shy away from new technology or gravitate towards something that may interest you. As a result, your optometric practice benefits and that is always exciting to me.