Forward-thinking ODs provide fresh ideas that colleagues can use. This month, we honor ODs who are innovative in contact lens dispensing, selected from our fourth annual Optometric Business Innovators report from Vision Monday and Review of Optometric Business.
PETER J. CASS, OD
BEAUMONT FAMILY EYE CARE
“It can always be better.” For me this has two meanings. First, we can and should strive to improve and never be satisfied with where we are. Second, no matter how bad the situation seems, we can survive it, and things will be better.”
Technology and the most up-to-date practice systems are a priority at this single-doctor practice in Beaumont, Texas. Owner Peter Cass, OD, practices full-scope optometry, specializing in difficult-to-fit contact lenses, and is a speaker for Bausch + Lomb, as well as a clinical researcher for Alcon.
“We are a completely paperless practice and are focused on the efficiency that comes with technology. All of our patient history and demographic forms are available online for patients to fill out prior to coming to our office. Any form requiring patient signatures are captured electronically at check-in and all insurance cards and photo IDs are scanned in to our EHR,” Dr. Cass says.
“All patient exam data is recorded in the EHR, and we have achieved Meaningful Use since the first year of the incentive program,” he points out. In fact, Beaumont Family Eye Care was the first eyecare office to connect to the Greater Houston Health Connect, a Houston-based Health Information Exchange provider covering about 25 percent of Texas.
All contact lens and frame orders are handled electronically through the practice’s EHR, and patients are notified when their eyewear is ready through the patient engagement system, Solutionreach. Patients also electronically receive surveys about their visit, and Dr. Cass personally replies to all survey responses.
“We are a very efficient practice and fully utilize a highly trained and certified staff, and require them to have AOA, ABO or JCAHPO certification,” he says. “I personally see 45 to 50 patients per day and have lectured extensively on the subject.”
BRADLEY S. GIEDD, OD, MS, FAAO
EYE ASSOCIATES OF WINTER PARK
WINTER PARK, FLORIDA
“There are no shortcuts to success. Consistent, quality effort with the highest attention to detail will always set you apart from the competition.”
As part of a four-doctor group optometric practice located in a busy suburb of Orlando, Bradley Giedd, OD, is an integral part of a team offering specialty services ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics, as well as specialty contact lens fitting. Eye Associates of Winter Park also manages a significant amount of ocular disease and refractive surgery.
“Our practice takes great pride in being as technologically advanced as possible. We were early to convert to EHR during the year 2011 and have continued to integrate technology into our practice and into our EHR itself with more recent additions of Heidelberg Spectralis OCT and the Oculus Keratograph topographer adding to our ability to provide state-of-the-art care to our patients,” Dr. Giedd says.
“Although the suburban area is highly saturated with eyecare, we continue to thrive where many others have not by providing a wide range of quality services and products that are backed up by fair and comprehensive warranties and 100 percent satisfaction guarantees,” he says. “Our philosophy has always been patient-centered, and our doctors and staff are all involved members of our local communities where we have established personal relationships with many local businesses and individuals.”
The practice has been able to take advantage of opportunities to utilize industry partners that provide loyal practices with professional grade programs and training. “These programs have proven quite beneficial to our practice with minimal-to-no impact on the practice bottom line,” says Dr. Giedd. “Thus, our brilliance in these cases has been merely to take advantage of opportunities that most would consider ‘no-brainers.’”
CARY HERZBERG, OD, FIAO
“Our practice is distinctive in that we serve specialized patient needs. We are a practice built on optometric contact lens specialties.”
Cary Herzberg, OD, FIAO, of Herzberg Optical in Aurora, Ill., offers a complete and thorough eye examination that allows the doctor and patient to work together to give the best possible eyecare required. He clearly has the basics down, but Dr. Herzberg has made a name for himself by offering specialized contact lens services—specifically corneal reshaping via Ortho K.
Ninety percent of his patients are in contact lenses, and 80 percent of those contact lens wearers are Ortho K patients. “Patient education is the key to our success,” he says. “We let prospective patients know what we do using all the tools available to us—social media, pamphlets, DVDs and handouts.”
Dr. Herzberg says the power of word-of-mouth marketing also plays an important role: “Sometimes the patient who opts for Ortho K isn’t even the one you gave the hand-out to but a friend or acquaintance of that person.” The 90-year-old practice, in which Dr. Herzberg represents the third generation of optometrists, also serves patients with conditions such as keratoconus and those in need of specialty lenses such as multifocals.
Dr. Herzberg has taken his knowledge of contact lenses to a whole new level. As president of the International Academy of Orthokeratology (IAO), he is now training other eyecare practitioners overseas in countries such as China, where he is on the staff at Tianjin Medical University, specializing in providing training on Ortho K.
“Our Asia section(IAOA) of IAO has trained over 5,000 ophthalmologists and optometrists in China alone,” he says of the international reach of his organization.