The Optometric Minute

Urgent Care Centers: Threat or Opportunity?

Sept. 27, 2017

Optometrists have an opportunity to educate patients to visit their practice instead of an urgent care center, or hospital emergency room, when eye-related emergencies arise. Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO, and Ryan Powell, OD, note that patients often visit their practice with eye conditions that are more difficult to treat than they would have been if patients had come to them first, instead of an urgent care center. They recommend establishing relationships with local urgent care providers, so they know where to send patients when eye emergencies arise.

 

 

ESTABLISH REFERRAL RELATIONSHIPS. Introduce yourself, and leave your business cards, with urgent care centers, just as you would at other healthcare provider offices.

NEED FOR EYE-SPECIFIC URGENT CARE. There is a need for emergency care centers focused on nothing but eye-related conditions.

EDUCATE PATIENTS: ODS BEST EQUIPPED. Primary care, and emergency room, doctors, usually aren’t comfortable addressing eye emergencies. Patients should understand to come to you first.

 

Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO, is president of Lakeline Vision Source in Cedar Park, Texas. To contact her: lsorrenson@gmail.com.

Ryan Powell, OD, owns Insight Eyecare Specialties, with eight locations in the Kansas City, Mo., metro area . To contact him: drpowell@ieseyecare.com

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