OPTOMETRIC BUSINESS INNOVATORS
Contact Lens Dispensing
ROXANNE ACHONG-COAN, OD, FIAO
Coan Eye Care
“We are highly likely to accomplish our goals if they are well defined, written and time specific.”
Roxanne Achong-Coan, OD, FIAO, has been specializing in contact lenses and ocular disease for the past 14 years, and in the words of her OBI nominator, “she is a contact lens rock star.” After completing her residency in cornea and contact lenses at the Pacific University College of Optometry in Oregon, Dr. Achong-Coan began practicing in Miami shortly afterwards and moved to Orlando in 2001.
She has wide ranging experience with the most advanced contact lenses including silicone hydrogel, multifocal, astigmatism and colored contact lenses. For those with mild to moderate nearsightedness, Dr. Achong-Coan is certified in the fitting of Paragon CRT lenses, which reshape the cornea during sleep for the temporary correction of nearsightedness. She is adjunct professor at Pacific University College of Optometry and won the top clinical research poster at the Global Specialty Lens Symposium in 2012 on keratoconus versus normal eyes.
Her business philosophy is “We are highly likely to accomplish our goals if they are well defined, written and time specific.” She is a firm believer in staying current with the latest technology and is “always looking for the next new thing.”
“Having the latest technology (wavefront refractor, automated refractors, fundus camera, topography, anterior segment camera and video, anterior and posterior segment OCT) available helps us provide the best vision care and education and is the foundation for a strong specialty lens practice, including scleral lenses and orthokeratology.”
Located in a suburb about a mile from downtown Orlando, Dr. Achong-Coan counts many Universal Studios and Disney park employees as patients. Her colleague and husband Mark Coan, OD, specializes in chronic dry eye relief and the monitoring of sight threatening diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. “We’re a good team because we balance one another out. We rely on each other’s expertise and often seek each other out for second opinions,” Dr. Achong-Coan says.
ELLIE W. HATTORI, OD
Co-Owner along with husband
Rick N. Hattori, OD
Hattori Vision Optometry
“I feel blessed to have found a career I have a passion for.”
Ellie W. Hattori, OD, feels connected to her contact lens patients because she has been in their shoes. Hattori, who only sees contact lens patients while husband Rick N. Hattori, OD, sees other patients, said contact lenses changed her life, and were the reason she became interested in optometry.
“Being a high myope, and wearing thick glasses throughout my childhood and high school, I always felt unattractive. I was very quiet and always looked down. When I read about contact lenses in 1963, I thought it was a miracle. I saved my money and ordered my first contact lenses without my parents’ consent. My life changed. My confidence soared. I held my head high and loved talking to people,” says Dr. Hattori. “I try to instill that same life-changing experience in all my contact lens patients. There is nothing more gratifying to me than helping make a patient’s quality of life better.”
Dr. Hattori says weekly staff meetings ensure her whole staff stays focused on changing patients’ lives. “The biggest management challenge is keeping a team together that reflects the philosophy of our practice. Having a comprehensive and current office procedure and policy is crucial,” says Dr. Hattori. “Our weekly staff meetings have been one of our greatest tools. Here, we have an opportunity to share kudos and challenges of the week. Giving everyone on the team an opportunity to share their thoughts really strengthens the unity of the team.
“I feel blessed to have found a career I have a passion for. My goal for each patient is to be able to have them feel excited about the service and eyecare they receive from us.”
LARRY K. WAN, OD
Family Eyecare Center
“We try to probe for patient needs, listen for wants and provide the best products that positively impact their lifestyle.”
Larry Wan, OD, who has practiced at Family Eyecare Center in Campbell, Calif., since graduating Pacific College of Optometry in 1983, has built a renowned contact lens specialty through continuous education. He has educated himself in new and emerging contact lens technology, having taken part in many clinical studies; he has trained his staff to be sensitive to patient needs and to reach their full potential via the OD Lean program; and he also continually educates his patients on the latest in contact lens materials and designs. “ I believe in empowering patients with contact lens knowledge,” he says. “It helps to make my contact lens patients good promoters of my practice. We try to probe for patient needs, listen for wants and provide the best products that positively impact their lifestyle.”
Dr. Wan recommends that ECPs who are looking to build a contact lens specialty take part in clinical studies, and then tell patients about the innovative products they are working with. Further, he believes in having sufficient CL inventory on hand so as to solve the challenging cases that other doctors may give up on. “Having a lot of inventory on hand allows me to troubleshoot difficult cases and improve my efficiency. I can choose the right lens at the right time.”
Success in fitting patients, who may have been discouraged from contact lens wear elsewhere, commonly transforms these patients into powerful practice recommenders. Wan places a high number of patients (20 percent) in oxygen-permeable lenses, and he also specializes in corneal reshaping with rigid lenses. Both services are differentiators for his large and growing family practice, which has six ODs and a staff of 25 and is located near tech-savvy Silicon Valley.
Dr. Wan notes that his patients—children and parents alike—enjoy hearing about the latest in contact lens technology, especially as it positively impacts eye health and wearing comfort. “I think the exciting thing now is that we have such a breadth of product available to suit virtually any patient need,” he says. “This allows me to consistently start a conversation with a patient, ‘Do you know there are contact lenses that work well for you!’”
GINA WESLEY, OD, MS, FAAO
Complete Eye Care of Medina
“I strive to provide the service, individual care and superior products that I would value and appreciate as a patient myself.”
Gina Wesley, OD, MS, FAAO, owner of Complete Eye Care of Medina, has taken the economic downturn in stride because since being in practice it’s the only reality she has known.
“I think the most impactful effect [of the economy] on my practice is making sure we are offering a range of affordable options in services, as well as products so patients have options,” Dr. Wesley says. “The upside is that most patients are very appreciative of having several price points from which to choose.”
Dr. Wesley, who participates regularly in contact lens studies and offers patients the ability to order contacts directly through her web site, prides her practice on offering the best products to patients. “We focus very much on customer service, and making sure we are constantly re-evaluating our strategies, as well as conducting patient surveys and implementing that input to maintain our great level of service,” she says. “We have top-of-the-line technology and offer private pay options for wellness testing, which enhances our overall focus on preventative care.”
Educating patients on the value of the products and services the practice offers is essential, says Dr. Wesley. “The biggest challenge is positioning my practice’s perception in the eyes of patients. Some realize the difference in quality of care, products and services we provide compared to our competitors, but many don’t,” she notes. “We find we are constantly educating our patients about the differences, and really working hard to continually provide superior service and products. This includes performance by the practice before, during and after the exam….essentially the entire experience for a patient.”
Complete Eye Care of Medina
Medina, Minnesota – See more at: http://www.visionmonday.com/vm-reports/optometric-business-innovators/article/contact-lens-dispensing-41308/#sthash.DS21W9Nl.dpuf