Diagnostic Instrumentation

How I Boosted Bottom-Line Profit 21% While Taking More Vacation Time Than Ever

Dr. Kurtis, left, and Kurtis Colson, her technician, beside their practice’s Chronos from Topcon Healthcare. She says that this technology has transformed both the level of care and efficiency she is able to deliver to patients.

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By Sara Kurtis, OD

March 8, 2023

When I decided to upgrade my practice with additional technology, I was focused on helping patients and increasing efficiency. In the process, we experienced an impressive increase in revenue and net profitability by incorporating the Topcon Healthcare Chronos, an automated binocular refraction system that combines binocular autorefraction, keratometry and subjective refraction in a single, compact device. This innovative refractive technology has transformed both our level of patient care and financial strength.

Adding New Technology with Clear Goals in Mind
I was looking for a way to improve efficiency and to accommodate more exams per day without increasing my time at the office. My office has limited space and only one exam lane, so my options were limited.

I placed the Chronos in my optical and have delegated the initial refraction to my technician, which enabled me to spend more time with my patients discussing their ocular health and options for care.

Greater Efficiency = Greater Profitability
Prior to the Chronos, we were seeing three patients per hour. Now, we have increased to four patients an hour, thereby increasing our revenue.

Total gross revenue is up 25 percent year-to-date, and bottom-line profit is up 21 percent. The breakeven point was hit after about 10 months, which is remarkable considering we were closed for almost the entire month of February due to a remodel of the vision center. The Topcon Chronos has given me more quality time with patients with less time at the practice and has allowed my family and I to take more vacations in the last year than ever before.

Enhance Patient Education
I have limited time with each patient, so when I spend less time on the refraction, it leaves more time for patient education. Whether it’s describing the benefits of certain types of contacts or discussing the importance of compliance with glaucoma drops, I can focus on patients’ individual needs.

Gather More Data Before Patient Is In Your Chair
One thing that I didn’t realize would be so helpful before I started to use Chronos was to already have the patient’s BCVA before they got to my exam chair. Because of the limited space in my office, I measure all of the visual acuities myself. Having them already measured by the Chronos allows me to be more efficient in my exam.

If I have a patient who corrects to 20/20 in both eyes with the Chronos, I save valuable time by not having to remeasure their visual acuities. If I see a patient is 20/20 OD, and 20/40 OS, then I know in advance that I will spend extra time refining the refraction and on the ocular health exam to determine the cause of the decreased vision.

After the patient has been measured on the Chronos, I will discuss the findings, and if there is a large change in any part of the refraction, I will double-check it with the Topcon CV-5000S digital phoropter. Overall, I have found that the Chronos is extremely accurate with prescriptions.

When I implemented the Chronos into my office, I hired one technician, who was exclusively responsible for pretesting. After one day of training, our technician found the device extremely easy to use, even for someone who has no prior knowledge or experience with refraction. The more that Chronos is used, the more efficient our staff becomes.

Our practice workflow was expedited immensely, and I wish that I had added the Chronos much sooner. It gives me the confidence to schedule more patients and increase revenue to the point that the staff addition has more than paid for itself.

Boost Your Patient Experience & Practice Brand
In the past, patients would always comment on how technologically advanced our practice was, with wide-field retinal cameras, OCT, and other advanced medical eyecare technology. Yet, we were still using an outdated, manual phoropter. Now we have an all-digital refraction system with Chronos and CV-5000S, and our patients comment on how efficient and seamless the exam process is.

If you have a practice that is booked out for weeks, and there are more patients than you can accommodate, adding Chronos will help you schedule more patients, while still providing the best care possible. With the Topcon Chronos, you can quickly boost your practice’s profitability and still spend more time away from your practice on things like travel or spending time with family.

Sara Kurtis, OD, is the owner of QC Family Eyecare in Davenport, Iowa. To contact her: sarakurtis16@gmail.com


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