By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD
March 10, 2021
Jobson Optical Research produced a report that looks back at the year 2020 focusing on optical revenue.
To see the complete report click HERE. We’ve selected three data graphs from that report to comment on in this article.
Optical revenue was at its lowest point in April 2020 as the country shut down. Then, as we learned how to function in this “new normal,” the numbers returned to almost normal numbers relatively quickly. The numbers even surpassed 2019 revenue occasionally due to pent up demand and increased near demand activities occurring during the shutdown period.
Both capture rates and dollars per patient increased as practices opened back up. It is important to review this data in your own practice and see what “best practices” you can implement to keep these numbers higher moving forward.
We were all in the same general situation across the country as you can see by the trend lines in the graph above. The good news is that, being in the same general situation, we can learn from each other. We learned at least the following five lessons:
• How to keep our patients and staffs healthy and communicate this effectively.
• How to change patient flow through the office for efficiency and effectiveness.
• How to increase the number of patients seen per unit of time.
• How to manage cash flow in order to keep the practice fiscally healthy.
• How to deliver telemedicine examinations and deliver remote care.
Lens fogging continues to be a problem that is not going away. When 80 percent of patients complain about anything, we need to take notice and offer solutions. Even if the patient rejects the solution, the patient recognizes that you offered the solution. One of the worst things that can happen is when a patient is talking to someone else about how they hate it when their lenses fog. The other person responds by saying, “Well, my eye doctor offered this solution to me and it works nicely.” Then come the words that should cut us to our hearts: “I wonder why my eye doctor didn’t tell me about that? What is the name of your eye doctor?”
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1) Take this week to review your capture rate and dollars per patient numbers. Are you keeping them high or have they dropped back down? What can you do to fix this, if it is a problem?
2) Look also at the five lessons learned we identified above. Are these still in place in your office? Have you worked to make them even better?
3) And finally, what solutions have you implemented in your practice to address the issue of lens fogging? Are you proactive and bring it up with all patients or only reactive, waiting for patients to complain?