By ROB Editors
August 1, 2018
A special presentation, Defining the Future of Optometry, was offered at Optometry’s Meeting in Denver in June. The talk, which featured ROB Professional Editor Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD, Kristen S. O’Brien, OD, Jason Ortman, OD, and Mary Anne Murphy, OD, explored the supply and demand for optometry, along with coming mega-trends.
Here are highlights from the aspects of the presentation that addressed future opportunities in the optometric profession.
As the demand for eyecare services grows, the supply to meet that demand will come mostly from optometry. The ranks of ophthalmologists will remain relatively static over the next decade, while ODs will increase in number.
At the same time, optometric practices have excess capacity, allowing them to capture the growing number of comprehensive eye exams and medical eyecare services. Eye exams are viewed by most ODs as a prime factor in growing their practices as a business. Online sales of optical goods and online eye exams are viewed as major challenges to optometric practices.
Opportunities for Independent ODs
Upgrade Professional Management
Increase efficiency through best practices in management.
Set improvement goals to:
• Expand medical eyecare services
• Improve patient recall and step up frequency of exams and purchases
• Upgrade product mix and capture rate
• Enhance the patient experience
Recognize Telemedicine as a Reality
Expand your understanding of the implications of online medical services:
• Expand access to care and further the doctor/patient relationship
• Apply big data analysis and artificial intelligence to diagnose and treat eye conditions
• Work to fully benefit your patients’ health as part of their multi-discipline wellness team
• Meet cost efficiencies demanded by health-care reform
Embrace cutting-edge technology in both clinical and management arenas:
• Improvements and continual upgrades in technology elevate the care you provide and reinforce your value to patients by showing them “something new” at each annual visit
• Elevate your efficiency and profitability with data-driven decision-making and dashboard management
• Empower your staff to set improvement goals and track personal and practice performance gain
Access the Power of Many
Optometry has a long and cherished tradition of sharing knowledge to improve patients’ lives and sustain the profession.
• Join and engage fully with an OD network or study group
• Support organized optometry and access clinical and management resources
• Partner with leading manufacturers to access resources to improve clinical skills and management performance
• Educate patients, the public and fellow medical professionals in the full scope of services that optometrists are trained and licensed to provide