Insights From Our Editors

Market Opportunity: Add More Children Patients to Your Practice

August 17, 2016

Only a small percentage of your patients are children, findings from Jobson Optical Research’s Children’s Eyewear MarketPulse suggest. Some 24.6 percent of patients at practices that sell to children are children between the ages of zero and 17.

Click HERE to purchase Jobson Optical Research’s Children’s Eyewear MarketPulse survey.

How much do you know about your practice? The AOA has a free report on its web site that gives you important information. This report helps by showing the questions you need to ask about your practice.

The report starts with the distribution of optometrists by primary practice type. Figure 1, from that report, gives a nice summary. Which piece of this pie represents you? Is this where you want to be 5-10 years from now?

What is the gender and age of the doctors in your practice? At the time of the report, 76 percent of owner ODs responding to the AOA survey were male and 24 percent were female. Of new owner optometrists (graduated within the last 10 years), 36 percent were female, showing a definite trend.

Fifty-one percent of non-owner optometrists were female, with 58 percent of new non-owner optometrists being female.

Here are the years in practice numbers.

The age of optometrists is also of interest. Which piece of this pie represents the doctors in your practice?

Let’s turn our attention to office square footage, number of exam rooms, hours in the office and how that time is spent. Do you have enough space? Are you seeing enough patients? Are you using your time in the office effectively and wisely? Here are the responses from the doctors who responded to the AOA survey.

What about patient demographics? Jobson Optical Research’s Children’s Eyewear MarketPulse data tells us that, of the practices that see children, about 25 percent of all patients are between the ages of 0 and 17 years. The AOA survey data adds to this.

Back to the original question: How much do you know about your practice? If you don’t know the numbers for your practice, at least now you know what questions to ask. As you find out the answers, analyze them to see if your numbers need to be different in order to move your practice forward over the next 5-10 years.

Remember Practice Management Rule #1: Measure to manage. You have to know where you are in order to effectively plan where you want to be 5-10 years from now. Use this week to find out about your practice, and then plan for what you want to happen to your practice over the next 5-10 years.

References

American Optometric Association: Practicing ODs – Executive Summary

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