By Robert Stamm, OD
Jan. 25, 2023
Practice owners, and their staffs, have many optical industry meetings to choose from every year. In our practice, there is one meeting, which we are sure never to miss: The Vision Source Exchange. My staff and I learn lessons for improvement from our peers that set the stage to deliver ever-better patient care and service.
Development Opportunity for Staff
We have attended The Exchange every year since we joined Vision Source, and almost always with staff. The employees we take are usually our key leadership staff, but every few years we take the entire staff. Having our staff join us at this meeting has been essential to our growth and development. For many reasons.
First, it is a real treat for our employees to attend these meetings, and have that time with each other outside the office. Second, it gets them to buy into what we are striving for in our practice. It shows our commitment to make them better members of our practice team by furthering their growth and development with continuing education opportunities. It’s invaluable to have them there and experience interaction and conversation with our practice vendors, keynote speakers and others in a similar position to their own.
Bring Back Ideas that Change Patients’ Lives & Practice Profitability
We ask each employee, who attends The Exchange, to bring back three things they learned at the meeting that can improve patient care, increase revenues, improve office morale or boost our efficiency. Our staff go into the meeting with that in mind unless we have a specific technology need we would like them to learn about.
This year is an open book in terms of our goals, so I look forward to seeing what our team learns. Every year we come away from The Exchange having learned about a new way of doing things, or new technologies and treatments, that have benefited both our patients and practice.
Optimize Implementation & Use of New Technology
Having our staff with us at The Vision Source Exchange has been instrumental in helping us implement new processes and new technology. The information and presentations they are exposed to at the meeting help them understand how our patients will benefit from the technology, and why we are adding it to our office.
Last year, for instance, we watched presentations that helped us successfully add multiple new technologies including new dry eye in-office treatments like Systane iLux2, low-level light therapy, as well as iON imaging systems for better anterior segment photos. We also added the AdaptDx last year after learning about it at The Exchange, and created new in-office procedures for expanding our macular degeneration care in our practice. In addition, we learned about Pure & Clean, which was also added to our maintenance of our dry eye patients.
Our staff got significant direct education on dry eye protocol and on the new treatments for dry eye. This education, seeing the technology in hands-on demonstrations with vendors, and then discussing what they saw with the doctors, put us all on the same page prior to implementation.
Meet & Learn From Your Peers
The continuing education and formal presentations at The Exchange are not to be missed, but just as important are the informal meetings and conversations that take place with other Vision Source doctors and staff. We have learned so much over the years hearing how other practices have implemented new technology and new office processes. There is a professional give-and-take at The Exchange that makes it especially collegial and friendly.
Solidify Existing Vendor Relationships & Forge New Ones
One of the best parts of being a Vision Source member is the relationships we have help jump-starting with vendors. The Exchange gives us the chance to meet these valuable practice partners in-person and meet new potential partners. Having these relationships nurtured at an annual in-person meeting helps our office run more efficiently and effectively. We meet the people who can help us deliver a best-in-class experience to our patients.
Robert Stamm, OD, is a partner with Lifetime Eyecare in McCook, Neb., a Vision Source practice. To contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org