By Jeff Strand, OD
Dec. 14, 2022
Your passion for specialized areas of optometry can get a boost if you find the right organization to partner with. For me, that right organization was MyEyeDr. Here are the details on how ODs who join us are able to receive support in launching or expanding a practice specialty through our new Centers of Excellence program, which will ramp into full swing in 2023.
An Opportunity to Enhance Patient Care & OD Career Options
In late 2019, Artis Beatty, OD, Chief Medical Officer, promoted me to Director, Clinical Excellence. This role would include many duties, but one would be to begin to enhance our ability as a group to better serve our patients with specialized needs.
In addition to serving those patients, our vision was to help doctors develop skills specific to their interests and modes of practice. We wanted to develop protocols, educational points, mentors, and equipment acquisition specific to services such as myopia management, dry eye management and specialty contact lenses.
The goal was for doctors to have the opportunity to build selected elements into their practices depending on their particular skills and patient base. As we’ve grown, many of the doctors joining MyEyeDr. are specialists in certain areas of the profession. We saw this as a strength we could maximize to provide better care and career opportunities for the ODs who join us.
Giving ODs the Resources They Need to Succeed
Our Centers of Excellence program further supports these specialty doctors with resources like equipment, scheduling and marketing. For example, our system of programming within the schedule guarantees time for specialty patients, while also allowing us to track the appointments to further support that doctor. We have been growing and improving these systems for a few years now with much success.
We provide many of the necessities to build on a doctor’s desire to perform a specialty. For instance, not only do we provide a stipend for continuing education, but we also often have live in-person and remote events focused on specialized care. In partnership with schools of optometry and specialty contact lens vendors, we can provide events like fitting workshops for specialty contact lenses. In addition, we record and catalogue those courses for future reference on our learning platform, MyEyeDr. University. Our managed vision care department provides documentation and references to be able to properly bill and code for a specialty. We also have a committee that oversees the addition of proper coding for specialty procedures. Last and perhaps most importantly, we help provide patients for the doctors through marketing and internal referral.
When a new practice is added to our group, we have mentors who can reach out to other doctors to lead them through our systems and patient journey, along with all of the resources available. For instance, one of our mentoring ODs in Virginia recently guided a new myopia management doctor in Texas through our systems and resources.
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Recently, we had our first Preceptor Summit. We shared ideas, had round-table discussions and planned for the future of educating new doctors in specialties and beyond. Several times a year, we gather all our doctors together remotely to collect information and ask how and which specialties we should be supporting.
Sharing the Same EHR & Scheduling Systems Makes Referral Relationships Easier
We are a large network of doctors, which provides patients and referring doctors within our group access to our specialty doctors. We are all using one cohesive, linked network of electronic patient records and scheduling software to be able to seamlessly share patient information and schedules. Having previous records available on-demand is critical to managing any specialty patient.
Get Access to Cutting-Edge Technology to Bolster a Specialty
As a large group, we are afforded the luxury of often being the first to pilot new technologies. We are piloting several versions of virtual reality visual field machines, remote diagnostic technology and dry eye treatment devices and products, to name a few. Growing a successful specialty becomes easier when you have the best technology to help deliver care.
The Future is Looking Up at MyEyeDr.
Next year will be exciting for MyEyeDr. and our patients as we get ready to name our first Centers of Excellence practices. Those Centers of Excellence will be even more highly specialized with an increased level of support. Our best specialty practices will be recognized as a Center of Excellence, which will lead our profession into even greater success, doctor fulfillment and patient satisfaction.