Eyefinity recently announced James Kirchner, O.D. as Chief Professional Officer. Read our Q and A with Dr. Kirchner below to get to know more about him:
Can you tell us a little bit about your career as an optometrist?
I’ve been in private practice since graduating from the Illinois College of Optometry in 1977. I founded a multi-doctor, multi-site practice in Lincoln, NE, called EyeCare Specialties. It has grown to 5 locations, with 11 optometrists. I was primarily involved in family practice with an emphasis in disease treatment and contact lenses. I’ve been involved in optometry association work, having served as President of the Nebraska Optometric Association, the North Central States Optometric Council and active in the AOA volunteer structure, serving the last five years as Chair of the AOA Communications Center.
What attracted you to Eyefinity?
I saw this as an opportunity to make a difference for my profession by helping to bring innovative and efficient tools and solutions to my colleagues, including outstanding practice management and EMR software like OfficeMate and ExamWRITER. As the Chief Professional Officer, I can be a strong advocate for private practice optometry inside and outside of the company.
What will you be doing in your new role as Chief Professional Officer?
I’ll be overseeing the continued development of the business and software solutions that Eyefinity offers from the viewpoint of a private practice optometrist, including the next generation of OfficeMate and ExamWRITER. Additionally, I’ll be acting as Eyefinity’s professional liaison to the optometric community.
You have long been a pioneer in the field of electronic medical records. How do you view optometry benefiting from the adoption of EMR technology?
There is no question in my mind that the future success of optometry will depend largely on EMR technology. As a part of the healthcare continuum, optometry is being affected by rapid growth in technologies like EMRs. As eye doctors, we must be willing and ready to advance technologically, so that we can run our practices at peak efficiency.
New clinical technology allows us to examine a patient’s vision like never before; therefore, we must have the right EMR technology in place to effectively manage the vast amount of data that we gather. There is no better time to start using EMRs than right now. This is especially true given the federal stimulus money that is available through the HITECH Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for eyecare providers who use EMRs.
What are you doing when you’re not working?
I love to be with my wife and spend time with the family, including our two-year-old granddaughter. I have a passion for riding motorcycles, owning two Harleys, and of course golf is always an additional favorite pastime. I’m highly involved with my church, and I’m President of an International Christian ministry called Kingdom’s Harvest International.