OfficeMate/ExamWRITER now supported on the iPad!

Have you ever wanted to check your appointment schedule from home or from a coffee shop or review patient notes conveniently at home? Thought about using an iPad in your exam room to improve your patients’ perception of technology in your practice? Now you can. Eyefinity® today announced that it supports use of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER on the iPad. 

Using an iPad allows the eyecare professional to enter information right into their practice management or electronic health records system as they talk with the patient rather than turning away to use a laptop.

Through the offering, clients will be able to use their iPad to access a computer running OfficeMate/ExamWRITER in their practice through a remote desktop protocol (RDP) app. For more information, visit the Eyefinity booth (#1857) at the 2012 International Vision Expo East. OfficeMate/ExamWRITER clients can login at www.officemate.net/ipad.aspx to learn more.

eStores by Eyeconic put VSP providers in control of connecting with patients online

Since 2007, there has been a 650% increase in adults buying their eyewear online in the United States. Many of those consumers buying eyewear on the internet are probably your patients. As an independent eyecare professional in a changing market, what are you doing to compete with this expanding group of online optical retailers?

To help your practice remain competitive, Eyefinity has developed eStores by Eyeconic™, which are free for VSP providers with an eWebExtra™ website. So, what is an eStore?

eStores by Eyeconic offer practices a way to create an online optical store, connected to their eWebExtra site and customized to their practice. An online extension of the private practice’s brick and mortar dispensary, an eStore allows both VSP and non-VSP members to shop online whenever they want (24/7) for contact lenses, prescription eyewear, and sunwear that can be delivered right to the patient’s front door.

While both eyeconic.com™ and eStores by Eyeconic were developed to help private practice doctors retain or attract patients inclined to browse or buy online, eStores by Eyeconic are unique in that they are a practice’s own optical store, giving them the ability to control the pricing of products and choose what contact lens brands and Marchon®/Altair® frame brands to include.

They provide patients with a premium online shopping experience where they can browse through their VSP provider’s selection of products and even explore how different eyewear will look on them by using “virtual” frame try-on technology. Once a product is selected, they must enter their prescription to place the order, unless the order is for planosunwear, in which case no prescription entry is required. Eyeconic then contacts the prescribing doctor to verify the prescription to complete the order.

An example of a practice’s customized eStore, which is linked to the doctor’s eWebExtra site.

Donald W. Boyd, O.D., a VSP provider in Downey, CA has been testing his practice’s eStore for a few months. He said, “Our eStore is the perfect place to send patients who ask to take their prescription with them after their exam so they can shop at a later time. It is simple to set up and has been an effortless way to earn additional revenue for my practice.”

Orders are shipped by Eyeconic and practices can also rely on Eyeconic customer service to assist them and their patients with purchases made on their eStore. Providers simply collect payment thirty days from the date the order ships and can track activity and make adjustments through a user-friendly automated dashboard. Payment is determined by deducting the cost of the goods and an administrative fee from the final transaction. As an added benefit, practices will be provided with free electronic marketing tools to help them market their eStores to patients.

Get your first look at eStores by Eyeconic at our booth (#1857) or the VSP Global booth (#1723) at Vision Expo East, or contact  Eyeconic Customer Service at: info@eyeconic.com to learn more.

VSP Survey Finds Optometry Students Face Financing Hurdles When Pursuing Goal of Private Practice

Vision Monday shares highlights of a new study by VSP that underscores the financial challenges many optometry students run into when trying to enter private practice:

In a newly released study of career patterns among new optometry school graduates, VSP Vision Care surveyed optometry students during their third year in school along with their first year in practice, and discovered that 72 percent of respondents during their third year in school preferred to start their careers through private practice ownership, but only 15 percent of respondents became an independent eyecare professional practice owner in their first year of practice. 
Additional findings of the study show that: 

• 84 percent of third-year optometry students surveyed expect to own a private practice in the next five years. 
• During that same group’s first year in practice, 58 percent of respondents expect to own a private practice in the next five years. 
• 85 percent of first-year optometrists surveyed earn $99,999 or less 
• 76 percent of that same group carry $100,000 or more in debt 

As part of its commitment to supporting the continued success of private practice optometry, VSP Vision Care has programs available to help optometry students and optometry professionals enter private practice. Together VSP Vision Care and Essilor of America have distributed more than $54 million through the Vision Loans Program since its launch in 2003. The loans provide optometrists financing for first-time practice purchases, partnership buy-ins and refinance options. 

Since 2000, VSP has invested more than $1 million in financial awards to support nearly 200 optometry students interested in entering private practice. During the 2010-11 academic year, scholarships totaling $136,000 were provided by VSP to fourth-year optometry students across the country and Puerto Rico. 

“As the pressures of entering private practice and competition from alternative eyecare delivery channels grows so does our commitment to finding new and innovative approaches to keeping private practice strong for generations to come,” said Jim McGrann, president of VSP Vision Care. “We look forward to sharing some of those ideas in 2012.” 

Additional information about the scholarships and Vision Loans Program provided by VSP, Essilor of America and Vision One Credit Loans is available at www.vspglobal.com.

2011 Year In Review

A Message from Steve Baker, President, Eyefinity: 

Steve Baker

Were you as surprised as I was when you flipped the calendar to December 1? Really—already? The old saying, “Where does the time go?” is now more evident than ever. We live in fast and turbulent times, and our industry reflects this.

Think of the industry changes we’ve witnessed in just the last 12 months, in areas such as healthcare reform and the economy. I’m sure that you have examples of turbulent change relevant to your business. Did a new competitor open in your town? Did you have a significant change in your staff? Did you add an associate or expand your business to an additional location?

Change is a part of our lives, now and forever. For us to flourish together, we must be good at adapting to change. Actually, for us to flourish together, we must exploit change to the betterment of our businesses.

I speak to practices across the country and watch the optical and related industries very carefully. My crystal ball says that in 2012 we must find opportunities in these areas of rapid change:

Rising Competition
Optical retailers are getting bigger, stronger, and faster. Their own economic and ownership structure produces a strong appetite for growth not unlike many other industries. This means that consumers at large, and your patients in particular, will be sought after. Key aspects of your business, such as your value proposition and the patient experience, are critical now more than ever.

Consumers and the Internet
Remember when online appointment scheduling was something new and innovative? Facebook and Twitter are now commonplace. Text-messaging is fast becoming a dominant form of communication. Your patients could be searching for you right now on Yelp. Consumers are moving in droves to purchase optical products like sunwear and eyewear on the Internet. Make no mistake—the future success stories in optometry will be those that embrace the Internet with all of its risks and challenges.

The Velocity of Healthcare
There’s substantial change happening in the healthcare industry. Healthcare reform and the economic stimulus package for electronic medical records lead the way in terms of rampant change. Remember when “meaningful use” meant that you got your money’s worth out of a product? These changes were significant but they were not alone; 5010 compliance, ICD-10, and other regulations have also affected you and your staff.

These areas of change don’t frighten us at Eyefinity—they motivate us! We’re investing heavily to bring you products and services to help you exploit change. New products such as eWebExtra Patient Center, eyeVantage, and Eyeconic are designed for your success. We’re investing in virtual try-on technologies and other areas of web-enabled technology to help you be a star and serve your patients in these emerging areas of demand. And we continue to tirelessly monitor related industries and emerging technologies to bring you the very best.

As we close the year, I want to personally thank you for your business. It’s something we never take for granted, and something that we’re always thankful for. My hope is that we continue to please you with our products and services and together will exploit turbulent change for the better.

My very best holiday wishes to you and your families,
Steve

Demandforce now integrates with OfficeMate!

Attention OfficeMate users: Demandforce, Inc., a leader in online marketing and communication, and Eyefinity have announced a strategic relationship that allows users of OfficeMate practice management software to seamlessly integrate with the Demandforce D3 application.

What’s in it for your practice?

With Demandforce, OfficeMate users will be able to automate appointment scheduling and confirmations using email and text messaging, improve their online reputation on Internet sites including Google, Facebook and CitySearch and get more patients in the door with customized promotions, newsletters and more. Additionally, Demandforce automatically tracks results and revenue from all communications and online marketing efforts to provide real-time visibility into the success of the practice.

Proven results!

OfficeMate practices already using Demandforce have seen overwhelming value. To date, OfficeMate users have generated over 26,000 online client reviews and scheduled over 6,500 lost client visits. Individually, these practices have generated an average of 42 client reviews and reactivated 11 lost client visits per month.

“As an OfficeMate user for 14 years, we are huge fans of how seamlessly it integrates with Demandforce,” said Dr. Alan Glazier, O.D., F.A.A.O. “It allows my office staff to focus on growing our business by using automated marketing tools and offering superior customer service instead of learning a new software system.”

Want to know more about how it works? Check out the video below

Eyefinity customers interested in more information on Demandforce can call 1-800-210-0355, email info@demandforce.com or visit: http://www.demandforce.com/optometry.php

Technology for today and tomorrow…thoughts from Dr. Kirchner

James Kirchner, OD

Technology’s impact on our lives is increasingly evident. The recent passing of Steve Jobs caused the world to reflect upon these advances and how rapidly they’re happening. Four years ago we hadn’t heard of an app—now there are thousands. It’s hard to realize the first iPadwas delivered to us less than 24 months ago! The entire global technology community appears to be moving at the speed of light. Great companies not only keep up, but as Apple, Microsoft, and Google demonstrate, they lead. Aggressive innovation is the hallmark of technology leaders. At Eyefinity®, we clearly understand and embrace this role.

As the leader in technology services and products for the eyecare industry, Eyefinity is driven to provide a steady stream of new tools providers need to meet the demands of an evolving, competitive, opthalmic market. Our mission is to assist you, our customer, in achieving success in your business.

Eyefinity is committed to empowering the eyecare professional through personalized service and innovative e-business solutions. Our e-business solutions enable you to expand and promote your practice in the most cost-effective manner, so you can focus on your service for patients. Eyefinity offers the widest spectrum of e-business management resources: from product ordering, to insurance claim processing for government and commercial carriers, to developing marketing strategies.

Recently, Eyefinity rebranded Business Essentials as eyeVantage. The online collection of key learnings, proprietary tools, and best practices in eyeVantage lay the foundation for successful practices. This is just the beginning of the business resources that will become available on eyeVantage.

The recent release of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10.5 is the newest version of our CCHIT-certified Complete EHR. Our v10 software series enabled a large number of users to receive stimulus payments in 2011, and we anticipate an even larger majority to receive incentive payments in 2012. We’re adamant about our commitment to continually strengthen and improve our OfficeMate/ExamWRITER software. This product serves more practices in the U.S.than all competitors combined, and it’s here to stay. We are serious about our responsibility and commitment to provide and support OfficeMate/ExamWRITER, both now and in the future.

As the technology leader in our industry, we understand our critical role in developing innovative solutions. We’re in the midst of developing many new resources to meet the demands of the evolving ophthalmic market. Watch for announcements about developments in AcuityLogic, our complete, cloud-based EHR suite that allows practices to run their business through the “cloud,” or Internet. We’re committed to leading the industry in this realm.

Eyefinity is here for you today. As an innovative technology leader and your partner, we’ll continue to provide you with the resources for your success tomorrow. This is our mission and our sole reason for existence.

– James K. Kirchner, OD
Chief Professional Officer, Eyefinity

Thanks for attending FOCUS 2011!

We had a great time at FOCUS 2011 on Tuesday. Practice managers and decision makers from independent eyecare businesses from around the United States attended the full day event. Stay tuned for more info on what we might be up to next year! In case you missed us, check out some photos below from the event!

Eyefinity President Steve Baker kicks the day off.

FOCUS panelists (from left to right) Michael Johnson, OD, owner of Eagle Vision Eye Care; Stephen Tripi, brand marketing manager, Nike Vision; James Rosin, co-owner of Rosin Eye Care; Kate Renwick-Espinosa, chief marketing office, VSP Global; Ellen Goad, practice manager, Thomas Eye Center

Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO presented on “searchial marketing” and how he views social media as it relates to driving web search optimization.

FOCUS keynote speaker Dr. Joseph Michelli, author of Prescription for Excellence The Starbucks Experience: Five Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary. Dr. Michelli presented on how to create a custom and branded patient experience and why this is growing increasingly important in the age of social media.