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In-House Finishing ‘Edges’ Out Profit

While reducing turnaround time and errors for happier patients.

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FINISHING JOBS IN-HOUSE can be a real bonus for many eyecare professionals. Even though there’s an initial upfront cost to buying a machine, savings can be realized soon thereafter. According to The Vision Council, about 53 percent of all ECP locations have some type of finishing equipment on-site with a further 20 percent owning a surfacing system. There are certainly many efficient and reliable machines to choose from since most manufacturers include retail edgers in their line of lens finishing systems.

 

Luneau Technology USA

Briot Perception 2, Briot Attitude, WECO E.3/2

(800) 729-1959, luneautech.com

 

Optek International

E1000-GP Edger, FD-80 Tracer, LS-82 Blocker, DM-1000 Lens Drill, Dia E1000-E920

(727) 522-2301, optekinternational.com

 

MEI System

EzFit No Block

(630) 521 8588 | meisystem.com

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Essilor Instruments USA

Pro-E 700 edging system, KAPPA, Special Edition edger

(855) 393-4647 | essilorinstrumentsusa.com

 

National Optronics

17Ex Edger, QM-X3

(800) 800-1550 | nationaloptronics.com

 

Santinelli International

Me 1200, Lex 1200, LEXCE, Le 1200, Le 700

(800) 644-3343 | santinelli.com

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Coburn Technologies

Excelon HPE-410, Exxpert HPE 8000X, HPE-810

(800) 262-8761 | coburntechnologies.com

 

Smart Ways To Sell In-House Edging

Penn Moody, OD, MOODY EYES, INDIANAPOLIS, IN

In 2011, we decided to add an edging lab for better control over expenses and quality. At Vision Expo we chose the DIA from Optek. We’ve been very pleased with this choice. The vertical orientation allows the pressure on the lens to be adjusted during edging. We purchased a second DIA in 2017. We now process over 80 percent of our glasses, which has added substantially to our profitability and patient satisfaction.

Wendy Salle, SALLE OPTICIANS, ATLANTA, GA

We’ve been edging in-house for the past 30 years. I had to put in a second machine this year because of the volume. We’re up to about 25 jobs a day on two Santinelli machines, the Me1200 and the LEXCE. We do a lot of custom rimless work which can take an inordinate amount of time. But, it’s hard to find a lab that does good finish work and it’s a no-brainer for me to do it in-house. I don’t look at cost savings but I do look at being able to have ultimate control over our products.

Ronald Garbatini, ROYAL VISION ASSOCIATES NEW HAVEN, CT

We were spending between $8,000-$10,000 a month in lab bills before we got the Briot Attitude in 2016. Now we’ve cut that in half. Even though it’s an expensive machine, it’s paid for itself already. We edge about 30-50 jobs a day through this machine: everything from poly to plastic, high index, single vision, progressives to flat top bifocals. Patients like that we do jobs in-house, especially if they use private insurance.

 

Carol Gilhawley is a contributing writer for INVISION.

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Better Vision

It’s Time to Think About Winterizing Those Eyes

Products that tackle the vision issues associated with cold weather sports and how to sell them.

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WHEN IT COMES TO a winter sport like hockey, patients can buy specialist sports gear for protection. But, for other winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, motocross and mountain biking, patients may prefer to wear a goggle or prescription sunglass in a wrap frame for maximum coverage. These days, lens technologies are so effective they can offer color enhancement on the slopes and highlight moguls in any conditions.

Bollé

Cobalt with polarized TNS lens.

(800) 423-3537, bolle.com

Wiley X

WX Wave Climate Control series with gloss demi/polarized emearald green mirror lens with an amber base.

(800) 776-7842, wileyx.com

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Pyramex

Venture Gear tactical line of ballistic-rated eyewear, the Brevard frame with Forest Gray lens.

(800) 736-8673, pyramexsafety.com

Scott Sports

SCOTT LCG Compact Goggle with light sensitive blue chrome lens.

(800) 292-5874, scott-sports.com

UAB | The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Tinted Helmet Visor

(205) 934-4011, uab.edu

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SPY Optic

SPY Legacy with a gold Spectra lens.

(800) 779-3937, spyoptic.com

SportRx

Prescription snow goggle insert that accommodates corrective lenses.

(888) 831-5817, sportrx.com

Smith Optics

4D MAG Goggle with ChromaPop Sun Red Mirror lens.

(888) 206-2995, smithoptics.com

Smart Ways To Sell Eyewear for Winter Sports

Rob Tavakoli, Sportrx, San Diego, CA

For us, eyewear for winter sports is a growing category. We design and manufacture our own prescription insert that fits into any ski goggle. We sell this complete insert mounted to an Rx lens direct to the consumer or through the 3Os channel. Smith sells an interesting concept with its optical ODS adapter system that fits inside a goggle and most brands manufacture goggles that fit over glasses. I think the Anon M4 Cylindrical goggle is the best. Fogging is constantly an issue for people in the winter, so we recommend putting a good anti-fog coating on an Rx insert. Color enhancing lenses, like ChromaPop from Smith and Prizm from Oakley, work like magic on the snow by offering clarity and contrast to skiers.

Chris Merciez, Envision, Boulder, CO

Our doctors are avid skiers, so they generally talk to the patient about skiing when they’re in the room with them. This is helpful and offers a seamless transition for us to get them what they need. Many of our patients see all types of sports eyewear when they’re on the slopes so they’re already aware of what they want when they come in. We stock all types of brands – Smith goggles, Zeal goggles, Maui Jim and Oakley. Zeal, Bollé and Smith have designed an insert that goes behind the ski goggle and Smith offers a turbo fan option to prevent fogging. If the patient doesn’t want a goggle, then they may like the idea of a prescription sunglass that works for both skiing and regular wear.

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Better Vision

EHR Systems Have More Enhancements Than Ever Before

Bells and whistles your paper charts definitely don’t possess.

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ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS have come a long way. First Insight’s EyeClinic Imaging consolidates patient data, images, and diagnostics into one cloud-based system. Similarly, FoxFire’s Image Management module collects diagnostic images directly into the EHR. Compulink’s Artificial Intelligence runs Advantage EHR which includes built-in chief complaints and ICD-10 coded diagnoses. ABB Optical integrated RevolutionEHR’s SmartFlow ordering technology. EHRs can also improve accounts receivable and help you run a more efficient practice.

Foxfire Systems Group

Foxfire EHR with Image Management

(800) 333-4176, foxfiresg.com

Compulink

Eyecare Advantage EHR

(800) 456- 4522, compulinkadvantage.com

DrChrono

iPad and iPhone EHR

(844) 569-8628, drchrono.com

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ABB Optical Group

Glimpse Mobile tracks business analytics.

(904) 503-9616 glimpselive.com

RevolutionEHR

RevolutionEHR with SmartFlow ordering technology

(877) 738-3471, revolutionehr.com

Weave

Weave Optometry for patient communications

(888) 579-5668, getweave.com

First Insight

MaximEyes EHR with Eye Clinic Imaging

(800) 920-1940, first-insight.com

Smart Ways To Use EHR Enhancements

Dr. Brian O’Donnell, New Era Eye Care, Shavertown, PA

I’m on my fourth EHR system since I changed my practice in 2012 to make it more efficient. Part of that process was to invest in a new EHR. After visiting VEE and interviewing vendors I went with Foxfire. They provided a feature I wanted — to be able to see recalls and identify certain patients for promotions. They also had a tremendous integration platform for image management and data analytics. I liked that they did billing in-house too. They have their own clearing house within the system that is outstanding. Both the practice management side and the medical side of the EHR system got upgrades recently and they went flawlessly. Since I started with Foxfire in 2014, the system has been overhauled many times. Each time they carry out training so we’re well prepared.

Dr. Brandon Chester, Chester Eye Center, Chillicothe, OH

We studied up before we transitioned to First Insight’s MaximEyes EHR in 2011. It puts everything at our disposal and lets us quickly look up patients and run different reports based on diagnoses. We were one of the first to adopt their cloud-based EyeClinic Imaging software when it came out in 2017. You can click a button to launch it from within the EHR system and view all images from a test result. Now we don’t have to scan as much data as we used to. Once we’re done with a test the image is saved to a patient’s file and we can pull it up on screen in the exam room and show our patients comparison pictures. First Insight does a good job staying on top of different Medicare requirements and the MIPS program is built into their EHR system.

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Better Vision

Teleoptometry Tools Redefining the Meaning of ‘Phoning it In’

With about 200 different telehealth models being run today, ECPs have to decide which tools, if any, add value to their services.

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OCULAR TELEHEALTH, WHICH delivers eyecare remotely through medical equipment and telecommunications technology, is a hot-button issue right now. The question of whether it can offer a viable alternative to an in-person comprehensive exam is being intensely debated. What’s driving its progress are rising health care expenses as compared to the lower costs and added convenience it offers to patients.

There are about 200 different telehealth models being run these days in the U.S. and abroad, says Vitor Pamplona, founder of EyeNetra, which enables its customers to build their own telehealth models. And they are all different and generally protective of their own way of doing business. “The beauty of the state of vision care today is that anyone can build their own fully functioning telehealth system, using state-of-the-art tools like EHR-enabled AI-based voice assistants, blockchain storage and crypto vision benefits all the way down to the most basic one-on-one patient coaching approaches,” Pamplona explains. “Software is cheap. Technology is cheap. The field is booming but in a very diverse and decentralized way.”

While some states, such as Indiana and Connecticut, prohibit ocular telehealth, the majority allow it. One of the fastest growing entrants is 20/20NOW, which has completed 78 installations of its Ocular Telehealth Solution and expects to complete 125 by year-end. “Optical retail has always embraced ocular telehealth,” says Chuck Scott, CEO of 20/20NOW. “We are now seeing a trend within private optometry to utilize ocular telehealth within their practice, primarily for practice expansion, revenue improvement and better work/life balance.”

Given an abundance of options, the challenge now facing ECPs is to decide which tools, if any, add value to their services.

Smart Vision Labs

SV One, a handheld, smartphone-based autorefractor.

(212) 796-6124, smartvisionlabs.com

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Digital Optometrics

DigitalOptometrics’ Teleoptometry

Eye Exam (877) 506-0002, digitaloptometrics.com

D-EYE

D-EYE’s Smartphone-based Retinal Imaging System

(401) 473-6323, d-eyecare.com

20/20NOW

Ocular Telehealth Solution

(844) 843-2020, for2020now.com

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RightEye

Tests called Functional Vision EyeQ, Brain Health EyeQ, Reading EyeQ and Sports Vision EyeQ.

(301) 979-7970, righteye.com

EyeNetra

Digital Lensometer

(617) 684-5680, eyenetra.com

Smart Ways To Use Teleoptometry Tools

Joseph Ianni, Swift Eyewear, Massena, NY

The option to find doctors locally was limited so we purchased hardware from DigitalOptometrics to provide eye exams. We book a 30-minute complete eye exam and the system can accommodate walk-ins too. It has proved to be an amazing solution and we’ve carried out hundreds of exams since we went live in January. Our technician carries out pre-tests and then we videoconference in a doctor who looks at the results and can control the phoropter remotely and then sends us a prescription electronically. Our patients love the seamless experience and they’re happy they don’t have to travel to see a doctor.

Brian Chou, OD, Revision Optometry San Diego, CA

These are interesting times as technology impacts the evolution of optometry. Many new forms of teleoptometry are startups and like all startups some will succeed and some will fail and some could even get their technology acquired. The alternative distributors of online glasses and contact lenses are focused on giving prescription renewals online. More ambitious technologies offer digital retinal imaging using AI to diagnose diabetic retinopathy. We used to think autorefractors were a threat and now we see optometrists embracing them in their practices to improve efficiency. 20/20NOW is an enterprising outfit that helps clinics and opticals by giving non-dilated eye exams to patients so they can get a prescription when the doctor is not present. Stanton Optical allows patients in all its offices to videoconference with a remote doctor. So, looking to the future, I do believe there’s an opportunity for ODs to use online screenings to drive patients to use their services.

Ericson Quintanilla, Greenleaf Optical Compton, CA

We use the SV One from Smart Vision Labs to get a prescription for patients who don’t have access to a doctor or the fee to see a doctor. For $40 we give them an eye exam and free readers. Letters from the device are transferred to my laptop, where I add comments and send an email to some doctors in New York. I normally get a prescription back from them within 10 minutes. The patient then buys their glasses and single vision lenses from us. I also work with an online insurance company, Patch, that allows me to use their vision benefits.

 

 

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