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Do You Or Don't You

Where the Blogs at? 86% of You Aren’t Making the Most of Your SEO

Most businesses seem to be too busy to try this.

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THIS MONTH’S QUESTION:  Do you maintain a regularly updated blog on your website?

YES: 14%

  • Once every other month.  — Susan Miller, Bright E Vision, Hartsville, PA
  • It doesn’t have a special name, just the “blog” link on our website, but I post monthly. Have had many marketing companies approach to make content for our blog, but I think it’s much more genuine and applicable to generate the content in-house.  — Caitlin Bruno, Binyon Vision Center, Bellingham, WA
  • Ours is mottoptical.com and we post monthly.  — Kaleena Ma, MK Vision Center, Forest Hills, NY
  • Originally the idea was to call the blog Eye Guy New York. Instead, it’s fallen into just being the Eye Designs Blog but there’s always a chance it will revert back; eyedesignsofwestchester.com/blog/ — Harris Decker, Eye Designs Of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • We post several times a month.  — Cindy Henderson, Eyear Optical, Hixson, TN
  • It’s Eye-Q. It started off weekly and now it’s monthly. Ideally, it would be weekly but it takes a fair amount of time to post and write SEO for it. It is really important for SEO and adding fresh content.  — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • We update at least monthly.  — Jocelyn Mylott, D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Inc., Lancaster, MA

No: 86%

  • No time. Too busy seeing patients. Hopefully, this will change with the addition of a new doctor.  — Dennis Iadarola, OD, Center For Vision Care, Monroe, CT
  • I am a homeschooling mother in the mornings and an optometrist in the afternoons. I just don’t have time. When I get home it’s back to my role as mom. If I am lucky I will have time to relax and read before I fall asleep.  — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • We are a small office and my other two co-workers could care less about social media and it’s the last thing on my mind.  — Betty Aretz, The Eyecare Boutique, Wexford, PA
  • Not enough time.  — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • No website.  — Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • We have one but don’t post regularly.  — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • No. We are trying but it always takes a back seat!  — Katie McElvaine, OD, Springfield Family Vision, Springfield, MO
  • Not enough time because I update and keep our social media on point.  — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • We are just getting started with our website, going to EHR.  — Sand Slang, Ophthalmology Associates, Cudahy, WI
  • It’s all about time. I don’t make the time to do it as I am running a business, seeing guests, answering guests questions, etc.  — Ted McElroy, OD, Vision Source Tifton, Tifton, GA
  • Time doesn’t allow it.  — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • We do not have the personnel to take care of it.  — Pablo E Mercado, Mount Vernon Eyecare, Dunwoody, GA
  • There’s enough stuff to maintain! And, honestly, who reads eye doctors’ blogs?  — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Sadly, I’m not at this time super computer savvy.  — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • I don’t want one unless we can have it updated regularly with content we create. Since that isn’t happening right now, the blog isn’t happening right now.  — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • We are currently updating our website and it will have a blog that I will be contributing to at least once or twice a week.  — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • We have an “auto posting” blog but we rarely do much more. Time is a big factor. We mainly want a new blog post to help keep our SEO good but very few people read them so investing time in them just does not pay right now. Keeping the SEO good is what matters and the auto blog posting is good for that.  — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • Too busy seeing patients sent to our office by word of mouth and word of YELP (ugh).  — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
 

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 21 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Do You Or Don't You

Nearly Three Quarters of You Have Never Used a Business Consultant

But the 27 percent who have would do it again. 

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Yes: 27%

  • Absolutely, and I would do it again. I learned different benchmarks to manage my business as well as connected with other like-minded doctors to learn best practices. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • I have used consulting groups in the past. They are great to start the process of becoming a CEO of your business. Having a consultant within the first 3-4 years of a business is extremely valuable. Their ability to see best practices make them much more intuitive to business trends and help jump start a business. If I was a startup or taking over an established business where the previous owner had been there for a while, I would definitely invest in a great, well regarded consulting firm. — Ted A. McElroy, OD, Vision Source Tifton, Tifton, GA
  • Yes, helping to organize us in the midst of chaos. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • Yes, it’s fairly easy to write down your goals but a different thing entirely to actually implement them in a reasonable amount of time. Consultants help define your goals, set up a plan to reach them, and try and keep you on track. The caveat would be if you’re not motivated to get things done or make changes, no consultant is going to do it for you. — Larah Alami, OD, Hudson River Eye Care, Tarrytown, NY
  • She had not helped with specific lines. — Charlene Gordon, Family Eye Care, Monroe, LA
  • There is always something new to learn. Instead of reinventing the wheel, it is nice to learn from others. — Lee Dodge, OD, Visualeyes Optometry, Sherman Oaks, CA
  • If everyone is on board it works. Our totals sky rocketed the first two years with the consultant and after that you get new hires who do their own thing and think they know everything and our totals got worse. — Betty Aretz, The Eyecare Boutique, Wexford, PA
  • How to run an independent eyecare? Yes, would highly recommend for new owners. — Elizabeth Atkinson, OD, Atkinson Eye Care, Algonquin, IL
  • Just started using IDOC consulting services. My frame inventory is way too low. This has been affecting my capture rate to a large extent. Would definitely use them again. I like the way you can check in via phone/email as needed. And it’s a monthly subscription so you can discontinue at any time. Access to multiple consultants with different specialties (optical, HR/staffing, finance, clinical, marketing). — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • I learned a lot about planning for the future, goal setting, and hiring employees. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • A consultant is necessary in an area where you do not have expertise. The longer we are in business the less we have a need for consultants. However, when we started we used an arsenal of experts. People always try to take the cheap way out and think they will figure it out for themselves or rely only on friends, reps, and colleagues to solve business, technical, or marketing issues. In the end, you realize that you need the best advice even if it means paying for expertise. In the long run it saves headaches, time and money. — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • I use a business coach: Conor Heaney out of Manchester, England. He has a unique approach to running an optical and driving business. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • We are currently working with a consulting group for the second time. We used them 12 years ago to help us transition from employees to practice owners. We’ve enlisted them this time to help with adding a new graduate doctor. — Barbara Bloom, OD, Weber Vision Care, Harrisburg, PA
  • My mentor/consultant is a SCORE volunteer. We keep in contact on a monthly basis and he is “my voice of reasoning.” I would highly recommend working with SCORE. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • It costs a lot and I feel like they tell you what you already know. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • We’ve used them to help with ways to sell second pairs and increase non-glare units. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • We didn’t learn much and wouldn’t use again. — Deanna Phillips, Clemmons Family Eye Care, Clemmons, NC
  • I would, but only for a limited time. Too much consulting is stifling. — Bethany Cassar, OD, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • I wouldn’t. I didn’t get any value from a consultant. Maybe the one I used was not very good? — Diana Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL
  • We learned that increasing your prices won’t run off business, especially if you treat your patients/customers well. I don’t think I’d do it again, since so many consultants want to change your practice culture, and ours is great; it is what drives our business and our referrals. — Jim Williams, Eye to Eye, Mexico, MO
  • They suggested I should expand; now several years later I’m working on it. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ

No: 73%

  • If you read enough business books and are on a few professional forums/Facebook groups you should be able to figure it out yourself. — Michael Davis, OD, Opti-Care, Eldersburg, MD
  • We haven’t for a long time mainly due to the cost. Also, in our practice setting, some of their approaches and recommendations just wouldn’t fit our patient base. We have begun discussing it more recently however. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, St. Peter, MN
  • Haven’t needed one yet, but would if needed. — Judith Whitelaw, Dr. Gregory Char, OD, Orange, CA
  • Going to CE, socializing, and reading magazines like INVISION are all I need. I also stop in every independent shop I pass and ask questions. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • VSP has all the answers for everything concerning my practice. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • We can get most of the advice we need through industry partners and media. — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Not sure what I would need one for. I wouldn’t mind some decorating help since our office is new. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • I work now at a corporate type chain, and they think they know everything. — Pablo E Mercado, Mount Vernon Eyecare, Dunwoody, GA
  • Years ago, our state association had an independent owners group within it and they would go to independent practices and offer comments and opinions relevant to what they saw and felt in the office. Kind of a cross between a consultant and a secret shopper. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • We used them years ago; I wish our doc would use them again. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • No, I already know most of what they say; I just need to implement stuff. Eyecare professionals need to “just do it.” To many of us get lazy or too busy. — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • It’s never been discussed. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • We probably wouldn’t ever either. — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, OD, Pekin, IL

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Do You Or Don't You

You’re a Hard Working Bunch: 84% of You Do Not Close for Any Extended Breaks

Do you ever close your practice for an extended period of time during the year?

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No: 84%

  • We used to close the entire week of Christmas for a few consecutive years. Then, we were pushed by our guests to be open. Mostly, the ones we informed in October about the planned closing. —— Ted McElroy, OD, Vision Source Tifton, Tifton, GA
  • We have multiple doctors so the need to is very small. We try and help staff coordinate time off when a doctor is gone. —— Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • We close when needed for three-day weekends; that can include inventory, field trips, holidays, etc. We close for four days at Thanksgiving every year, that’s the longest we want to go. Any longer and there’s always a few emergency calls on the after-hours line, so it’s not like being “closed” really helps. —— Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Patients would not like that. We keep it rolling all year long. —— Sandy Slang, Ophthalmology Associates, Cudahy, WI
  • We don’t even close for lunch. With more and more medical services, patients need to know we will always take care of their needs. I also give out my cell phone and tell patients I would rather they not worry. They rarely call but when they do it’s usually a true emergency. So, the idea of closing for an extended period is never even a thought. —— Ken Boltz, OD, Kenneth D Boltz OD LLC, Dublin, OH
  • People expect us to be here. Always. There are plenty of stores in our area that do take extended vacations and we always pick up business during those times. —— Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • We try to keep service hours consistent. —— Robert McBeath, Edina Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Edina, MN
  • Patients are trying to get in for their exams and get new glasses before the end of the year. They are using Flex Spending money. We don’t want to lose them to a big box store, so our offices remain open. We take off one or two days max for the holidays. —— Leah Johnson, Central Texas Eye Center, San Marcos, TX
  • From our marketing, we have several same day emergency appointments per week and our doctor would rather pay a fill in doctor for the days that he’s gone than lose a potential client. —— Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • We have enough staff to remain open. —— Richard Kemerling, Margolis Vision, Castle Rock, CO
  • The only time we close is if we are going to a convention to get CE. —— Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Our patients complain when we aren’t open and how dare we close?!? —— Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • Office is closed on national holidays, but stays open when I take vacation. I give paid days to opticians when I’m on vacation. Office stays open so we can still fill outside Rx, deliver Rxs, and make appointments. —— Texas L. Smith, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • No, we are a very busy practice and have many walk-ins for the optical. We don’t want to lose those sales. —— Jade Kowalick, Rophie Eye Care, Dunedin, FL
  • Only a day or maybe two, depending on how the days fall. —— Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, OD, Pekin, IL
  • We don’t but are considering it. —— Diana Canto-Sims, Buena Vista Optical Boutique, Chicago, IL
  • We like to be able to service the patients as they have the extended time off, we can capture that. —— Jessica Brundidge , Clarity Vision, Clayton, NC

Yes: 16%

  • The best time in Florida to take time off is August and September. Took a week off in August for a staycation and went to the Keys in September. —— Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • It’s a very close family, God-centered business and most of the employees travel to their families. —— Laura Wright, Upstate Eyecare, Greenville, SC
  • My independent boutique has a different sales rhythm than I observed in clinical opticianry. September and January are great times for me to travel. My clients! —— Elle Tatum, Island Spectacle, Bainbridge Island, WA
  • Usually the week between Christmas and New Year’s. —— Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • Since we are still pretty small, we can close for five days without it affecting business. We tried to limit these days to off-peak season. —— Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • We close the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas. That is the extent of our extended closing for holidays.——  Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • Mostly Christmas, but only for a few days. —— Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • We are closed the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. —— Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • The longest stretch of time that we close is during Thanksgiving. We close at noon the Wednesday before and obviously Thanksgiving Day. We stay open on Veteran’s Day so that we can take that “holiday” on Black Friday and are closed straight through to Monday. —— Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Off-season. —— Brian Finley, Island Opticians LLC, Palm Beach, FL
  • I’m the owner/optician/bookkeeper/cleaning lady/lab tech, etc. My patients know I need a break occasionally and respect that. I generally try to schedule during slow months or when school is closed for breaks, when it becomes a ghost town! I also give notice to everyone who orders for two weeks before, as well as advertise. —— Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • We use days that we don’t have a full patient load for housekeeping…reorganizing frame boards, catch up on claim resubmissions, dust, dust, dust, dust. —— Meredith Hall, Miller Family Eye, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Longer paid holiday breaks allow our employees to de-stress and recharge before insurance season kicks into high gear. It’s good for morale and productivity which has a direct impact on our performance. —— Jesse Ellis , Eye Health Vision Center, North Dartmouth, MA

What’s the Brain Squad?

  • If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Continue Reading

Do You Or Don't You

Cross-Training Staff is the Way Most of You Go, But Some of You Still Say ‘No Thanks’

Most eyecare business owners see value in having staff handle multiple duties.

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Yes: 86%

  • All of my opticians do it all. Kevin Bushouse, RxOptical, Kalamazoo MI
  • Techs can do front desk scheduling when front desk needs vacation time or is out sick. Richard Kemerling, Margolis Vision, Lone Tree, CO
  • I am fortunate to have same team for 12 years and everyone can complete entire process, including cutting lenses. This allows for smooth vacation time or if our lab manager is sick, we can still order and cut the jobs without feeling the impact. Of course, I prefer everyone to keep in their lane so they can be as effective as they can be. Monika Marczak, Eye Candy Optical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
  • I’ve crossed trained my staff and recently took them to Texas for training but because of the Trump economy, I’ve received two week notices from two of my staff taking higher paying jobs with benefits. Two other local practices are having the same issues keeping staff. Marc Ullman, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Staff expects and takes more and more absences. That combined with increasing wages to keep good employees require offices to function with fewer staff but still have coverage, so cross training is a must. Zach Dirks, OD, St. Peter Eyecare Center and Belle Plaine Eyecare Center, St. Peter and Belle Plaine, MN
  • We are a small office. All the staff can do everything, but focus on one main task. The front desk reception only stays up front. She is the doctor’s wife and doesn’t want to learn frame dispensing. We just roll our eyes when she says, “she is too old to learn selecting/dispensing.” Allen D. Hoek, OD, Ripon, CA
  • Cross training just worksEdna Shelby, Macomb Vision Associates, Shelby Township, MI
  • We have a team of 12, and inevitably someone is sick or more than one person wants the same day off. Cross training is time-consuming, but it gives us greater flexibility and can also improve service by avoiding long waits for an OCT/photos/dispense/scheduling if someone else can jump in and help on the fly. Sarah Jerome, OD, Look + See Eye Care, Minneapolis, MN
  • Everything is everything. Everybody does all. Steve Whitaker, Whitaker Eye Works, Philadelphia PA
  • In our office, no one person has one job. Every person has the full capacity to do at least two (mostly three jobs). Opticians can file insurance or cut lenses and do repairs/adjustments. Technicians can book appointments, order contacts, scribe and special tests. This ingraftsour family to ensure everyone is and can be helped. If someone is overloaded or absent, the machine still runs. Blake Hutto, OD, Family Vision Care, Alma, GA
  • During busy times in a small office, having an available staff member help a patient is paramount in offering the customer service we strive for. Karen Santos McCloud, OD, Hamburg Vision Center, Lexington, KY
  • We cross-train in numerous ways, but the big one is this: Everyone on our staff is able to fit, measure, dispense, and sell glasses. Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Just being able to jump in to help another department when overwhelmed. Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • It works well when a staff member calls in sick, we are each able to cover for the other. Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • We are a small office. We all do a little bit of everything. I actually want to strengthen our cross training even more. There are a lot of things I do that no one else knows how to do, and if I got hit by a bus it could get tough! Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • I have a small staff so a certain amount of cross training is necessary. Expertise is still required in your given title and I like to be able to train a specific person on their specific position so we can grow and take care of our patients the best way possible. Shimul Shah, OD, Marysville Family Vision, Marysville, OH
  • With cross-trained staff, we can stay open during lunch time for pick-ups and new orders. Our opticians can run the front desk and our administrative staff can handle small repairs and orders. It isn’t always seamless, but hopefully our patients can appreciate our service. Angie Patteson, OD, Sunset Eye Care, PC, Johnson City, TN
  • What I tell our staff is that no one person is better than anyone else. We train all our staff to have the ability to do every day to day task needed to keep the patients and our practice happy. No one person is too good to take out trash or clean, or pre-test or educate a patient on what frame looks and fits the prescription best. All members of the team can advise a patient the reason behind the need for a particular product. It makes it so our patients have less of a wait time and a better overall experience! William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • We do personality and skill testing first to determine if they are a good fit to cross train in that specific department (scribe, stylist optician, claim processor, lab tech, etc.) We use tests like Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), DISC, The Birkman Method, Wealth Dynamics and Sally Hoghead’s Fascinate (we learned about this one at the Transitions Academy in 2016. She was the guest speaker.) We do invest in these tests but some are free. We find this helps train them more efficiently and we know ahead of time if the task or skill they need to learn is congruent with their zone of genius. Diana Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL
  • Because we are an independent practice with seven staff members, cross training is vital when we are missing staff due to vacation, illness, staff leaving, etc. Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • All of our staff are cross-trained. We’re a new and very small office. So, all of our staff are trained in every department (optical, contact lens, welcome area, etc.) This way if one of the two employees need a day off, the other can pitch in and not a lose a beat. Shane Clark, Infinity EyeCare, Rapid City, SD
  • We have a small office with three employees. Everyone knows how to pre-test and check-out patients. That’s usually where our bottlenecks occur. Danielle Jackson, OD, Jackson Eye, Fairburn, GA
  • Front desk with insurance, OD tech with optical department. John LaShorne, Brown County Eye Care, Nashville, IN
  • We are a small three-person office so if anyone wants to go on vacation everyone has to be cross trained. We Have an employee follow one of us around for a couple weeks until they can do ok with the new job and then have them fill in every once in a while to keep up the skills. Tammy Hazelett, Wylie Vision Care, Garland, TX
  • We try and teach most employees several parts of the business. For example, our opticians can be our techs as well. Stacey Korte, Rockford Family Eyecare, Rockford, MI
  • It has worked well in all aspects; we are a small office and it is vital that everyone can help in all areas. Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC
  • Smaller practice’s need to be flexible so everyone jumps in when needed. Heather Nagucki, Brodie optometry, Perrysburg, OH
  • We currently have one front desk/receptionist that is cross trained for the tech position, another front desk/receptionist that is also trained as an optician, and a tech who is trained as an optician. Jason Stamper, Eye Care Pavilion, Davenport, IA
  • It really helps cover all aspects of the business during vacation time; anyone can rotate where needed. Kathy Maren, Comb EyeCare & Eyewear, Western Springs, IL
  • At any given point, someone in our office could be busy. This shouldn’t mean that a patient can’t be helped. As a result, we believe in everyone knowing a decent amount of each part of everyone’s job. That way, even if there are some things that can’t be addressed immediately, at least the patient feels as though they are a priority and being attended to. Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Everyone needs to know how to work the front, cut lenses, do lab duties (clean, check, call work, neutralize lenses.) Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • Helps. Needful at times. Appreciation of others. T.S. Stephens, OD, Dr. Stephens and Associates, Vienna, WV
  • We try because in this day and age people are gone more and call in more. Likewise it is less affordable to have extra staff so having staff who can cover vital areas at times or on days that the office is short is imperative. Zachary Dirks, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • I have five employees: All five can dispense, sell, answer phones, schedule appointments, calculate and bill insurance. One is office manager also. Two of those are CL technicians. One is clerical, although two more are able when she’s out. All trained from the beginning, then then shifted to where their strength lies for the majority of the day. Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • We’re a small practice so I personally pre-test patients, order glasses and CLs, adjust and repair frames, bill insurances, sell product, edge lenses in house, answer phones making appointments and I’m all worn out just talking about it. Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • Telephone conversations, problem patients, training new staff, problem solving. BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • While we do believe in having expertise in specific disciplines for each person, it is important to provide basic training so each person knows a little about each other’s responsibilities. This helps in that: (1) In the event that a person is away another can provide some assistance in a person absence. (2) Team begins to respect the expertise each team member has by knowing “hands on” what another person does. Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • All employees are trained on the phones to schedule appointments and take contact lens orders. This works well because if someone calls, they’re not put on hold. We’ve tried to train the front desk staff to do basic repairs but hasn’t worked well because opportunities are few and far between so they forget how or run into a situation they haven’t been trained on and still need to wait on an optician. Caitlin Bruno, Binyon Vision Center, Bellingham, WA
  • While most of our paperwork (recalls, insurance and patient registration) is electronic, pre-testing, OCT, Fundus, Fields and eyewear selection are performed by whoever is available. Eyewear measurements still require an optician. Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • Front desk can do dispensing and price with insurances. Tech can do dispensing and show frames optician does all. Betty Aretz, The Eyecare Boutique, Wexford, PA
  • I wouldn’t ask you to do anything that I wouldn’t do. Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • Too small of an office to just have people special in one area. Jeff Hayden, Vision Care Center, Brighton, MI
  • Opticians answer phones and do check out. Jill Schnurer, Village Eyecare Co., Clarkston, MI
  • I only have two staff members. They have to be able to do each other’s jobs if necessary. Kimberly Riggs OD, Ligonier, PA
  • Cross-training our optometric technician in the matters of insurance eligibility, types of lenses, frame adjustments, etc. It allows her to fill in where necessary if a co-worker is ill or if our office is very busy. Cassandra Nash, HD Optical Express, Lansing, MI
  • Just in case someone’s on vacation or sick. Larry Wiggins, UseeMe, Rockville, MD
  • I am a one-person operation so I have to know how to do everything! Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • We’re a small office so it’s a necessity. Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • In a small office (six staff) we have to cross train because when staff go on vacation or sick, they have to be able to fill in different job titles. Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • My scribe can tech and my tech’s can scribe. Everyone in the office can answer the phone, schedule appointments and answer general questions. We are a small office so cross-training is essential. Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Opticians can pre-test our patients as well as answer phones and make appointments if needed. Theodore Sees, OD, Rockford Family Eyecare, Rockford, MI
  • Two licensed opticians do everything. Front desk can also prescreen patients and occasionally will deliver an Rx if needed. Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Our staff can run the front desk, work up patients frame style and adjust frames. Our intern also learns these important procedures. Robert M Easton, Jr., OD, Oakland Park, FL
  • Sales should know data entry and select staff is chosen for duties like ordering frames/lenses and insurance submission. We will see who’s able to be cross trained to do particular side work. Kaleena Ma, MK Vision Center, Forest Hills, NY
  • I have my office manager work on occasion in the vision therapy arena. There are times where my vision therapist has taken over some office clerical duties. Everyone works the optical area. Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • We are a small five-person staff (plus 1 doctor) office and so being able to be out front, do auxiliary testing, and work with issues on glasses is essential to our success. Bridgett Fredrickson, Whelan Eye Care, Bemidji, MN
  • We train our clinical staff to help patient select eyewear. They establish a rapport during the exam process and we feel it translates nicely for when the patient is picking out eyewear. Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care PC, Hackensack, NJ
  • All of my employees are cross-trained. I can’t imagine it working any other way. As a small business owner knowing that I am covered if there is a call-off or vacation time puts my mind at ease. Each employee still has the thing that they are MOST responsible for, but each can pre-test, schedule, sell, and edge lenses. And I, as the doc, can also do ANY job at my office. Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH

 

N0: 14%

  • I’m a one-man shop. Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • It’s me (owner/optician) and a part time secretary. I’m a control freak so I have slowly let her do insurance billing, a little selling, and paperwork but I do the bookkeeping, edging, repairs, selling, adjustments. Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • I think this would be a good idea but the size of our company makes it hard for a person to learn and retain that much. Smaller locations of ours we have started to try this and it has been helpful. Jocelyn Mylott, D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Lancaster, MA
  • We are understaffed and there is no time to cross-train. I help out when needed, but can only do so much. Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • New staff needs to be trained first before we cross train. Pablo E Mercado, Mount Vernon Eyecare, Dunwoody, GA

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If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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