Explain ocular coherence tomography (OCT)

Educating patients about their eyecare is always a good idea.

The website linked here has a Patient Education handout about Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT). It supports the clinical need for OCT and is designed to result in increased uptake of this additional service.

TIP: Print the handout and make colour photocopies with the header banner replaced by your letterhead. Then use these as handouts to support the clinical advice that you give to your patients.

Click here to go to the page: Then scroll to >Patient Education

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Click here to view the OCT download.

How to grow an optometry practice

One of the most common complaints from optometry practices in developed countries is that they are not busy enough.

Needing more patients is one thing, but doing something about it seems to be the challenge. The website in the link below has a practical plan for activities to make any practice busier.

TIP: Print the plan and work through each step and project. Delegate some of the tasks so that staff are involved and empowered. Be sure to take measures of the results – remember if you want to improve something, measure it!

Click here to go to the page: Then scroll to >Practice Growth

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Click here to view the download.

Make improvements by small steps

Almost everyone strives to improve their business, but it is almost impossible to achieve a single improvement of 20%. However it is a lot more achievable if we try to obtain 20 different small improvements, each of 1%.

The website in this link contains examples of small improvements that could each achieve results of between 1% and 3%. These are therefore manageable to implement, as well as being encouraging to complete.

TIP: Print the suggestions in the download and discuss these with your staff so that there is support for the plans. Then implement them and reinforce each project at your regular staff meetings.

Click here to go to the page: Then scroll to >Staff Training

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Click here to view the download.

What are suitable topics for optometry staff meetings

Most optometrists tell us that staff meetings are a good idea, but many of them they have trouble finding suitable topics.

One of the best areas is Staff Training, so that the skills for better patient care are improved.  The website in the link below has several different handouts for topics related to optometry staff training. These include: Understanding Visual Acuity; Frequent Questions; Delivering New Spectacles; Types of Contact Lenses; Common Eye Diseases; Positive Communication; Using Demonstrations; etc.

TIP:  Print one of these handouts and ask a staff member to lead a discussion on the topic at your next staff meeting. This staff member will feel confident because the discussion material is already prepared.

Click here to go to the page:  Then scroll down to  >Staff Training

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Click here to view the download about ‘Understanding Visual Acuity’ (as an example of one of the suggestions).

How an optometrist can get more website visits

Every website is more valuable when it has more visitors, so a good way to get more people to visit your website is to have links from other respected websites. One example is the International Directory of Optometrists. To help eye-care providers, the website linked below offers free links to your business website.

TIP:  Add a free listing of your optometry business website to this international directory.

Click here to go to the page:

A survey of new patients by an optometrist

Advertising is expensive, so it’s important to understand what is actually working. If we measure the facts we will know where our new patients are really coming from.

The website in this link includes a download of a short survey for new patients to complete in the waiting room. It only takes one minute for each patient, but the combined results will be very informative. It is also a good idea to repeat the survey over time, to see how the results change when different types of advertising are used.

TIP: Print the A5 survey and make photocopies. Place these on a clipboard and invite patients to give their feedback when they arrive for an appointment. A sample size of 50 completed surveys should give a meaningful result.

Click here to go to the page:  Then scroll to >Forms & Misc

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Click here to view the download directly.

How can an optometrist attract more patients

The most common complaint from optometrists in many countries is that they do not have enough patients. They say that they are trained, equipped and ready, but that their challenge is that they are not busy enough.

The website linked below has a free download that is a practical plan to be implemented by the practice owners and staff. (The worksheet plan is also supported by a separate discussion paper on the same subject, on the same website).

* This plan was originally published in the book What Patients Want

TIP: Print the worksheet plan and discuss it with all practice staff. The results are designed to be measurable, so assign appropriate tasks and then monitor these to the completion of each step.

Click here to go to the page:  Then scroll to >Practice Growth

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Click here to view the A4 download.

How to print a visual acuity chart

It can be very useful to be able to print a Snellen Visual Acuity chart on a standard colour printer. They can be used for home visits for eye tests, school vision screenings, or by GP doctors for use in their rooms.

This website of optometry resources includes downloads for two versions – one on A4 paper for use at 3 metres (10ft – ideal for a local doctor’s consulting room) and a standard 6 metre (20ft) version to be printed on A3 paper.

TIP: Print copies of the 3M version on A4 paper with a colour printer. Then laminate these, or get them laminated at a colour copy centre. Use the finished charts as a handout when you introduce yourself to local doctors (GP’s).

Click here to go to the page:  Then scroll to >Clinical Aids

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Click here to view the A4 download for use at 3M(10ft).