Spend Money to Make Money: Cold-start Practice Gains High Return on Investment and New Revenue Paths
An optometrist shares how equipment made her practice stand out and succeed
It has been a little more than a year since Bonney Lake Family Eye Care opened in Bonney Lake, Washington, but it is already achieving impressive milestones, especially for growth and productivity.
Gurpinderjeet Kaur, OD, FAAO, is seeing so many patients that she’s now looking for an associate doctor to balance the patient flow and attributes much of her success on her initial investment in equipment.
“Investing in high-quality technology contributed to the growth of the practice. Not only does it create a memorable experience for my patients, but it’s also a great marketing tool that helps to differentiate the practice,” she said.
Presenting an upgraded approach
Dr. Kaur opened her practice with a full suite of Topcon equipment: KR800 Autorefractor, CL-300 Auto-Lensmeter, CA-800 Corneal Analyzer with topography and meibography features, Maestro2 OCT and Fundus Camera, CV-5000S Digital Refraction System, SL- D2 Slit Lamp and the recent addition of a DC-4 Anterior Segment Camera.
Dr. Kaur was introduced to Topcon Healthcare by iCare Advisors practice consultants, and she immediately realized it provided the perfect opportunity to differentiate her practice by growing her ocular disease specialty and implementing the medical model while keeping her costs lean. To her surprise, the purchase of Topcon’s portfolio of products brought more than that; it improved patient flow, added multiple revenue streams, and ultimately reduced chair time.
The innovative equipment presents a wow-factor for patients. “Patients comment on the equipment every day, and it doesn’t end in the exam room. It has generated a lot of word-of-mouth recommendations and positive online reviews, which improved our practice’s search engine optimization. Recently, I had one patient comment, ‘I swear they have the newest and smartest technology,’ which I was so proud to hear,” she said.
Increasing workflow efficiency and improving optical capture rate
The easy-to-use technology has also been effectively utilized by her staff members, who do not have prior experience in eye care. “The training process is smooth, and it allowed us to cross train several employees,” she says.
Dr. Kaur says that her technician can pre-test most patients within 10 minutes and that includes doing lensometry, autorefraction, dry eye assessment, OCT, fundus photos, and some ancillary testing in the exam room. “Improvement in efficiency has allowed my technician to have more time to help other team members and take care of additional patients' needs instead of manually checking glasses, typing autorefraction/keratometry and lensometry readings into the EMR system and then again into the phoropter,” she says.
Patients appreciate the efficient refraction with CV-5000 Digital Refraction System, which lets Dr. Kaur to spend more time assessing the health of the eye and making clinical recommendations that meet their visual needs. “With a click of a button, I can demonstrate to the patient the change in their prescription,” she said. In addition to the seamless integration, Dr. Kaur also believes that it reduces transcription errors by minimizing data entry.
Most comprehensive eye exams are completed in less than 45 minutes, so patients have more time to spend browsing frames and working with the optician, which has helped the practice achieve an optical capture rate of 60 percent.
Diversify revenue streams
The Topcon Maestro2 OCT + fundus camera has been vital in diagnosing and managing many ocular diseases. “The technology allows for detection of retinal conditions, which helps me to better manage my patient’s care and keep more medical eyecare in our practice,” she said. Her practice generated more than $45,000 in revenue last year from Maestro2 alone.
As part of the pre-test protocol, all patients are screened for dry eye disease using Topcon CA-800 Corneal Analyzer. “Being able to show patients images of their meibomian glands helps them understand the disease state and the need to follow the recommended treatment plan,” she said. She recently added an anterior segment camera to the Topcon slit lamp to take photos and create videos that can be used for patient education and to monitor various conditions.
“I highly recommend Topcon equipment to my colleagues. It’s a great way to enhance your practice and increase revenue while providing a memorable patient experience. Today, patients have many options for their eye care, but having modern technology conveys that your practice is committed to patients’ eye care,” she said.
This article originally appeared in Vision Source OD magazine in March 2022