As the prevalence of dry eye continues to rise and new clinical research emerges, more optometrists are taking a special interest in the disease, building distinction into their businesses. Four independent optometrists lend their top tips on setting up a dry eye clinic within their existing practice.
A HAPPY PATIENT IS A LOYAL PATIENT
Ms LIZ BARRETT, director of Dry Eye Solution in Erina, NSW, says it is among the first independent dry eye clinics in Australia and New Zealand. The clinic’s sole focus is all aspects of dried out eye disease management. Barrett and her team aim to use the particular best protocols available plus treat the root cause of the illness.
Insight (IST): What prompted you to begin offering dry eye diagnosis and treatment?
Liz Barrett (LB): I have worked in the optical industry for over 20 years and saw a huge gap in the therapy available with regard to dry vision patients, yet numbers were increasing. The idea associated with an independent dried out eye medical center brewed regarding over four years. I read the Osaka study and loved the correlation between dry eye condition and happiness, so every step of building the business had the aim of making the world a happier place. As the business was a new concept, setting up offered many challenges which I enjoyed; designing a new patient management system around the dry eye patient journey, automating all aspects associated with the company and creating something which can grow easily to more locations.
IST: What were your main considerations when deciding what dry attention diagnostic/treatment technology and equipment to invest in?
LB: For me, Lumenis was the only option. I wanted to provide the best care and methods to patients and Lumenis makes that possible, combined with direct input from Dr Rolando Toyos (USA), a world leader in the field. The IPL device has the results of his study and knowledge inbuilt plus nothing can compare to that. Having the most proven and only TGA and FDA approved IPLs available on the particular market is important to us.
IST: What methods have you used to advertise or promote your dry eye services?
LB: We had articles published in local media which were beneficial to bringing public awareness, as well as online campaigns. Word-of-mouth has been exceptional. When you successfully treat someone’s lifetime problem, they shout it from the rooftops. We developed relationships with nearby GPs, ophthalmologists and optometrists. Being an independent clinic, we are not a threat in order to eye health professionals, and may assist in providing the best confirmed care for their dry eyesight (and rosacea) patients. Educating the public upon dry eyes disease is important and has been the most effective way to grow the business enterprise. It’s becoming more patient-driven and individuals want the particular best treatment available.
IST: How do you stay informed about fresh dry eye products on the market?
LB: All of us attend conferences and listen to lots associated with dry vision podcasts. Doctor Toyos will be a wealth of information within the latest research, publications, and products. The information within the Lumenis practitioner’s portal is excellent and meeting with reps is always good. We all started our own educational Dry Eye Solution YouTube channel to give eye health care professionals an opportunity to learn about how to treat dry out eye as an inflammatory disease, and to treat the root cause.
IST: What impact has dry attention services experienced on your business from both a clinical plus business perspective?
LB: As we are a dedicated dried out eye center, the impact that We see is usually patients’ results. When someone cries with relief and kisses your own IPL machine, it makes your heart sing. I feel that will you have to be focused on patient results and when a person do, your business impacts so many people’s lives. The business is growing because the public is becoming aware of dry eye disease, they want help and we are here to assist them.
OPTOMETRIST AND DRY EYE SUFFER NOW HELPING OTHERS
Mr JASON TEH established In2Eyes Optometry inside Surrey Hills, Melbourne in 2002. Aside from full scope eyecare, optometrists Teh and Dr Winter Chan provide contact lens care, including speciality lenses. In2Eyes is also part of the Dry Eye Group, providing comprehensive dry eyesight assessments plus treatments which includes IPL and Lipiflow.
Insight (IST): What motivated you in order to begin offering dry eyes diagnosis plus treatment?
Jason Teh (JT): I am the dry eye sufferer and have been since I was a teenager, so I followed the dry eye landscape closely over the last 12 years looking for options to improve myself and, in turn, others. As soon as diagnostics and treatments were obtainable, I started investing within ways to screen, diagnose plus manage the condition.
IST: Exactly what were your primary considerations whenever deciding exactly what dry vision diagnostic/treatment technologies and gear to spend in?
JT: I am always looking for the particular gold standard in eyecare which often involves investing in the very best equipment, so as soon as it has become available to the Australian market, I possess invested. Sometimes I actually had no choice as we weren’t spoilt for choice back then. Other considerations today are usually treatment times, ability to move technology/ products from one location to another, and peer reviews for effectiveness of devices or therapy protocols through colleagues overseas.
IST NATÜRLICH: What strategies have you used to promote or promote your dry attention services?
JT: Our main methods are clients’ word-of-mouth, referrals from other optometrists, ophthalmologists and sometimes GPs plus pharmacists. The best way to promote your own practice would be to engage the particular healthcare providers and invite them to view what you have got to offer. Another way I have successfully promoted dried out eye services is through Google marketing.
IST AUCH: How do you stay informed about new items in the marketplace?
JT: Pubmed online search, connect with dry eye key opinion leaders overseas, and connect along with dry eyesight researchers. Every product that comes to Australia will already be available abroad, especially in the US.
IST: What effect has dried out eye solutions had upon your business from both a clinical and company perspective?
JT: It’s a point-of-difference from competitors plus upskilling usually brings a lot more joy and fun to the workday. Clinically, we are usually very proud of being able to serve the dry eyes community, as it’s a space that is definitely under-represented plus there are thousands of sufferers that don’t get the particular right administration. Dry eye patients are super loyal. Being a chronic condition, these people will need help for numerous years to come. Business wise, it significantly increases the particular power associated with word-of-mouth. It is still the most effective mode of advertising. It is the big revenue booster intended for us because it affects almost all patients at all stages associated with life. Whether it’s a young patient with contact lens or an older person on general medications, diabetic or glaucoma patients. It’s easy in order to start engaging in managing dry eyes as these patients are usually already coming through typically the door.
‘WE HAVE INCREASED TURNOVER FOR OUR CLINICAL SERVICES’
Mr JUSTIN GRIBBIN and wife Alayna established Eye Envy Optometrist in Morayfield, Queensland, in 2010. With more than 27 years’ experience, Gribbin’s special interests include treatment and management of dry out eye, lens fitting, glaucoma and macular degeneration detection, and children’s vision.
Understanding (IST): Exactly what prompted you to definitely begin offering dry eyes diagnosis plus treatment?
Justin Gribbin (JG): For me, it was the particular lack of support to get people along with dry eye and the fact that so many people are sent out the door with a sample lubricant with not much further thought. Lockdowns also increased the particular frequency associated with symptomatic sufferers.
IST NATÜRLICH: What had been your primary considerations when deciding what dry vision diagnostic/treatment technology and tools to invest in?
JG: I wanted to see verified results. I use spoken in order to IPL suppliers over the years but have constantly been happy with the findings and feedback from Lumenis users. I needed imaging technologies for meibography but furthermore wanted this coupled with a great topographer for orthokeratology and rigid gas permeable (RGP) fittings.
IST AUCH: What methods have you utilized to advertise or advertise your dry eye providers?
JG: Social media and local paper advertising as well as in-store banners. There are also contacted local optometrists that carry out not offer you these services but so far referrals from colleagues have already been quiet.
IST: Exactly how do a person stay educated about new dry attention products on the marketplace?
JG: We always look for dry eyesight conferences and continuing education topics. There are some fantastic Facebook groups pertaining to like-minded optometrists as well. I actually also tend to follow those practitioners at the forefront of dry eyes disease treatments on their own social media channels.
IST: What influence has dry eye solutions had upon your business from each a medical and company perspective?
JG: In the particular last 12 months we have seen the growth within inquiry regarding dry eye treatments but also increased current patient recommendations and word-ofmouth recommendations. These clinics do take extra time to run, however through a business perspective we have increased turnover for our own clinical providers. As an optometrist, the satisfaction in delivering relief to such a miserable disease can be priceless.
KEEP INVESTING IN NEW TECHNOLOGY
Operating since 1989, Heron Eyecare says it is the most clinically progressive plus technologically advanced eye health care practice in Toowoomba. Founder Dr Henry Heron practices part-time alongside optometrist and director Doctor HUGH BRADSHAW and optometrist Dr Adam Barron.
Insight (IST): What prompted you to begin giving dry vision diagnosis plus treatment?
Hugh Bradshaw (HB): Dry attention has been an important part of the practice long before it began ‘booming’ in the last five in order to 10 many years. We live in Toowoomba, which is certainly known as the ‘Garden City’, where allergy and less humidity than coastal areas create the perfect or imperfect climate for dry out eye. My former business partner plus mentor was an early adopter of therapeutic eyecare and technology. We have therefore evolved because technology developed and possess always been one of the first methods in Sydney to purchase dried out eye administration devices.
IST: What were your main factors when deciding what dry eye diagnostic/treatment technology plus equipment to invest in?
HB: When investing inside new technology there must end up being some analysis evidence supporting the technology. We were one of the particular first optometry practices nationwide to use an E-Eye IPL after the research evidence supported its efficacy. We did the same for Rexon-Eye. The equipment must also be economically viable to at least cover the investment costs. We found that IPL and Rexon-Eye met both these requirements, yet Lipiflow was too difficult to justify economically.
IST NATÜRLICH: What strategies have you used to promote or market your dry eye services?
HB: All of us currently directly advertise dried out eye solutions in our local newspaper, and via digital media. We have also hosted schooling events meant for local GPs, optometrists and pharmacists about dry eyesight technology plus treatments.
IST: Exactly what impact has dry eyes services got on your company from both a scientific and business perspective?
HB: Dry eyes services differentiate us from many of our co-workers as a leader in this field. We now have a great relationship with our own local optometrists and ophthalmologists and receive referrals through them. We all also make use of scleral contact lenses as the severe dry eye therapy which crosses over with our custom designed contact lens business. These types of niche areas are just provided by a small percentage of optometrists which reduces competition and protects the business from the highly competitive retail area associated with optics.
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