Friday, March 7, 2014
This week’s post is written by Stephanie Kirschbaum, OD, a private-practice optometrist in Grass Valley, Calif., and VSP Professional Representative.
Have you heard this recently? “I haven’t come in for an eye exam because I don’t need new glasses.”
As eye doctors, we know that annual eye exams are as important for overall health as they are for vision correction. Now, a new study* is making it easier to explain the importance to patients and others in our communities.
The study found that those who receive an annual comprehensive eye exam are more likely to enter the healthcare system earlier for treatment of serious health conditions, significantly reducing their long-term cost of care.
One of the most exciting findings is that eye doctors often detect early signs of chronic diseases before any other healthcare provider. In fact, they were first to detect:
- diabetes 34% of the time,
- high blood pressure 39% of the time,
- high cholesterol 62% of the time.
I’ve experienced this in my own practice. A woman called about her husband who was in his forties and frightened that he was going blind, threatening a career that required driving long distances. During his eye exam, I discovered diabetic retinopathy and immediately referred him to his primary care physician and a retinal specialist. Without a timely eye exam, his vision AND his life could have been irreparably damaged.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
This week’s blog post is written by Matthew Alpert, OD, a third-generation optometrist at Alpert Vision Care Optometry in Los Angeles. He also currently serves as the VSP Global Chair of Optometric Innovation.
By now, you’ve probably seen the news: Google has announced that Glass prescription frames are available. Glass Explorers can now purchase Glass with frames from Google and have them fitted with prescription lenses.
VSP Vision Care is working closely with Google to offer training for practices that want to be a VSP Glass Preferred Provider. This is a great example of the ways that VSP is evaluating the marketplace to provide new opportunities for VSP providers.
I was one of the first to be become a Glass Preferred Provider, and here are my top 5 reasons why you should too:
- Glass Explorers and other future Glass patients in your community will see your practice when they search for a Glass Preferred Provider on vsp.com or visit the Google Help Center.
- You’ll know how to customize the fit of the prescription frame and lens, which is the key to the best user experience. Glass prescription frames are first and foremost optical corrective eyewear, and, just like with any glasses, fitting it properly ensures the display is clear.
- You’ll know the best lens material and coatings to recommend for your patients’ specific needs and lifestyle.
- Having the expert knowledge to deliver the best lenses ensures you’ll have happy patients—and happy patients are returning patients.
- Glass is truly one of the most exciting technologies in the last decade. I’ve been wearing Glass for 7 months now, and my patients have been very interested in the technology. Plus, when was the last time the New York Times covered the launch of a new frame line under “Technology”?
If you’re a VSP provider, just go to VSPGlassTraining.com to get started.
Friday, January 3, 2014
Of all my childhood experiences, Little League Baseball provided some of my most memorable life lessons. It was there where I learned what it took to really get better. I was so fortunate because my dad was always there to hit a few more ground balls for me to field, to toss a little extra batting practice, and to always make it fun. To this day, I love baseball!
Early on, it became clear that repetition would lead to improvement only when practicing proper technique. Trying to pull the outside pitch led to a lot of groundouts; I had to hit that pitch to the opposite field. Failure to get in front of a ground ball led to errors; I had to get my body in front if I was going to field the ball cleanly. Other methods were far less dependable. I had to be willing to change if I was to maximize my potential.
This principle certainly applies in optometric practice…case in point: patient communication. The goal in any consultation is to win the confidence of the patient. It should be clear that our communication batting average will rise with improved phrasing and delivery. And now, with the emergence of medical care in optometric practice, we have an increased need to maximize the connection with our patients.