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CREATE YOUR OWN RETAIL WEBSITE / PAGE 16 August 2013 • Volume 7, Issue 68 •



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HOYA, the industry leader in progressive lens technology, is excited to announce a game-changing addition to their dynamic product lineup: HOYALUX Array HOYA Free-Form™ backside surfaced lenses. ARRAY OFFERS: Optimization and customization for individual prescriptions for peak performance of lens design

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Polarized Options with Array GP Wide 1.50 Polar Gray Summit ecp 1.50 Gray and Brown Summit ecp iQ 1.50 Gray and Brown Summit ecp Poly Polar Gray and Brown

Summit ecp iQ Poly Polar Gray and Brown iD LifeStyle cd Poly Polar Gray (very few short corridor polarized options exist) iD LifeStyle Poly Polar Gray

Visit or contact your HOYA territory sales representative for more information. © 2013 HOYA Corporation. HOYALUX Array is a service mark of HOYA Corporation. HOYA Free-Form is a trademark of HOYA Corporation.



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AUGUST 2013 Vol. 7 Issue 68

Features 6

Courtesy of LINDBERG



DESIGNER EYEWEAR Keep your patient’s cool this summer with the latest in designer eyewear and sunwear. by ECP Staff


OPTICIANRY IN FLORIDA What you need to know if you plan on moving and working in the Sunshine State. by Anthony Record, ABO/NCLE, RDO



CREATE YOUR OWN RETAIL WEBSITE Compete with the online retailers by offering frames and contacts on your practice website. by Corrie Pelc


INTERVIEW: FATHEADZ EYEWEAR Company founder Rico Elmore discusses his frame lines that are made to fit larger head sizes. by Paul DiGiovanni, LDO



OPTICAL HIRING Some tips on how to successfully hire, train, and satisfy new recruits at your practice. by John Seegers, M.Ed., LDO


VARIABLE POLARIZED LENSES Transitions Vantage Technology allows for sharper vision, even in the brightest outdoor glare. by Renee Jacobs, O.D., M.A.


On The Cover: ic! berlin

Departments EDITOR/VIEW......................................................................................................4 DISPENSING OPTICIAN...................................................................................12 MOBILE OPTICIAN ...........................................................................................24 MOVERS AND SHAKERS ..................................................................................26 SECOND GLANCE..............................................................................................38 INDUSTRY QUICK ACCESS..............................................................................44 ADVERTISER INDEX .........................................................................................45 LAST LOOK .........................................................................................................46



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Dealing with Third Party “Style Consultants” t can be hard enough to convince a male patient that a different frame style may best fit his lifestyle and prescription and still be stylish, but what happens when a “style consultant” enters the picture? It generally is his spouse or significant other, but very often it’s someone older, perhaps his mother or mother-in-law. Even though you might have established a good relationship with the patient, it’s time to start all over.


Being aware of the dynamics of the situation may help you in determining how to proceed. The consultant is given the power of decision, and many times feels she must demonstrate her expertise. That often comes out as a negative, that is, whatever the patient and you might have decided on must be wrong, or why else would he have asked for her help? While being careful not to ignore the patient, it is important that you direct your analysis of lifestyle and prescription requirements to the consultant. Doing so puts her in your confidence and acknowledges her as an expert. Be sure to greet the consultant as you would the patient, that is, give your name and title. It is important that she recognize you as the authority, particularly if she doesn’t know you. If you had previously picked out frames with the patient, it is helpful not to show them to her immediately, but rather go through the same procedure you did with the patient. While you don’t need to go through the entire selection process again, this step is important and will make it easier to settle on the frames that were already selected. If the consultant is wearing frames, pay close attention to them. If they are an older style, it may be more difficult to get her to agree on a new style for the patient. Be careful not to be overly critical of her glasses; if pressed, you might mention how the new lens designs allow for smaller frames, or perhaps how the new styles are emphasizing color. If this is the initial selection, remember to direct your comments to her. Certainly include her in any decision process. You might have the patient try on a frame, then stand back with the consultant and discuss with her how it looks. Once a few frames have been selected, your attention should swing back to the patient. But although the consultant has receded more into the background, don’t ignore her all together, she still has to feel a part of the process. Having a consultant can complicate the sales process and slow things down, but it doesn’t have to create undue problems if handled correctly. And there are times when a consultant may be very welcomed, such as when a patient just can’t seem to make up his mind. A consultant may very well just walk up, grab one of the frames, and seal the deal for the patient!



Publisher/Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Smith Production/Graphics Manager. . . . . . . . . . . Bruce S. Drob Director, Advertising Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . Lynnette Grande Contributing Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Judy Canty, John Dick, Paul DiGiovanni, Gary Fore, Elmer Friedman, Lindsey Getz, Renee Jacobs, Ginny Johnson, Jim Magay, Warren McDonald, Corrie Pelc, Anthony Record, John Seegers, Jason Smith Technical Editor . . . . . . . . Brian A. Thomas, P.h.D, ABOM Internet Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Adler Opinions expressed in editorial submissions contributed to EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ are those of the individual writers exclusively and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ its staff, its advertisers, or its readership. EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ assume no responsibility toward independently contributed editorial submissions or any typographical errors, mistakes, misprints, or missing information within advertising copy.

ADVERTISING & SALES (215) 355-6444 • (800) 914-4322

EDITORIAL OFFICES 111 E. Pennsylvania Blvd. Feasterville, PA 19053 (215) 355-6444 • Fax (215) 355-7618 EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ is published monthly by OptiCourier, Ltd. Delivered by Third Class Mail Volume 7 Number 68 TrademarkSM 1994 by OptiCourier, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the publisher.

OptiCourier, Ltd. makes no warranty of any kind, either expressed, or implied, with regard to the material contained herein. OptiCourier, Ltd. is not responsible for any errors and omissions, typographical, clerical and otherwise. The possibility of errors does exist with respect to anything printed herein. It shall not be construed that OptiCourier, Ltd. endorses, promotes, subsidizes, advocates or is an agent or representative for any of the products, services or individuals in this publication.

For Back Issues and Reprints contact Jeff Smith, Publisher at 800-914-4322 or by Email: Copyright © 2013 by OptiCourier Ltd. All Rights Reserved For Subscription Changes, email: Scan this barcode with your smartphone to go to our website.



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1. EASTERN STATES EYEWEAR Diva Eyewear’s optical collection features a mix of wild, progressive shapes and baroque treatments. The creative Diva 5383 is an acetate design mixing bright Austrian Swarovski Crystal treatments with a variety of rich colors such as Green-Coral, RoseBurgundy, Brown-Crystal Slate, and PurpleCognac.

2. MONDOTTICA USA Hackett London Eyewear features a timeless collection of cutting edge British men’s eyewear. Hackett London Bespoke is finished with an authentic marked sterling silver plaque along with high precision OBE hinges. The frames are made using Zylonite, a cotton, wood flake by-product that can be manufactured in a wide array of colors, textures and patterns.


3. A&A OPTICAL Halo for the eyes. Swarovski crystals gleam like ribbons of light in Jimmy Crystal Moonlight’s two tone color scheme. The brown frame features copper and satin stones and the gun frame features garnet and shadow crystals. The modified oval frame is available in size: 52-17-135.




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4. LINDBERG LINDBERG 6500 n.o.w. frames blend a remarkably slender composite front with delicate ultra-light titanium temples. The result is an understated, minimalist design that’s distinctive for its unobtrusiveness and subtle color shadings. The advancedtechnology composite fronts feature transparent color gradients, as well as subtle groove colors that complement or contrast with the titanium temples.

5. GOLD & WOOD With new colors and wood species, Gold & Wood’s Oculus frame is without a doubt a contemporary Eyepiece. Delicately hand-crafted with bright and contrasted colors, Oculus is as stylish as it is unique.

6. MATCH EYEWEAR The new Helium Paris collection represents an exciting blend of iconic form and progressive styling. Rich patterns, elegant accents, and a surprising use of color bring a modern sophistication to the vintage-inspired design of women’s style HE 4218. Carefully crafted from the finest laminated Italian acetate and available in Green Havanna (shown), Red Havanna, and Tort.






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Artisan craftsmanship, timeless style, elegance and attention to detail characterize the new Montblanc Eyewear collection for Autumn/Winter 2013 with classic, bold designs in traditional colors. MB416 presents a new approach to the oversized round frame and has an elegant, feminine silhouette; it is available in black, brown and ivory.


Because of the color combination, “Lena” suits your autumn wardrobe perfectly. The frame combines metal in gold matte and acetate which gives the frame a luxurious appearance. theo by Tim Van Steenbergen sunglasses are always made with ZEISS sunglass lenses for optimal eye protection.



The True Religion brand of couture eyewear portrays the same Hippie, Bohemian-Chic-Flare with a Vintage-Feel-Vibe that their jeans emit. The collection has many shapes from modified ovals to aviator. Rich materials are seen in zyl, leather wrapped and stitched temples, and an array of colors such as Cocoa, Golden Bronze, Olive, Brown Horn, just to name a few. Featured is the Sionan Honey Tortoise.

The Jacey is an oversized, feminine sunglass handcrafted of substantial acetate. This glamorous frame is reminiscent of designer eyewear from the 1960s seen on the most striking women, such as the iconic Audrey Hepburn. The substantial acetate makes a bold statement of allure and confidence.

BCBGMAXAZRIA The Librarian Meets the Fashion Editor: BCBGMAXAZRIA Lenore is a full metal frame featuring an on trend, uplifting square eye shape and flat metal top brow. Inspired by color blocking seen in BCBG apparel, Lenore’s two-tone enamel accents add a colorfully cheeky twist of intrigue to the “business-like” design. It is available in Black, Brown, and Eggplant.




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Copyright BLI-DBP® - August 2013 - Frame JF1242 2292


C O L L E C T I O N &




The meeting of technological innovation and the knowhow of J.F.Rey Eyewear Design in acetate high-end frames conception. Designed and made in France, the optical and solar collection PREMIUM is equipped with the new TitaBOX® titanium hinge system, which firmly connects with the temples to work with the contours of the face, for a perfect comfort.




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ic! berlin

The PREMIUM collection is made in France from design all the way to production. The elegance of these frames stems from the acetate work, precision-crafted to the very highest quality. Each model is fitted with a new TitaBOX® titanium hinge system, letting the temples caress the contours of your head for maximum comfort. These come in both standard and sunglasses, and are exclusively for men.

ic! berlin’s fabulously innovative Summer Collection presents the Ritter Butzkes I and II – like two metal eye protectors worn by knights in the old days. The Ritter Butzkes’ sleek sheetmetal design offers a perfect fit for all face shapes with its simple clean elegant design.



The Hayley is a retro inspired feminine sunglass handcrafted of acetate with a real rivet hinge. Shown in Violet Red Gradient.

ZYLOWARE The MaxStudio LX 115M is a unique combination frame in a modified round shape. With the subtlest detailing on the metal front and a scalloped design on the metal endpiece and handcrafted zyl temples, the LX 115M is an example of what sophisticated frames should be. Available in Black, Mocha, and Cherry.

The Dolabany Eyewear collection uses retro-inspired design. With flashback styling, every frame is a perfect balance of quality and style. Frame model, Lazar, is no exception. With the growing appeal of large Rx eyewear, Lazar adds deep, vibrant colors to the trend. The Dolabany frame is handmade with Italian zyl, which ensures that comfort and fit are an integral part of the design.



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DISPENSING OPTICIAN Cliff Capriola, Practice Management Consultant

The Personality of Your Practice Occasionally someone will ask me if there is any one constant in the characteristics of successful eye care practices, and the answer is always a resounding “yes.” t doesn’t matter if the practice is large or small, in an urban or rural setting, new building or old. The answer is always a caring, welltrained staff. When most doctors think of staff training, they think of the meetings held by their frame and lens providers, usually over lunch. When we think of staff training it begins much earlier, usually at the time of hiring.


Each eye care practice has its own personality, one that is readily apparent when a patient or sales rep walks in the front door or calls for an appointment. Often, doctors and staff are so used to their working conditions they do not realize how good or bad the atmosphere in the office is to the public. We all have walked into offices which make us feel welcome right from the start, and those where it feels like the temperature has just dropped 20 degrees the minute we walk in. This personality is shaped from the top down, and, like it or not, the responsibility for maintaining or reshaping it belongs to the doctor. Unfortunately, the amount of training in optometric practices seems to be going down. A recent survey found that the amount of practices which conduct absolutely no training at all rose from 17% in 2009 to 33% in 2011. Yet at the same time, managed care plans are forcing doctors to spend virtually all their time in the exam rooms. More and more of a patient’s perception of your practice is formed by your staff. Have you ever noticed how the doctors who bring most of their staff to the annual

state optometric conference seem to be among the most successful practices in their state? Did you ever consider that perhaps it’s one of the reasons they are so successful? We believe it goes much further than enhancing the staff skills from the training at these conferences. The doctors who share their goals with their staffs and make it a group effort to attain them also have the staffs with the least amount of turnover. It costs doctors absolutely nothing to thank staff members for their efforts at the end of each day, and to frequently remind them how important they are to your practice. The more invested in your practice employees’ feel, the longer they will remain your employees. Let’s take a look at some of the important steps in forming your practice personality.

• Hiring Employees – there are countless opinions, books, and consultants out there who will tell you who you should hire, some of them even offering personality tests which claim to predict who the best hire will be for your staff. All of these have differing values to the doctor interviewing prospects, and all of them achieve varying amounts of success. Much depends upon the specific position you are trying to fill. For example, a people-oriented personality would generally be more important for a dispenser than an insurance clerk. If there is one overriding value we advise doctors to look for, it is to find people who care about others. You can train a person who is caring for any skill, Continued on page 28

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As I travel around the country teaching continuing education classes, I have the pleasure of meeting attendees from all walks of optical life; from ophthalmologists to optometrists, lab workers to ophthalmic techs. y far, the vast majority of eye care professionals (ECPs) I meet are dispensing opticians. At least a dozen times a year (especially if I happen to find myself somewhere like Syracuse, New York in the dead of winter) I am asked, “What do I have to do to be an optician in Florida?” Dreams of retiring or moving to the Sunshine State are vividly dancing in their heads. So, I figured I’d set the record straight once and for all.


By the way, in 1970 the Florida Legislature officially made our nickname the Sunshine State. That motto appeared on our license plates as early as 1949. Having been a Florida resident my entire life, I can assure you it is aptly named. And without bringing up the political hot potato of global warming, I can also assure you that, anecdotally at least, it seems to get hotter for longer each and every year. While that may seem appealing to you while you’re shoveling snow out of your driveway in Augusta, Maine, remember too, that Florida’s unofficial nickname is the Crazy State. Think about it. For one thing, it’s the only state I know of where the farther north you travel, the farther south you get. Yes, a state once best known for its

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oranges and alligators is now the home of the weird and whacky. From the best I can remember, Florida dethroned California for that title somewhere in the late 1980s or early 1990s. With our fairly lenient and liberal divorce laws, Panama City is the divorce capital of the country. And with our generous homestead exemption laws, Florida seems to attract the almost-bankrupt, and marginally legal (think O.J. Simpson). I just did a quick Internet search for “weird Florida stories” and in no time I found reports of a woman arrested for shaving her bikini line while driving, and one about an orthodontist who also repairs turtle shells. Terri Schaivo, Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman, Johnny Depp, Jim Morrison, and Carrot Top Floridians one and all. Until her release a few years back, Lynnette “Squeaky” Fromme called Florida home, though she probably only got an hour a day or so to enjoy the sunshine. But alas, I digress. If you are a dispensing optician and are still thinking of relocating to the land of Stand

Your Ground, here’s all you need to know: First and foremost, Florida is a licensed state. You just can’t come here and start dispensing glasses - that’s just crazy talk! As loony as some of our residents are, the state legislature decided many years ago that that in order to protect their health and welfare, and because “it is difficult for the public to make an informed choice about opticians,” (I swear it says that in the statute) they set up licensure. Now don’t get me wrong, you can get a job working in a dispensary without a license, but you can only do so under the “direct supervision” of a licensed optician or doctor, and don’t expect to make much more than $10 an hour doing so. If you’re interested, an average licensed optician, employed by a corporation or private practice can expect to make somewhere in the $25 an hour range. But not before we put you through a few hoops – just to prove you’re worthy.



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If you’re coming from another state, where exactly you’re coming from determines the first hoop you have to go through. Seriously, the rules are different, for example for someone relocating from North Carolina, than they would be for someone coming from North Dakota. Why? Because the former is a licensed state, and the latter is not. Opticians relocating to Florida and seeking licensure in Florida must prove to the Board that they have practiced opticianry for more than three years if from a licensed state, or more than five years if from an unlicensed state. You must provide this proof and seek licensure within two years of moving to Florida. So once you’ve established your eligibility with regard to your previous optical experience, what we’d like to say now is, “Show us the money.” If you count the application fee ($100), the examination fee ($325), plus actual examination costs which vary, figure on the whole thing costing you around $800. Once you have proved your worthiness in terms of experience and money, you then have the honor of taking the examination for Florida licensure, with is broken into three parts. According to Florida Statute 484, the three parts are “...a national written opticianry competency examination, a national written contact lens examination, and the National Commission of State Opticianry and Regulatory Boards (NCSORB) examination, which is composed of two parts.”

Cutting through all of that bureaucratic jargon, you have to be certified by the American Board of Opticianry (ABOcertified) and by the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE certified), and pass the two-part NCSORB examination. If you are not familiar with NCSORB and its mission, I would encourage you to check out their website: According to their Purpose Statement: “The purpose of NCSORB is to provide state opticianry licensing boards a national forum for education, assessment, exchange of information, and research that further strengthens licensing laws to lessen the burden of government and operations, and to better serve public needs and further the common welfare and well-being of the community.” Basically NCSORB is trying to establish some uniform criteria for licensure that eventually all states will embrace. You really should take some time to check them out. So you’ve shown you have the experience, you’ve ponied up the dough, you’re ABO certified, you’re NCLE certified, and you passed the two-part NCSORB examination. You can get your license now, right? Not so fast! First you must bring to the governor the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the...oh wait...wrong movie. In our movie, the governor doesn’t want a broomstick, he just wants you to take a few two-hour classes before you get your license. No, really, no kidding, that’s it.

You will have to successfully complete a two-hour class that covers the rules and laws; successfully complete a class on the prevention of medical and ophthalmic errors; and successfully complete a twohour live technical program on fitting and adjusting spectacle frames. Okay, I lied. There is one more thing: You have to prove to the Board that you have no “disqualifying factors” prior to licensure. You know, things like being a criminal, a creep, or some other type of deviant. So once you’ve completed all of those requirements, you have one year to request licensure from the Florida Board of Opticianry. From then on, you just have to obtain 20 hours of continuing education every two years, pay a nominal renewal fee (currently $135), and basically keep your nose clean. But remember, this is Florida. Keeping your nose clean might be easier said than done. This just in: Erik Brown, of Tampa, Florida, was charged with assault for attacking a 16-year-old boy with a burrito at Taco Bell on Feb. 14, 2012. Police said the boy wasn’t injured, but he did have “burrito cheese, sauce, and meat all over his face,” as reported by CBS Tampa Bay.

Welcome to the Sunshine State. I



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Nothin’ But Net Tips for Offering Your Own Retail Optical Website

According to Dr. Neil Gailmard, president and COO of Prima Eye Group and CEO of Gailmard Eye Center, a large number of optometrists with active practice websites offer online contact lens sales. “Several contact lens distributors and even vision plans provide a free software plug-in that can be added to the practice website,” he explains. Additionally, Dr. Gailmard says some third party vendors are also offering e-commerce sites for selling eyeglasses online. “Some ODs have adopted that technology, but the percentage is much lower,” he says.

ONLINE SHOPPING is big business right now. According to a 2012 report by market researcher Lab42, 73 percent of shoppers do at least half of their shopping online, and 66 percent prefer to shop online versus in a physical store. And a recent 2013 study by Continuum found customers shop online for convenience (43 percent), it’s easier to find what they are looking for (29 percent), and better prices (25 percent).

In the optical world, online sales of eyeglasses and contact lenses in the US are on the rise, according to a recent report this year by IBISWorld. The study found annual growth in this market grew 14.8 percent from 2006-2011, and is expected to continue growing from 2011 to 2016. So for the private practice ECP, how can they get their own piece of the online optical pie and give their patients the convenience and high product selection they are looking for? For some practices, this has meant setting up their own online optical on their website.

Being Competitive For about four years, Dr. Lee Dodge of Visualeyes Optometry in Sherman Oaks, CA, has offered his patients the ability to purchase contact lenses online through his practice’s website, “We know that in this growing market where everyone is shopping online we need to be competitive and we need to offer them different ways to utilize our services as an optometric practice,” he explains. “When people think about ordering lenses, I want to make sure we have an avenue in which they can think of us as well.” Continued on page 18

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Dr. Dodge uses an online service provided by his contact lens distribution company. Patients click on a link on his site and are taken to an online ordering portal, which is branded to look like Visualeyes Optometry’s website. Dr. Dodge says this is important as it gives continuity to their logo and brand. “I want patients to know that although we sell different products and different brands, everything has our stamp of approval on it,” he adds. Once a patient has registered with a user name and password, they can place an online order for contact lenses. Patients input their prescription, and Dr. Dodge and his staff have the ability to go in and quickly verify the prescription. Then the order is processed by the distribution company and mailed out to the patient. Patients pay the distribution company directly, and Dr. Dodge’s practice receives a percentage back. He says so far the response from patients has been positive towards the online contact lens sales, and they are looking to further grow this area. He also says having the online capability allows him to offer more brands of lenses for patients than he would be able to stock in just his office. “No one can stock absolutely every brand in every power,” he says. “So by using this site, it allows us to get close to 90 percent of the contact lenses that are available out there.” Standing Out Over in Chicago, IL, for the last two years, Dr. Stephanie Lyons of Lyons Family Eye Care has offered her patients an online optical with both contact lenses and eyeglasses. “We thought that having an online optical would make us stand out among practices as having advanced technology and different ways to purchase glasses and contacts, so from a marketing standpoint, it made a lot of sense to us,” she explains. Through a link on her practice’s website,, patients could access the online portal, which was set up by a third party vendor. Dr. Lyons says although her name was on 18 E Y E C A R E P R O F E S S I O N A L

the website, all the frames and contact lenses were shipped directly from the vendor to the patient. “It was very hands off as far as we were concerned, which was something we actually liked the idea of so that our staff didn’t have to take time working the online optical and then deal with any issues with it,” Dr. Lyons explains.

According to Dr. Gailmard, ECPs should look for a fully designed e-commerce site that allows customers to place orders, provide credit card information and have the product shipped to them directly. “The software design should be impressive and professional in order to project a positive image for the practice,” he says.

Dr. Lyons says although she did not sell many pairs of glasses online, the patient response was positive as they would use the online optical to look at frames before their appointment to see what they might or might not like. “The online optical was also nice for specialty products, like prescription swim goggles or ski goggles, things like that that we don’t have the space for in the store, but we could offer our patients if they were interested,” Dr. Lyons adds.

Dr. Gailmard also says the practice should have the capability to set their own prices, and the online service should send the practice a check on a monthly basis for the gross profit of sales after the cost of goods and service fees are deducted.

“We know that in this growing market where everyone is shopping online we need to be competitive and we need to offer them different ways to utilize our services as an optometric practice.” Recently Dr. Lyons decided to cancel her agreement with her optical shop vendor, and is currently only offering contact lens sales on her website. However, she says if she was able to find another vendor she would consider offering online eyeglass sales again on her site in the future. “We felt it helped a lot with the image of the practice, and patients appreciated being able to look around there before they came in for their exams,” Dr. Lyons says. Do It Yourself For ECPs considering adding online eyeglass and/or contact lens sales to their website, what are some things they need to keep in mind when setting something like this up?

Dr. Lyons also suggests looking carefully at the vendor’s pricing structure, as many times there will be an ongoing maintenance fee, and also pay attention to the percentages of profit for both sides. ECPs should be aware that there can be some learning curves. For example, Dr. Lyons said they did have an issue where some of the frames offered online through the distribution center were not carried in their practice. “That could create difficulty, but at least if we knew what they liked based on the online optical, we could help them find something similar,” she says. There’s also some marketing to patients involved when setting up an online optical. Dr. Dodge says the number of patients purchasing contact lenses on his site has been growing as he and his staff have been marketing it more by telling patients while they’re in the chair and placing the information on contact lens care sheets. Additionally, Dr. Dodge says they have been marketing it through social media. And Dr. Gailmard says to make sure you’re marketing not just your online optical, but that you also have a local brick-and-mortar office to back up online orders. “Promote that you have trained optical professionals who can dispense and adjust the glasses that are ordered through your online store and that your office stands behind all products ordered,” he says. I



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FATHEADZ EYEWEAR Making it Big in the Industry Rico Elmore, Founder & CEO

EyeCare Professional’s Paul DiGiovanni, LDO, speaking with Rico Elmore, Founder & CEO, Fatheadz Eyewear.

What motivated you to enter the wholesale optical industry with Fatheadz Eyewear? I would first like to start by saying that I am not from the eye care industry originally. I was in the automotive industry for 15 years prior to making my mind up that I was going to fill a need for a stylish product with the big man in mind. I was newly married to my longtime girlfriend Oona and was in Las Vegas looking for a pair of shades to fit my large noggin, and after looking at several hundred frames I found that there was nothing they had that would fit. I must say I was a little taken aback. I thought to myself, if you sold shoes would you only sell up to size 10 or 12? At this point I decided that I was going to make eyewear to fit people with larger heads. And not only fit, but make them something that people would want to wear, and be proud to have something stylish that didn’t give them headaches and/or look like they had on their kids’ glasses. So that is what I did and here we are today with over 100 different frames to choose from. What can you tell us about your core line? The Fatheadz “Flying F” line is the original line that we created. We have over 10 styles made of zyl and over 20 made from various metals. We have eye sizes all the way up to 63 as well as temple lengths up to 150. But one

of the main things that we like to look at is the width across the front of the face and all of our frames have that measurement to help determine what frame you may need. All of these frames carry a one year warranty. How would you explain your ultra-modern premier line, Preferred Stock? We have a frame line that we have designed with the ECP in mind. This product is only available in 3 O’s locations and will not be offered in any big box retailer. It differs from our other products by having a two year warranty and being constructed with hand made materials, such as titanium. What type of POP and displays are available to ECPs? We have line cards and holders to show off each line. Our displays consist of 6 piece, 12 piece, 24 piece and 48 piece displays. What does Fatheadz Eyewear and Dea Sunwear for Women offer ECPs looking for XL size frames? Fatheadz offers several frames in TR90 that are sun RXable. We have these frames in the Fatheadz Flying F line and the Dea Ladies line. The frames go all the way up to a 64 for the men’s line and all the way up to a 58 in the ladies line.

Preferred Stock by Fatheadz Eyewear from 2013 Photo Shoot 20 E Y E C A R E P R O F E S S I O N A L

Continued on page 23



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PLEASE JOIN US FOR THE UPCOMING OWA EVENTS AT VISION EXPO WEST The Chopra Center for Wellbeing and The Professional Optical Women’s Workshop Present

MINDFULNESS IN THE WORKPLACE Presented by Educator from world-renowned Chopra Center for Wellbeing. This program is designed exclusively for the optical industry to




your mind and body

your creativity

your potential for success

Tools for Work-Life Balance • De-Stress Techniques

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 4:30 – 6 pm Venetian/Palazzo Congress Center No charge for OWA members • $35 for non-members Registration required. We expect a sold-out crowd for this event! Register in advance at

Light refreshments will be served prior to the start of the program.

ANNUAL NETWORKING AND RAFFLE EVENT Designer items, sports gear, gift certificates and more. All proceeds go to Professional Development Programs.

Friday, October 4, 2013 5:30 – 7:30 pm Venetian/Palazzo Congress Center Free admission. Everyone welcome, including non-members.

The OWA would like to thank our Professional Development Fund Sponsors for their generous support and belief in our mission to advance and promote the leadership role of women in the optical industry. For more information on the OWA and/or to become a member please visit our website at Our thanks to EyeCare Professional for providing this space for OWA’s message



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I heard you have some pretty hip people wearing your eyewear? We provide eyewear to the Indianapolis Colts coaching staff and a few more past and present NFL Stars including Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning.

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Is it true that Fatheadz is 100% customer friendly being a specialty frame company? Fatheadz, Inc is very customer friendly! We require no minimum buy in and will work with ECPs to fit the needs of all their patients. We also will trade out frames that may not be moving for you in your area and replace them with products that are. We are very confident in our products and that is why we offer a warranty program from one to two years, this is a no questions asked program... if there is a manufacturing defect we will fix it! If you order by 3pm EST your product ships out the same day. We are committed to providing the ECP with the fastest service so that the ECP can provide the fastest and best service to their customer. The best place to find out more information about all Fatheadz product lines is to check out our website for ECPs: What new frame lines are you launching in the near future? Fatheadz, Inc is excited to inform the ECP that we are expanding our current offerings to the market. One of our new lines is called John Raymond... this product is named after my late father. This product is going to offer a size range very similar to that of Fatheadz’s original lines. It will have a two year warranty and is an all titanium, modern and stylish line. The second line that we are bringing to market is another round of our Dea Eyewear (Dea means goddess in Italian). This is a very stylish and comfortable line that is comprised of mainly titanium frames. Dea is a frame line designed to fit any woman, no matter the size. All of these frames can be viewed at our booth at Vision Expo West, October 3-5.

If you are currently ordering lenses from any of the following participating vendors, you can create and submit your order using the Opticom website at no cost! Augen Optics Bristol C&D Carl Zeiss/AO Sola Conant USA Essilor (Silor, Varilux & Gentex, Prio) Eye Solutions Eyenavision Eyewear by ROI Eyewear Designs Fantom Optics Hilco (Supplies) Hoya Lens I-Coat Kaenon Polarized KBco Lab-Tech L.B.I. Lenses Lensco Melibrad Nassau Lens

Nouveau Eyewear Optima/PFO Global Pixel Optics Polycore Polylens (Chandel Optical) Rochester Optical Seiko Optical Shamir Insight Shore Lens Signet-Armorlite SOMO Optical Specialty Lens/iRx Xperio Techtran Lenses Titmus (Frames) UVCO/Chemilens Vision Dynamics Vision-Ease X-Cel Optical Younger Optics Zyloware (Frames)



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Labor Pains

what they’ll need to be ready when the time comes. Some will make a list of all of their monthly expenses like rent, utilities, transportation, clothing, food, entertainment etc. Next to that list is the amount of money they have coming in each month so the two totals can be compared. Most couples will recognize the need to cut down on expenses and start putting money aside for the new baby. They find it’s best to start the practice of living on less. Unplanned pregnancies create undue stress and place financial burdens on the responsible parties. Unplanned new hires create costly labor pains and/or hasty adoptions. To rock the best staff you are going to have to nurture them. That means educate, develop, encourage, train, build up, cultivate, feed (yes, I mean a free lunch or dinner every once in awhile). You may have adopted the bad habit of procrastination so having a baby will take care of that. The schedule of a newborn requires constant attention of which there is no avoidance.

HIRING AND RETAINING STAFF IS SIMILAR TO PREGNANCY AND CHILD REARING. You love the work one minute and then turn around and doubt yourself the next. You quickly learn to pick your battles and battle over which ones to pick. You can be so happy and sad at the same time. There’s no avoiding labor pains and guys are not exempt from playing their part in the delivery process. Couples who decide to have children may start by assessing what they have and

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New babies will cry for many different reasons and this can be stressful for new parents. There is no single formula to staying on top of a newborn’s feeding and sleeping (or lack of) schedules. The more bonding time the parents have with the new baby, the better they will become at reading their baby’s cues. Hopefully new hires won’t have reasons to cry. Remember that 86% of new hires make their decision to leave or stay within the first 6 months. New hires deserve just as much attention as newborns, especially during their first days on the job. They should know their schedule and be fed all of the pertinent information they need to feel confident they have made the right job decision.

Studies show that new hires participating in structured on-boarding are 69% more likely to still be with the company after 3 years. Poorly organized, fend for yourself orientations are terrible cues for any new hire to pick up on. As confident as they were on the interview, new hires can be just as confident saying bye bye. A birth certificate is a vital record that documents the birth of a child. I’m sure you already know the comparison I am about to make. A new hire’s birth certificate is their job description. It’s vital to the birth of a new working relationship. Without it, the new hire will have nothing to reference to know if they are doing a good job, forgetting something or need to be doing something else. We all work together as a team to make sure everything is done is not a job description. That sounds more like cross training, which shouldn’t be required until they are trained well in their birth certificate job description. A trimester is a period of three months when a woman is pregnant and a full term is the entire duration of normal pregnancy. Most new hires are given a trimester probationary period. At the end of this term their job performance, happiness and future with the company is assessed. When a new baby comes into the picture, jealousy and sibling rivalries are going to take place. Talking and preparing siblings for the new baby’s arrival is essential. Parents will usually let the siblings help them make some of the decisions about the home coming. This may ease the sting a wee bit. They will also continue to shower the siblings with lots of love and encourage them to talk about their feelings. When searching for new hires, the group input process seems to be very appropriate and effective. The group may work together to decide on the best



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interview questions, help design a new hire welcome packet and even create a more up to date yawn free job description. When jealousy, new hire envy, job insecurities or competitiveness breeds then talk about them. It’s no secret, the rest of the staff can tell when someone is miserable. Talk to the appropriate chain of command about what is bothering you. Do you understand me? Please don’t bottle up all of that negative energy. Look at me when I am talking to you. If you can’t work through this in a healthy manner then maybe it’s time for a diaper change. Maybe another practice would love to adopt you or maybe you’ve grown up so much you want to go out on your own. Before handling a newborn we should always make sure that our hands are clean. When toddlers get old enough parents are constantly reminding them to wash their hands. You may hear these little ones humming the Happy Birthday song a couple of times while washing their hands. This newborn mentality of hand washing should be ageless and carried into ECP health care settings. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, hand hygiene is the #1 way to prevent the spread of infections. Take a look at the facts and resources available on hand hygiene in healthcare settings by visiting their website Stop right now and wash your hands and then mark your calendar for October 15th in celebration of Global Handwashing Day. Raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing with soap throughout the world. Maybe your practice can organize or participate in a Global Handwashing Day event at one of the local schools. Wash your hands to make the world a better place. Sometimes parents will play soothing music while trying to get their newborn to relax. That works especially well for those parents that can’t carry a tune. Can you carry a tune in your practice? Are you listening to music while you work? If so, how does everyone agree on what to listen to? The staff I am working with right now avoids vulgar lyrics and dead silence and they take turns picking out the tunes. When they are really ready to get the party started they play patient education videos. As you can see, you don’t have to be pregnant or hiring to experience labor pains. Everyone experiences labor pains. The best way to ease the pain though is to never stop working on yourself. Don’t worry about the stretch marks because we all have those. Some of us allow ourselves to get stretched so far we snap. Others know when to say when. I have decided to practice shushing. Since whining and complaining about things I can’t control are not in any of my job descriptions. They only make me a labor pain to be around. And you know what they say... If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. I



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MOVERS & SHAKERS Allergan Allergan, Inc. has named Douglas S. Ingram as president. In this newly established role, Ingram will report directly to David E.I. Pyott, chairman of the board and CEO. He will lead the company’s global commercial operations, with responsibility for the company’s broad portfolio Douglas S. Ingram of pharmaceutical, consumer and medical device products. Ingram served Allergan as executive vice president and president, Europe, Africa and the Middle East for the past three years.

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry Pacific University College of Optometry dean Jennifer Smythe, OD, MS has been elected president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO). She is the first woman elected to the office of the president. Dr. Smythe will head the association comprising of Jennifer Smythe 21 schools and colleges of optometry across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Dr. Smythe’s term as president is from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) is a non-profit association representing the interests of optometric education.

SynergEyes SynergEyes, Inc. has promoted James Kirchner, OD, to the position of president. Kirchner previously served as the senior vice president of clinical and professional relations at SynergEyes where he provided professional leadership of product development and product management. James Kirchner Prior to joining SynergEyes, he was chief professional officer for Eyefinity/OfficeMate. With more than 35 years in private practice optometry, Kirchner also has been president and CEO of more than a dozen start-up companies.

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry Rod W. Nowakowski, OD, PhD, who has served as interim dean, and currently, dean of The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, has announced plans to retire but will maintain his position until a successor is Rod W. Nowakowski named. Work is underway to name a committee that will conduct a nationwide search for his successor, according to UAB provost Linda Lucas, to whom Nowakowski reports. In 2000, he was named chief of staff for UAB Eye Care, a leadership position responsible for all clinical activities of the school.

left the company to pursue opportunities outside of the industry. In his new role, Smith will develop, implement and oversee all marketing of the company’s products, handle all communications to its customers and the industry, and Jason Smith help the sales team and lab works group generate leads and drive sales. Smith has an extensive background in marketing and design, joining the company in 2010 from Gerber Scientific Products.

CooperVision CooperVision, Inc. has announced the appointment of Juan Carlos Aragon, OD to the newly established role of senior vice president, global professional and clinical affairs. He is now responsible for creating, implementing, and managing the company’s professional and Juan Carlos Aragon clinical affairs strategy worldwide. Since 2000, Aragon has worked in various international roles within CooperVision, and most recently led the company’s Latin America commercial operations and Americas region business development initiatives.

ANFAO and MIDO At the General Meeting of the Shareholders, Cirillo Marcolin was confirmed as president of ANFAO and MIDO for the next four years, a position he has held for the past two years. Giovanni Vitaloni was named a newly elected vice president and joins the team of four other Cirillo Marcolin deputy presidents who have been reconfirmed to the ANFAO Council: Maurizio Dessolis, Paolo Pettazzoni, Callisto Fedon and Renato Sopracolle.

Premier Eye Care Premier Eye Care has named Anna Pinera as vice president of national network management. She will develop and manage the national provider network for all health care plan contracts. Pinera previously worked at two large health plans, leading the national ancillary contracting team Anna Pinera at WellCare, and the network management regional team at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. She was responsible for complex network agreement negotiations, vendor management, provider relations and network expansion efforts.

Live Eyewear

Coburn Technologies Coburn Technologies has promoted Jason Smith to the position of director of marketing communications, reporting to company president Alex Incera. He takes over from Curt Brey, who has 26 E Y E C A R E P R O F E S S I O N A L

Nicole Norris

Live Eyewear has announced the appointment of Nicole Norris to the position of General Counsel. Ms. Norris will be located at the company’s San Luis Obispo, CA headquarters where she will be responsible for managing all significant legal, policy and related operational matters.



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but you can never train a skilled person to care. • Managing Staff – first, have an updated office manual. As one former client put it, “If a rule is not written down, it doesn’t exist.” Make sure each employee signs a copy of the manual stating they have read it and understand it; and each employee has a copy of the manual. The advantage here is two-fold: first, an employee understands what their job entails and what is expected out of them. Secondly, in case you have to fire an employee you have specific duties in writing – and understood by the employee – that the employee has failed to perform. Here are some other important tips to consider:  If at all possible, hire an office manager. With managed care forcing doctors to live in their exam rooms, an office manager oversees staff and ensures that the practice goals are met. It also removes the doctor from the direct managing of the staff. The larger the practice, the more important this is. In small practices, the manager may function as a float in all areas of the practice. We once saw a four doctor practice with three locations and over twentyfive employees try to function without an office manager. It was not a pretty sight...  Assign a trainer for each department to train new employees. This staff member ensures the continuity of training remains the same.  Staff Bonuses. We believe in sharing success in the growth of the practice with the staff. The doctor should set the monthly goals based on an increase from year-to-year. It often is meeting monthly goals for dispensary income, or new contact lens fits, sun wear sales, or, in MD practices, an increase in patient capture rates.

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After the first year the goals will have to be re-evaluated, but they should always be incremental goals as you continue to raise the bar. Never should the staff consider it a part of their base pay. Even though one department such as the dispensary might seem responsible for generating financial growth, we believe in sharing the bonus money equally among the staff. It’s a team effort, from the person setting the appointment to the insurance clerk ensuring you actually get paid!

“A recent survey found that the amount of practices which conduct absolutely no training at all rose from 17% in 2009 to 33% in 2011. Yet at the same time, managed care plans are forcing doctors to spend virtually all their time in the exam rooms.”  Have weekly staff meetings. Review the events of the past week and recognize what went exceptionally right and what could use improvement. Always try to raise the level of patient care and professionalism. Solicit suggestions from the staff on improving the practice. When starting with a client we always make it a point to meet separately with each staff member for 5-10 minutes to get their impression of the practice. You would be amazed how many excellent suggestions they can make. When we ask why they have not told the doctor, their response it usually “I was never asked for my opinion.” Remember your staff sees what works and what doesn’t work in your practice long before you do. Remind everyone of why they

are there and your goals for the practice. And always, always, always thank your staff for their work at the end of the day. I can’t tell you how many staff members have approached me and said, “No one has ever told me that before. It makes the absolute worst day seem ok.” No one likes being taken for granted.  Hire a mystery shopper. You don’t have to spend for a professional to do this. Pick a friend whose judgment and standards are similar to your own and who is not known in your practice. Give them a checklist for them to grade their treatment in all areas of your practice from making an appointment to checking out. Treat it as a learning experience for everyone involved. Successful businesses large and small realize that their customers will receive the best service only when their employees feel values and cared for. It’s easy for doctors to fall into the trap of thinking that their work is more important and that the practice revolves around the exam room. But if the employee setting the appointments does not make the patent feel welcome, the practice has two strikes against it before the patient sets foot in your door. Get to know your staff, their families and interests. Find out about their personal goals and ambitions, and encourage their continuing education in their job field. Empower your staff to make the small decisions that arise every day while you’re in the exam room, and hold them accountable. An empowered employee will show more initiative and creativity. The staff knows far better than you what little glitches interrupt patient flow on a daily basis. So, what’s the personality of your practice? I



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PRACTICE MANAGEMENT John Seegers, M.Ed., LDO, owner –

Dealing with Training and the New Hire Let me set the stage here: You have been running a successful business for at least five years. You have made some good calls and some mistakes, learned from them, and you have developed a good overall sense of what works for your business. GOOD BUSINESS sense dictates that you would not hire additional staff unless your current staff is overworked, right? I mean, you are not going to hire someone simply because you are nice, or because your other staff members seem lonely, or because you want to add more half-full Tupperware containers to your refrigerator. Instead, over the last six months, you have noticed that your staff is overworked. They are overworked enough that some costly mistakes are being made. Your overtime hours are creeping up, and employees’ hours can run long enough that they become unproductive. Scheduling is difficult, staff are fighting over vacation time, and now employee morale is suffering. So, you bite the bullet and decide to add an additional staff member. You run an ad, and you do all the right things about hiring a new person. Whether that new person is a seasoned veteran of the industry or a new-to-the business greenhorn, you have just made a bad situation worse! What? Think about it. The only reason you hired someone was because you had enough work for him or her. Depending on the number of hours the new person will work, you have just reset the clock to zero. Now, you are back to where you were six months ago. That might be just great! However, now you have to train this new person, and your staff does not seem willing to do it. Can you really blame them?

Let us look at this from their point of view, not yours. You just admitted that they have been overworked for the last six months. Now, they are exactly where they were six months ago, with the additional responsibility of training a new hire. Excuses will include: It is not my job to train people. They should already know this stuff. Why the heck would I train my replacement? I am no good at teaching. I do not have time to do what I need to do, let alone train someone else. They make more than I do; why the heck should I train them?

I tried, but it is just easier to do it myself like I always have. Sound familiar? Do not get caught up in the right and wrong of statements like these. Do not try to argue them or force them. They are normal human feelings in reaction to change. Change creates stress, and stress causes people to react in unconstructive ways. It will all settle over time, just as it always has. If you hired an experienced person, you will need to train them on “how you do things.” This will create conflict on multiple levels, and lead to animosity between the old staff and the new hire. The new hire will not like having their skill level questioned. The old staff will not like any changes the new hire brings. Continued on page 32

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Phone 800-756-2020

Fax 800-756-0034



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If you hired the greenhorn, you will, with good reason, face even more hurdles. I’m not against hiring an inexperienced person. In fact, for a wide range of reasons, you may be forced to hire an inexperienced worker, and may even be better off doing so. Still, the less an individual knows, the more you (and your staff) will have to teach them. So, what is the answer to managing the problems of “training and the new hire”? Well, I am sure you will find a long list of “consultants” who would love to take your money and tell you how. You may tell yourself that you know best, and have all the answers. You may even tell yourself that “My staff will do what I tell them to.” The truth is – there is no answer to this problem. You do the best you can. It will help to follow these guidelines: The most important one: Find the time. Bring your best people in early or have them stay late. Sequester them in the back room for an hour each day through the week. You would manage if they were out sick, or out to lunch, so manage while they are training! If your office does not have enough cross-trained employees to mind the store for an hour and a half, then you need to address that. Before you place an ad or mention the idea of adding additional staff: • INVOLVE YOUR STAFF. Talk to your staff. Ask them what they need most. It might surprise you! Really talk to them, and listen to them, either oneto-one or as a group. Make them feel like they are part of the success of the new hire. This is honest; they ARE part of the success of the new hire.

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• Explain why you are hiring in clear terms. Make it clear no one’s job is in jeopardy. Tell your staff that you know they have been overworked. Tell them that you are hiring someone new because you recognize how hard they have been working. • Remember that the new hire works for you, but will work with your other staff. Get the staff ’s input on the hiring process, and consider allowing them to be part of the interview process. • Let your established staff help craft the want ad and the job expectations. Before you actually hire someone: • Expect at least one shadow day from a possible new hire. Wouldn’t you appreciate the opportunity to check out a place before you accept a job? You get to meet and observe the employee; the employee gets to meet the staff and see how the office works; and it helps both sides feel each other out. This helps the new employee be sure they’ve made the right choice. Offer lunch as an incentive, and consider trying to set aside a half-hour where everyone can meet and greet. • Be sure you actually call references and past employers. Do it. Follow up, make the calls, and get through to the right people. Lyndon Johnson was right: Keep people talking, and they are guaranteed to tell you things they probably shouldn’t! Immediately after a new-hire: • Pay a realistic salary. Set realistic goals with pay incentives for meeting them. Consider a 30-60-90 day review

program. Explain it, implement it and stick to it. Should terminating the relationship become necessary, this will allow you a very graceful way out. • If you are hiring a greenhorn, consider an incentive for the office staff when they reach certain training goals: • PTO, $50 Visa gift cards, a paid bonus. • Do NOT offer lunch for the office or half a book of Happy Meal certificates as incentives. • Stay on top of training. Consider a training program complete with a binder for tracking progress. If you do not do this, you only have yourself to blame when things don’t work out. Of course, I recommend the training materials available at After Hiring: • Once the new employee is hired, allow the new hire to suggest new ways of doing things. Do not make changes for the sake of change, but accept that someone with a fresh perspective can point out some things that you could be doing better. Recognize their contributions to positive change. Bear in mind that bringing in a new hire is a stressful experience for everyone involved. If it is not, then there is something wrong with your workplace. Everyone working for you has enough vested interest in the success of the practice that they worry about things. The new hire is worrying about doing a good job. The rest of your staff is worrying about making the new hire successful. You probably are worried about both. I 32




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THROUGH THE LENS Renee Jacobs, O.D., M.A.

Variable Polarized Lenses: The Affordable Creature Comfort Add Transitions VANTAGE Technology to your Product Mix MANY OF US VIEW LIFE’S AMENITIES as near necessities. For example, could you live without an extraordinarily comfortable recliner, or a favorite pillow that enhances your sleep? What about your remote control? Of course you can live without creature comforts, but if you have the wherewithal, then why not enjoy them?


he same is true for your patients. Yes, clear prescription lenses might be the necessity, but why not enjoy all of the physical comfort of wearing lenses that help eyes adjust to changing light better than they would on their own? Why not embrace the peace of mind from knowing that eyes are protected 100% from UVA and UVB? Photochromic lenses are amazing. And the new photochromic technology in Transitions Vantage lenses is even more amazing. With variable polarization, patients can enjoy crisper, sharper vision, even in the brightest outdoor glare. Of course, patients can live with clear lenses, but why not improve their everyday life experience? The photochromic option is a creature comfort, a simple luxury, which most patients can afford. Know the Product Understand that Transitions Vantage lenses are sometimes better than clear lenses and sometimes better than traditional photochromic lenses worn as everyday wear. These lenses are not intended to compete against polarized sunglasses in the optical marketplace. Transitions Vantage lenses are for everyday wear. The lenses have subtle color indoors, indiscernible to most people, and they automatically change two ways when your patient steps outside. They adjust the level of tint, depending

Though Transitions Vantage lenses are polarized, no everyday photochromic lens will replace sunglasses. During bright sunny days, patients benefit from fully polarized sunglasses for protection and comfort. Plus many people enjoy sunwear when driving. Transitions Vantage lenses will not darken behind the windshield.

upon the overall brightness of the sun. The fully activated color is gray. Also, they adjust polarization depending upon the level of tint. See Figure 1.

Know Your Target Market When you add a new photochromic option to your product mix, your business objective is to accurately match each individual patient to the best photochromic solution for them. Therefore, you face two immediate challenges. First, all eye care providers need a method for identifying which patients will benefit most from the new technology. Second, they need to understand how the new product fits into the family of existing everyday photochromic options. Transitions Optical addressed exactly these challenges. Before launching variable polarization into the marketplace, they invested in research to determine which patients will benefit most. Then they nestled their newest photochromic option within their existing family of products.

Figure 1: Variable Polarization

Changes in tint and polarization result as UV light activates lens molecules. When activated, the molecules flatten, darken, and align to become polarized. The polarization efficiency varies from 0% to 89% depending upon the amount of surrounding UV light and the temperature. The darker the lens, the greater the polarization efficiency. In environmental conditions where polarization enhances contrast and comfort, patients actually report that Transitions Vantage lenses appear perceptively darker than Transitions XTRActive lenses, the darkest everyday lens that Transitions manufactures.

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With this in mind, I reached out to Mary O’Hara, Associate Marketing Manager of Trade Communications, at Transitions Optical. Mary shared a method you can use to achieve patient satisfaction: 1. Know the everyday photochromic options within your products of choice. You can find them in your lab price lists, vendor websites, and you can look them up in the Transitions Dispensing Guide: s/public/10004/Transitions_Dispensi ngGuide_March2013.pdf Consider creating your own product availability chart. It might look something like Figure 2:

choice. Verify all of your photochromic options. Make a table that is true for your office. Also, understand that photochromic material availability is evolving. Therefore you might desire to update your table quarterly or semi-annually. 3. Now that you know both your patient and the options available, recommend the right everyday photochromic lens for your patient. If your patient is light sensitive, even indoors and when driving a car, then recommend Transitions XTRActive. XTRActive lenses have some tint to relieve light sensitive eyes indoors. Of the photochromic family of products,

Figure 2

2. Evaluate your patient’s prescription, lifestyle, and frame of choice. Then select the best lens material for great vision and comfort. Use your own chart to verify the photochromic options. If your chart matches Figure 2, and you believe that Trivex material is best for your patient, then you can offer Transitions VI, XTRActive, or Vantage. Those are the available everyday photochromic options. If you believe 1.74 index of refraction is the best material for your patient, then Transitions VI is the only photochromic option shown on your chart. Take the time to talk with your labs and vendors of

XTRActive lenses are darkest when outside. They also have some color behind the windshield when driving. See Figure 3. If your patient wants clear lenses when indoors, then recommend a traditional photochromic lens. Transitions VI lenses are clear inside, darken when exposed to UV light outside, and they do not activate when behind the windshield of a car. See Figure 3.

vision and enhanced comfort. Vantage lenses are virtually clear indoors, and the photochromic molecules align when exposed to UV light. They become darker and polarized when outside, but not behind the windshield of a car. See Figure 4. Mary O’Hara shared one more tip for success. If a patient is currently delighted with Transitions VI Gray, and also enjoys the outdoors, then that individual is likely to love Transitions Vantage variable polarized lenses. Communicate with Key Words and Choice Phrases Most opticians will agree that scripts, to describe product benefits, are good and bad. It is good to communicate all of the lens attributes that will benefit any given patient. It is bad to sound insincere, rehearsed, or unnatural. Patients notice when you are uncomfortable with words or sentence structure that does not feel natural to you. With that in mind, find your own words and phrases to communicate messages that resonate with patients in your optical. Communicate that Transitions Vantage lenses protect eyes 100% from UVA and UVB. Communicate that adaptive everyday lenses help eyes adjust to changing light better than they would on their own. Communicate that patients will enjoy crisper, sharper vision, in outdoor glare. Communicate that everyday lenses cannot replace sunglasses. Practice your own words and phrases. Help your patients understand the true benefits of amazing lens technology. Of course, patients can live with clear lenses, but why not improve their everyday life

If your patient is using their eyewear indoors and outdoors, then recommend Transitions Vantage technology for crisp

Figure 3: Transitions XTRActive and Transitions VI 36 E Y E C A R E P R O F E S S I O N A L



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“If a patient is currently delighted with Transitions VI Gray, and also enjoys the outdoors, then that individual is likely to love Transitions Vantage variable polarized lenses.” experience? Know your photochromic products. Expand your product mix to include the new polarized photochromic everyday option, Transitions Vantage lenses. Then successfully match each patient to the product best for them. Yes, clear lenses may be the necessity. However, the photochromic option is a creature comfort, a simple luxury, which most patients can afford. I

Figure 4: Transitions Vantage Lenses Darken and Polarize



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SECOND GLANCE Elmer Friedman, OD

My “Unique” Employee IT IS A RECOGNIZED FACT IN THE WORLD OF EYE CARE PROFESSIONALS that those who are at our sides as assistants, secretaries, technicians, etc. are integral to the practitioner’s livelihood. Fortunately, our field is blessed with an abundance of competent, well qualified individuals.

They are an indispensable part of the office routine. They make the office visit a pleasant and positive experience, both for the patient as well as the doctor. To those many support personnel who daily carry the banner for our professionals and provide a good name for our patients and customers, we salute you and extend our thanks. We tip the proverbial hat to you. However, the “odd misfit” appears periodically and blemishes the good record of the majority. Some years ago I was desperate enough to seek out a rare incantation which, if successful, would enable me to cause my secretary, at that time, to disappear into thin air and out of my office, forever. Labor laws prevented me from firing her without an airtight cause, not to mention the subsequent rise in my unemployment compensation fund rate. Additionally, I did not relish the fact that I must interview new applicants. Such a course is time consuming and pregnant with frustration. Also, the results may be misleading. Why, you may ask, do I say misleading? I’ll tell you why. My troubles began when I hired what I thought was an honest and straightforward person to be my secretary/receptionist. What I thought was honest opinion and straight forwardness turned out to be sarcasm and flippancy. What I thought

was cute conversation grew into abruptness and rudeness. For example: Patient: I would like to speak to the doctor Secretary: He’s busy Patient: (Silence) Secretary: (More silence) Patient: Then let me make an appointment to see the doctor on... The above telephone scenario was reproduced with nauseating regularity in the office reception area. Her, “What do you want?” greeting could chill the bones of the Terminator. After six months of trying to understand her difficulty in learning proper patient rapport, it occurred to me that I rarely heard her say “please” or “thank you.” When I confronted her with this observation, she replied, “I only have to please the Lord, no one else.”

Well, there’s no one who appreciates the Lord more than I do, but when the Lord giveth us the choice between a pleasant countenance and a grumpy attitude, the Lord wants us to choose the former. Besides, I know a fanatic when I see one and she was one if I ever saw one. Her odd ball reputation became viral among my colleagues who phoned the office once in a while and spoke to her just for their amusement. On one occasion, a patient asked her for her opinion of a frame selection. She stared at the patient and replied, “No comment.” During the post mortem of this episode she indicated to me, “It looked ugly and I can’t tell an untruth.” I’ll say this for her; she may lack points in diplomacy, but in honesty, she could outdo George Washington. Right from the start I should have been prepared for the worst. Further investigation of her job resume revealed that the last three eye care professionals she worked for went into bankruptcy. And they were in areas where there existed a shortage of optometrists. After a period of approximately six months this receptionist from hell informed me that she wished to leave my service. She appeared apoplectic when I reacted too quickly by offering her immediate help in obtaining a new position...elsewhere. I hummed a tune from “Oklahoma” for the rest of the Continued on page 40

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day. She obtained a position in a health center where her many behavior distortions can be tended to right on the premises. I said, “Take my secretary, please.” And someone granted my wish. Today there is a plethora of information about employee training. Frequently, articles can be seen in our journals which describe, in detail, job prerequisites, description of duties, hours, pay expectations, vacations sick benefits, uniforms and the designated colors of the different inks used for different purposes. Once hired, they are expected to keep up to date on developments in our field. They are required to attend staff meetings on a regular basis, and fill in expertly when a fellow employee is absent. How I wish that such a guide or manual was available to me before my cataclysmic experience described above occurred. Of course there is a possibility of unfulfilled expectations by an employer whose sights are set very high. What employee is so perfect that he/she can pass the tests that perfection imposes? It would be important that an employer use good judgment with generous helpings of common sense. I mean good old fashioned “horse sense,” “mother wit,” “street smarts,” and “feet on the ground” common sense. Also, we must understand that common courtesy, empathy, good manners and a nice smile can accomplish more to smooth an office problem than any new fangled computer, iPad or iPhone.

We should look for traits in our employees that suggest insight and good judgment. Inflexibility and fixed habits on the part of an employee may be a warning sign for the employer that there may be conflicts soon to appear on the horizon of the work place. A high I.Q. may be nice and may help to produce a very efficient office receptionist, but if the worker is rude or blunt with a patient, then what value is that person to you or your practice? An employee who asks intelligent questions is more acceptable to an employer than the super-intelligent person who is unable to apply his/her talents in the work arena in concert with fellow staff members. It is a question of team mentality. It means occasionally sacrificing comfort and conveniences so that the recipient of our services is the ultimate beneficiary. Let’s cook up a perfect dish which we can call “Le Employee Extraordinaire.” INGREDIENTS: A double portion of smiles and good humor, a dollop of intelligence, at least one gallon of common sense, a cup of cheerfulness filled to the brim, a dash of neatness, equal quantities of dedication and responsibility, and a very small pinch of powdered worry. (Note: Employees whose duty requires them to deal with insurance payers may desire to double the portions to cover their increased needs.) INSTRUCTIONS: Carefully mix cheerfulness with the double quantity of smiles and good humor until a bubbly, happy

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consistency results. Gently add the intelligence, carefully folding it slowly in the mix so it does not damage the sweet taste of the smiles and humor. At this point add your pinch of worry which should be just enough to insure a blending of the ingredients without causing long term bruising of the recipe. At your leisure, you may now add a dash of neatness to maintain compatibility of the ingredients. Heat gently but keep the temperatures low to avoid boiling over. Transfer your result to a very large bowl as you add the equal amounts of dedication and responsibility, described above, and beat it until it becomes a delightful froth. Pour it all into a mold of your choice (a heart shape is recommended), add the liberal batch of common sense and watch it rise and take shape when warmed over. Finally, sprinkle the surface with a prudent amount of spices to add zest and zing to the final product. Your yield will be...a perfect employee. Do not shake, rattle, irritate, push, pull or press the delicate mold until a protective crust forms. Do not remove your perfect employee from the mold until completely mature and ready to serve. If you follow the simple directions, faithfully, you can be a proud chef who has been able to cook up your very own, personal, home grown employee. With tender, loving care you can enjoy the fruits of your labor and the results of your inventiveness for many happy years. Don’t just stand there. Get busy.


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US OPTICAL Receives Trademark for DIGITAL AR ®

US Optical LLC has been granted a trademark for “DIGITAL AR” from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “We are delighted to have received US Trademark Registration No. 4,348,220 on June 4, 2013 for our DIGITAL AR®,” stated co-owner Ralph Cotran, “we believe DIGITAL AR® complements our Digital HD ophthalmic lenses and represents an opportunity to provide the American consumer, through our eye care professional customers, a superior AR coated lens at a reasonable price. This is a tremendous opportunity for US Optical and its customers.” Digital AR® is produced by US Optical and is the perfect match when applied to freeform High Definition (HD) lenses. Digital AR® further protects the lenses and enhances the optics and overall cosmetics of digital lenses. Digital AR® is also excellent for non HD lenses. In addition to reducing light reflection and protecting the lenses from scratches, this AR makes traditional lenses more cosmetically appealing. Other benefits include: Super hard protective coating; two year warranty; easy to clean lenses due to slick hydrophobic coating; nine layers of AntiReflective coating; top coat protective layer eliminates slippage during edging. For more info go to:

Essilor to Acquire Full Ownership of Transitions Optical Essilor International and PPG Industries announced last month that the companies have reached an agreement for Essilor to acquire PPG Industries’ 51 percent stake in Transitions Optical. Essilor has held a 49 percent share of Transitions Optical since the joint venture company’s formation in 1990. The transaction, valued at $1.73 billion at closing, also includes the acquisition of Intercast, a leading supplier of sun lenses. The acquisitions will significantly strengthen Essilor’s position in both the photochromic and sun lens segments.



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Advertiser Index ADVERTISER Allergan















CNS Frame Displays



Coburn Technologies






Eyewear Designs



Optical Practice Marketing






Optical Women’s Association



FEA Industries

17, 35





Grimes Optical















Signet Armorlite



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Nassau Vision Group National Lens



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Nellerk Contact Lens Cases



Optical Specialists








i-see optical



Three Rivers Optical



J.F. Rey



Trevi Coliseum



Marcati Optical



US Optical





Vision Systems





Marco My Vision Express



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hat dreamer wrote that – vacation schedules to juggle, slower business, no one is in when you call or email them, and an over arching concern that, “I really should be playing golf ” On top of this I’m covered with spots. An annual visit to my dermatologist resulted in a whole bunch of keratoses being cryo’ed. Mostly on my face. Causing clients to look at me strangely. You can almost hear them thinking, “Is it contagious?” What is contagious is stupidity, for years starting as a child – I have sought, if not the perfect tans, at least a pretty good

one. Not George Hamilton good, just a little color to banish the New England pasty white winter complexion – that makes you look like you were just released from long-term incarceration. Knowing what I now know, I should have stayed inside reading comic books when I was 14 instead of running up and down Sandy Neck beach on Cape Cod getting fried. My aunt and mom were great believers in the power of home remedies to deal with extreme sunburn, peeling square feet of skin off, brewing tea and sponging it (cold) on the burn. Also exhortations to jump in the ocean, “The salt water will do it good!” (Also for the inevitable poison ivy outbreaks as well) Over the years I never really paid much attention to sun block, it was an expensive goo that meant less beer and fried clams you could buy with your limited budget while on vacation. (If you used sun block at all back in the day it was smeared sparingly on the back of your neck, your nose, and exposed forearms and in those days it probably was SPF 10.) “UV” – what is that? Now we know, “It’s dangerous folks!” Not for nothing do we need to protect our delicate epidermis.

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Surgery to remove suspicious freckles, annual visits to the dermatologist, and monthly personal checks of all the little lumps and bumps our skin acquires over the years. When you’re young is definitely the time to start using protection. Abusing our skin in the summer time is a national pastime and is aided and abetted by beer commercials with scantily clad young things cavorting around outdoors, beach volleyball broadcasts – bikini much? The Tour de France, auto racing programming (sitting for hours watching cars roar around and around while you are baking in the glow reflecting from the aluminum bleachers at Loudon) even golf programming glorifies sun worshipping. At minimum UV protective clothing, good quality sun block, and naturally great sunglasses should be de rigueur for all of us. In addition to lecturing our customers (patients, clients, whatever) about the wonderful UV blocking capabilities of the eyewear we are suggesting they buy, we might drop in a hint or two about pairing the Kaenon’s or Rudy’s with a tube of SPF 85 cream. Might be a good idea to give out a sample and a pamphlet about sun safety as well. ■



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*Data based on national averages.

August 2013 Issue of EyeCare Professional Magazine  

Essential Reading for the Eye Care Professional. A Business to Business publication that is distributed to decision makers and participants...

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