Big. Small. New. Established. CooperVision’s Best Practices are different, but they share a common goal: To deliver exceptional care to patients, even in the face of increasing competition and challenges. Established in 2015, Best Practices recognizes and celebrates the visionary, innovative, and unexpected aspects of care delivery that best serve patients and advance the profession. In this series of articles, CooperVision’s 2018 class of Best Practices honorees will be highlighted, one by one, to uncover and share some unique aspects of their practices that help them thrive—with hope that other practitioners may garner inspiration to bolster their own success.

This month, Bridgitte Shen Lee, OD, and Bradley Owens, OD, of Vision Optique in Houston, discuss current eye care challenges such as digital eye strain and the education of patients about the importance of optometry—and what everyone can learn from Amazon.

What professional services are offered at Vision Optique?

We provide comprehensive eye care for all patients and focus on dry eye disease management, specialty contact lenses, anti-aging eye care, digital eye strain and myopia control solutions. Vision Optique is a premiere private practice and high end optical.

The issue of digital eye strain is increasing in prevalence. Tell us more about the work you’re doing in that area.

The first smartphone was introduced just 11 years ago; it’s unbelievable to think about how the entire world has changed in that short amount of time. The symptoms—dry, tired eyes— came before we officially had the term “digital eye strain,” so we have been actively discussing this important topic with our patients for the last decade. Digital devices are an integral part of our daily lives and we now have an entire suite of digital eye health solutions, not only to treat digital eye strain, but to help prevent it.

What do you do to keep your staff motivated and engaged?

We hire individuals who have great personalities and are motivated to help others. Our team believes in our vision and understands our position as a leader in the eye care industry. We strive to deliver our mission with every patient encounter: “Improving your quality of life is our vision. Providing the finest in eye care and eyewear is our passion.” We empower the staff to do whatever it takes to make every patient’s experience a happy one.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing practitioners today?

We believe the greatest challenge is patients’ lack of clear understanding of what optometry is and what an optometrist provides—it’s beyond contact lens and glasses services! In dentistry, people go twice a year without fail. They have been taught to take care of their teeth and prevent dental issues. General eye health has not been taught in the same way. As an industry, we have to do a better job to educate the general public on the importance of annual eye exams and eye disease prevention, even if they have good vision.

How is your practice innovative in practice management?

Practice management is an area in which we have always strived to be a leader. We implemented electronic health records and went paperless in 2006. We have made technological tools a big part of our patient care routine to enable us to educate our patients and coordinate with their primary care physicians. We actively pursue beta testing opportunities in both software and instrumentation, especially if they are in areas that are addressing changing consumer behavior.

How do you keep pace with the changing retail landscape?

The way that consumers behave, communicate, and connect has changed drastically in the last decade. We consider ourselves a leader in keeping up with this evolution, and we adapt the way we take care of our patients and how we build our team as a result. There is a lot to learn about selling products and delivering exceptional customer service from watching companies like Amazon, which we do—always!

What do you want Vision Optique to be known for?

We want our patients to come to Vision Optique as their trusted ocular health provider and protector, and as their favorite place to shop for all of their eyewear and eyecare needs. We want the eye care industry to remember Vision Optique as a leader in setting the gold standard of premium private practices!

Congratulations to Dr. Shen Lee, Dr. Owens, and Vision Optique! This year’s honorees collaborated to tackle the most demanding challenges of contemporary optometric practice. For more information about the program, its honorees (both current and past), and updates about how they are working together to advance the profession, visit www.eyecarebestpractices.com.

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