Adding new technologies is key to the continuous improvement of patient care at any optometry practice—and it is also a major investment. How can eye care professionals determine which technologies are worthwhile? 2022 Best Practices Honoree Melissa Tada, OD, of Mountain View Vision in Colorado Springs, Colo. shares how she evaluates new equipment, from how it fits in the budget to its impact on her practice’s profitability, and ultimately, how it benefits her patients.
How do you utilize technology to set your practice apart?
We’ve never been afraid to try new things—especially when it comes to investing in new technology. Since we have made this a priority for our practice, we set aside money every month to replace a piece of equipment or purchase something new. And while I recognize that other practices offer many of the same technologies as we do, our commitment to regularly updating our equipment with the newest, most advanced offerings has become a point of differentiation. We always have something new to show our patients when they return, which is part of our “wow factor.”
What technology has made the biggest impact on your practice?
For patient care, our retinal imaging equipment has made a significant impact on our practice. These real-time, cross-sectional images of our patients’ eyes enable us to look beyond their vision and into their overall health so we can detect conditions like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and more. The ability to see beyond what traditional instruments can reveal results in improved efficiency and outcomes, and assures our patients that they’re receiving the highest level of care.
With so much technology available—and new products introduced every day—how do you decide in which equipment to invest?
For us, it’s a three-step evaluation. First and foremost, we look to see if there is a need or demand for it in our practice. If it will benefit our patients or help streamline our internal processes, we proceed to the next step—the expected return on investment. Then finally, we simply consider whether we have space for a new piece of equipment. While it’s nice to purchase something new and shiny, it’s important to look at the bigger picture to see whether it’s right for the practice.
How has your investment in new technologies contributed to your practice’s growth?
Since opening the doors 12 years ago, our specialty clinic has grown with every new piece of technology that we have brought in. At first, we were only able to offer eye drops, oral antibiotics, and warm compresses. Today, we can offer our patients advanced technologies and specialty services that have become a reputation-builder. People in our community know that if they want the highest level of care, they can come to us to get it. As we look to the future, we’re striving to meet the needs of even more patients through our technological investments.
In terms of practice management, our commitment to purchasing new and improved technologies has helped to streamline our processes, moving patients through their appointments efficiently.