MARKETING By Staff Monday, June 17, 2013 12:10 AM RELATED CONTENT Practice Management Stories: The Secrets of Their Success The Selection Process for the 2013 Innovators DIGITAL MEDIA BUSINESS MANAGEMENT OPTICAL DISPENSING INFLUENCERS THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE CONTACT LENS DISPENSING 2013 Alphabetical List of Honorees 2012 Alphabetical List of Honorees 2011 Alphabetical List of Honorees JAN BIANCHI FREDERICKSON, OD Owner Family Eye Care West - Vision Source www.visionsource-familyeyecarewest.com/ Greensburg, Pennsylvania “We believe if it’s good for the patient it’s good for the practice.” Agraduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), Jan Bianchi Frederickson, OD has been in private practice for over 26 years. In 1995, she purchased an existing practice and was named Young OD of the Year in 1996 for the state of Pennsylvania. In 2000, Frederickson received the George Gottschalk Jr. Memorial Award in recognition of her outstanding service from the Pennsylvania Optometric Association. Today, she runs Family Eye Care West, located about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. A Vision Source member for the last 14 years, Frederickson said in addition to the buying power and industry visibility, the Vision Source connection is more about the camaraderie and support she receives from other member doctors. Like many of today’s ODs, Frederickson is always adapting and changing with the times. “The recovery has come at a cost to the independent office. With fewer people having coverage and insurances decreasing their coverage, it has become more important than ever to focus on the patient. We have gone to a medical model to help provide the most innovative and comprehensive care for the patient. The benefit is that we can find potential problems earlier and start preventive treatments. This model will not only save money in the long run, but more importantly, could save the patient’s vision.” On the technology and digital media fronts, Frederickson said, “We ‘keep up’ with the times by offering internet and mobile services; encourage ‘Likes’ on our Facebook page, and utilize patient e-mail and text notifications, online appointment requests and contact lens ordering.” But the biggest challenge the practice has faced was implementing electronic health records (EHRs). “The change has been dramatic but ultimately, I believe the technology and the use of computers will make us more efficient.” BRENT GANDOLFI, OD Co-Owner My Eye Xpert www.visionsource-myeyexpertgurnee.com Gurnee, Illinois “Give your patients an experience they will want to tell their friends and family about. It’s all about the experience!” When Brent Gandolfi, OD opened My Eye Xpert with partner Jeffrey Swafford, OD, it was the start of the recession and the two optometrists have never really known any other environment. “We don’t believe external factors should be used to modify outcomes, so the recession and recovery have not been taken into account. We are a metric based practice; we track and attack where needed,” Gandolfi said of the Vision Source practice which opened in 2006. The biggest change the practice has implemented was moving all their advertising money into internet marketing. Their current Facebook contest was designed to have patients talk about My Eye Xpert and the services provided there. Gandolfi said, “Our patients created a short video explaining why they choose us. The videos were then posted on YouTube and then to our Facebook page. The next contest we are implementing, we will be using our X logo and creating vinyl stickers to have patients stick them within the community. Then, they will take a picture of it and send it to us and the patient with the best creative spot where the vinyl was placed will win $1,000.” For Gandolfi, a Vision Source Brand Champion in 2012, the key to success is thinking outside the box. “Our mission statement is ‘building the best relationships through exceptional care and cutting edge technology.’ Patients choose us for the experience they get when they walk through our door, and how we set ourselves apart. We like to think of our office as a ‘purple cow.’ (A reference to the Seth Godin book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable on finding success by being a standout.) From the practice’s massage chair waiting room, to the fish tank and the grand piano that employees play, My Eye Xpert certainly stands out,” he said. “No matter what we do, we always ask ourselves, are we building the best relationships with our patients and with each other? Are we offering exceptional care, all while being the purplest cows we can be? If you are different you stand out. So be a real purple cow, go beyond the norm and give your patients an experience they will want to tell their friends and family about. Because in the end, “It’s all about the experience.” MARY ANNE C. MURPHY, OD Owner Front Range Eye Associates www.fr-ea.com Broomfield, Colo. “I appreciate that my choices as a business owner can affect the livelihood of my patients, my staff, my family and my future.” Creating an office that patients remember with a smile is important to Mary Anne C. Murphy, OD, owner of Front Range Eye Associates. “Being a member of a fast growing practice, we must constantly be thinking of ways to maintain a memorable patient experience. We use internal marketing tools to ensure that our current patients return and invite them to send their friends and family,” said Murphy. “With the economy recovering, it’s a great opportunity to remind patients to take advantage of insurance benefits they are already paying for by utilizing their eye exam and eyewear benefits. While we haven’t had to reinvent how we do these things, the economy sure reminds us that we should be doing them regularly.” Along with creating a memorable present, planning for the future is important to Murphy. “Often, when the clinic is full, we neglect to think about future business. While having a slow time in the clinic is never ideal, taking advantage of the economic recovery has allowed us to step back and re-focus on how we manage and operate our clinic,” she said. When thinking about the direction of her practice, Murphy never loses sight of what is most important to patients—service, service, service. “It continues to astound me that health care providers are slow to accept that we are, in fact, service providers. Health care consumers have a choice where they spend their dollars, just as if they were shopping in a retail establishment,” she said. “The days of people coming in simply because you are ‘on the list’ are gone. Consumers are selective. If they have a $10 exam co-pay no matter where they have their exam, why would they choose to go to a place where the front desk ignores them, the technicians are distracted, the doctor is rushed and the opticians are confusing? They might come once but the likelihood they will return is near zero. “Ultimately, I appreciate that my choices as a business owner can affect the livelihood of not only my patients but my staff, my family and my future. This realization forces me to evaluate each decision altruistically and reminds me that I can make a positive difference,” Murphy said.