Building a better dispensary

October 15, 2007

This past summer, 42-year-old Island Hospital completed its major renovation and expansion project, thereby fulfilling its goal of providing 'urban medical center quality services in a small community.'The state-of-the-art makeover was driven by a 70,000-sq.-ft. expansion. While Island Hospital went through changes, Kenneth R. Ellis, MD, and Linda R. Brown, MD, took IEP&S through its own metamorphosis, renovating and expanding both the ophthalmology practice and the optical dispensary.

Keypoints:

This past summer, 42-year-old Island Hospital completed its major renovation and expansion project, thereby fulfilling its goal of providing "urban medical center quality services in a small community." The state-of-the-art makeover was driven by a 70,000-sq.-ft. expansion.

While Island Hospital went through changes, Kenneth R. Ellis, MD, and Linda R. Brown, MD, took IEP&S through its own metamorphosis, renovating and expanding both the ophthalmology practice and the optical dispensary.

The ophthalmology practice of IEP&S had reached maximum capacity.

It was no surprise, then, that many patients were unaware of the presence of an on-site optical department that could fill their prescriptions. Those patients who did find the dispensary found that it was small and carried a limited selection of product.

Capture rates clearly were very low.

Timing is everything

The decision to renovate IEP&S in conjunction with the hospital's expansion was not only timely but necessary.

Although Dr. Ellis was very involved in the redesign, the real key to developing the new optical shop and dispensing programs was bringing on board the consulting services of Ophthalmology Resources LLC, Clinton, CT.

"At first, we had planned to use Ophthalmology Resources after we opened the new dispensary," explained Dr. Ellis. "We quickly realized, however, that we needed specialized expertise to ensure that our logistical, operational and financial dispensary functions, frame inventory, lab set-up, and negotiations were all in place before we opened the new dispensary."

The task of creating an optical shop that will become a peak performer is a big job. First, the right dispensary management and staff must be hired. Then, the demographics of the practice's patient base must be analyzed to ensure that products are appropriate for that base of patient/customers.

Bigger and better

The new and improved IEP&S facility provides smooth patient flow in the medical practice, optimal visibility, and access to the optical shop for patients.

The optical shop now has more than twice the display and dispensary space, creating an environment that effectively showcases the eyewear choices, from the glamour of Daniel Swarovski Paris crystal eyewear to designers such as Gucci, Christian Dior, Nine West, Saks, and Takumi to the upbeat eyewear of Juicy Couture. The quality frame selection is matched by the available lens technology: progressive, anti-reflective, polarized, computer lenses, and the thinnest and lightest lenses available.