'Share the Vision' with fellow eye-care professionals

February 15, 2005

New York—Ophthalmologists, optometrists, and other eye-care professionals will be "sharing the vision" during the International Vision Expo East meeting on March 10 to 13 at the city's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

The profession's largest conference and exhibition will feature more than 550 national and international exhibitors in nearly 280,000 square feet. The show's theme of "Share the Vision" will focus on peer-to-peer networking and continuing education.

For dispensing ophthalmologists, the highlight will be the 12th annual Dispensing Ophthalmology Conference presented by the American Association of Dispensing Ophthalmologists (AADO) and supported by Ophthalmology Times.

Friday Friday's sessions include a 1-hour course on computerizing the ophthalmology practice and optical dispensary, taught by Dwayne Baharozian, MD. The course will help attendees determine the computer hardware and software they will need for their offices.

Later that day, Phernell C. Walker II, ABOM, and Dr. Young will teach an advanced course and workshop about modern spectacle lens design. The 2-hour lecture and workshop will help attendees differentiate between thin films and other lens treatments, choose between conventional and free-form surfacing, evaluate aspheric and atoric lens designs, and identify the refractive index of any lens.

Saturday Saturday's courses open with a 1-hour discussion of ways to motivate ophthalmic dispensary staff members. Walker will offer the "Walker Doctrine of Managing by the Numbers"-a means of effectively motivating and communicating with staff for long-term results, using positive management techniques, reviewing management fundamentals, and more. The course will offer ways to calculate staff compensation and ratios of staff to gross revenues.

A 2-hour course geared for the basic- to intermediate-level staff follows, with a discussion of frame inventory management. This session, led by Catherine Skelton, Dr. Young, and Joseph Bacotti, MD, will teach attendees how to set up, monitor, and evaluate their optical dispensary's frame inventory. They will discuss budgets for high-end and family-oriented dispensaries, merchandising tips, and suggested retail mark-ups.

From 12:45 to 2:45 p.m., Pamela B. Fritz, FNAO, and Drs. Young and Bacotti will lead a forum on patient communications. This session will discuss strategy, advertising, and merchandising plans, and is geared for the solo or multi-location, multi-practitioner practices. They will discuss patient letters, brochures, and recalls; internal communications that build dispensary sales; and electronic and print media campaigns.

The final AADO course will help ophthalmologists, practice administrators, and optical managers measure their success against various dispensing benchmarks. Fritz will discuss a variety of benchmarks, including dispensary financial management, market and competition analysis, demographics, capture rate, dispensary interior set-up, frame and lab vendor accounts, post-cataract eyewear and managed care programs, and more. The course is designed to help personnel determine pricing structures and profit margins, and make intelligent choices when hiring and purchasing frame, lens, and lab services.