Special to Ophthalmology Times®
COVID-19 has left seemingly no business or industry untouched, the eye care sector included. Although deemed essential, many ophthalmologists’ offices nationwide made the decision to close except for emergencies during the height of the pandemic.
As with most businesses since reopening, eye care practices have been navigating uncharted territory, emerging from shutdown to a new normal in an unprecedented health crisis.
For most eye care practices, this has meant incorporating new COVID-19–related safety protocols, from mask wearing and hand sanitizing to limiting patients and enforcing strict cleaning regimens.
For many, a dramatic uptick in business also has resulted from extended full or partial closures and consumer wariness about leaving home.
The resulting pent-up demand has left some eye care offices playing catch-up with a surge of patients and long overdue appointments in a condensed time frame.
Eye care practices are inundated with patient visits while simultaneously implementing necessary but often cumbersome new office procedures.
These rather unusual circumstances offer practices an opportunity to re-evaluate and adjust business and operations procedures to emerge stronger from the pandemic.
Related: PODCAST: Adjusting ophthalmology practice to a pandemic
For instance, an influx of eye care patients could make for an increasingly busy optical dispensary and effective revenue stream, but only with efficient operation.
Indeed, eye care practices are in a unique position to capitalize on changing procedures, extending them across all areas of the practice to make for improved operation, and hopefully convert eye care patients to optical dispensary customers, bolstering what can be a lucrative secondary revenue stream.
As patients continue to limit stops amid COVID-19, they will have a reason to consider your dispensary for eyewear purchases, rather than going elsewhere.
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