Branding: The Promise of an Experience

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 in Article, Published Works

Branding: The Promise of an Experience

When we think about the term branding and what it means today, we need to first go back to its roots. Long before we had marketing terms such as brand equity, brand essence, and brand management, we had cattle—lots and lots of cattle. It became increasingly difficult for ranchers to keep track of the cattle they owned… Tags: Promise, brand management, Branding, brand equity, Marketing, brand essence, Management Download the full article   ...

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Physician, know thyself before hiring

Posted by on Jun 19, 2016 in Article, Published Works

Physician, know thyself before hiring

A generation ago, a handful of medical specialties existed; today more than two dozen are officially recognized. Even the specialties themselves tend to spawn further specialization; ophthalmology has at least five subspecialties… Tags: Ophthalmology, physician, Entrepreneurial, social media, medical Download the full article   ...

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SEO vs SEM: Which will serve you better?

Posted by on Jun 18, 2016 in Article, Published Works

SEO vs SEM: Which will serve you better?

In 2012, JAMA published a survey involving 2137 people exploring their views on physician rating sites, and how influential those ratings were to them in selecting a physician. Of those surveyed, 19% considered a physician’s rating very important; 40% thought it somewhat important; and 41% thought the ratings not important… Tags: Management, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, medical care, Survey Download the full article   ...

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The EHR Jungle: Survival of the Fittest

Posted by on Nov 9, 2013 in Article, Published Works

The EHR Jungle: Survival of the Fittest

In all my years working with technologies to help ophthalmologists enhance their practice of medicine, I have never seen anything quite like the process of transitioning from paper to digital medical records. In my consulting practice, I have worked with several electronic health record (EHR) companies, most recently Medflow… Tags: customer, Customer Satisfaction, EHR, Medflow, medical, Ophthalmology, Vision, Ophthalmology     Download the full article   ...

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Impact of ORA on Refractive Cataract Surgery and the Premium Channel Offering

Posted by on Apr 12, 2013 in Published Works, Report

Impact of ORA on Refractive Cataract Surgery and the Premium Channel Offering

Intraoperative Aberrometry, a term describing the use of a wavefront-sensing device during cataract surgery, has been available in the US since 2008. First commercialized as the ORange® System, developer WaveTec Vision (Aliso Viejo, CA), has continued to develop the technology through a series of software and hardware modifications to improve utility of the device during cataract surgery… Tags: WaveTec Vision, time, Cataract, premium, surgery, refractive, Vision, Cataract surgery, Wavefront, Technology Download the full article   ...

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IOLMaster 500 and Integration of the Holladay 2 Formula for IOL Calculations

Posted by on Sep 9, 2011 in Published Works, Report

IOLMaster 500 and Integration of the Holladay 2 Formula for IOL Calculations

The IOLMaster®, first launched as a novel approach to obtaining biometric data, has evolved over the past decade to become the predominant device and standard routine as part of a surgeon’s IOL calculations prior to cataract surgery. Previous surveys by SM2 Strategic have documented its value as a tool in modern cataract surgery as well as the ongoing improvement of the platform in terms of both speed and ability to accurately read through dense cataracts…. Tags: Carl Zeiss Meditec, Cataract surgery, surgery, Standard, Cataract, IOLMaster 500, SM2 Strategic, Innovation, modern...

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Electronic Health Records in Ophthalmology: Case Study on Successful Implementation at The Eye Center of Central PA

Posted by on Aug 15, 2011 in Published Works, Report

Electronic Health Records in Ophthalmology: Case Study on Successful Implementation at The Eye Center of Central PA

Electronic Health Records (EHR) is a subject that has been controversial within medicine and especially within ophthalmology. Vendor claims of improved efficiency, “paperless” office environments, and government reimbursement too often fail to meet expectations among physicians and administrators…. Tags: Medicare, Expectations, Data, Ophthalmology, case study, Survey, Electronic Health Records, EHR Download the full article   ...

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Is LASIK Dead?

Posted by on Aug 10, 2011 in Article, Published Works

Is LASIK Dead?

A long-term perspective on this elective surgical procedure. I have had the privilege to help commercialize laser vision correction for nearly 2 decades, beginning with the excimer laser’s FDA clinical trials and the international experience of the early 1990s… Tags: Refractive surgery, Procedure, LASIK, Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Laser Vision Correction, Cataract, Vision Correction, surgery, Experience, Vision Download the full article   ...

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Combining Placido and OCT Imaging Technologies: Bringing Diagnostic Power to Corneal Analysis

Posted by on Apr 18, 2011 in Published Works, Report

Combining Placido and OCT Imaging Technologies: Bringing Diagnostic Power to Corneal Analysis

The ability of ophthalmic clinicians to evaluate the cornea has improved dramatically over the past quarter century. From the era of manual keratometry, new methods of imaging and analyzing corneal structure have emerged and have moved corneal care from an analog to a digital world… Tags: Technology, Carl Zeiss Meditec, SM2 Strategic, combining placido, Structure, corneal analysis Download the full article   ...

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Wavefront-Guided Custom Cataract™ Surgery

Posted by on Apr 17, 2011 in Published Works, Report

Wavefront-Guided Custom Cataract™ Surgery

A New Value Proposition for Cataract surgeons In the spring of 2009, WaveTec Vision (Aliso Viejo, CA)began commercializing a new device for cataract surgeons based on a simple premise: providing refractive information during the procedure would help improve clinical results achieved following the procedure… Tags: Data, WaveTec Vision, surgeons, Results, Vision, Cataract, Simple, surgery, intra-operative, Procedure Download the full article   ...

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Laser Cataract Surgery: the Next New Thing in Ophthalmology

Posted by on Mar 1, 2011 in Article, Published Works

Laser Cataract Surgery: the Next New Thing in Ophthalmology

Mainstream consumers’ experiences foster more rapid adoption across the spectrum of technological innovation, including what you have to offer as an eye surgeon. In 2010, ophthalmologists became aware of the next big revolution in the field: using a femtosecond laser to perform cataract surgery. Seemingly out of nowhere, four companies emerged with announcements, booth demonstrations, and approvals… Tags: Refractive Symposium, Experiences, Cataract surgery, Cataract, surgery, Femtosecond Laser Download the full article   ...

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IOLMaster 500: Improving Upon the “Gold Standard” in Biometry for Cataract Surgery

Posted by on Oct 1, 2010 in Published Works, Report

IOLMaster 500: Improving Upon the “Gold Standard” in Biometry for Cataract Surgery

This year, the new IOLMaster® 500 platform has been launched in Europe with the promise of even greater performance of this core technology used in cataract surgery. The key question is whether IOLMaster 500 is a significant improvement over two current offerings, the IOLMaster Version 5 (also from Carl Zeiss) and the Lenstar LS900® (Haag-Streit, Koeniz Switzerland)… Tags: Technology, surgery, Cataract surgery, Promise, Cataract, IOLMaster 500, SM2 Strategic, surgeons Download the full article   ...

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Decision Time

Posted by on Mar 15, 2010 in Article, Published Works

Decision Time

Do certain types of patients take longer than others to schedule LASIK surgery? Refractive surgeons have long tried to understand why some patients delay their decision to have LASIK after their consultation. Reasons typically involve lingering fear, concern over cost, and/or waiting for a specific event to occur. We were curious to understand the impact of time on the decision process and if the delay in signing up for surgery is influenced by demographic or physiological patient characteristics… Tags: Refractive Surgeons, staff, patient, Patients, Physiological, surgeons, time,...

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Nobody Wants Eye Surgery

Posted by on Nov 4, 2009 in Article, Published Works

Nobody Wants Eye Surgery

Surgeons struggle with patients’ desires when promoting presbyopia-correcting IOLs. In this relatively new era, when cataract surgeons can act as direct providers and charge patients for certain uncovered services, I offer one essential truth: no one wants to undergo eye surgery. Most people desire a nice vacation, new furniture, or a new wardrobe… Tags: surgery, premium, Patients, Cataract, presbyopia-correcting IOLs., surgeons Download the full article   ...

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Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted by on Nov 1, 2009 in Article, Published Works

Corporate Social Responsibility

Making better community part of your practice. For many years now, I have believed that physicians in private practice have to pay attention to two primary objectives: (1) doing what’s good for their patients (better medicine) and (2) doing what’s good for their practice (better business)… Tags: Refractive Surgeons, time, surgeons, doing good, Attention, Patients Download the full article   ...

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Using Real-Time Feedback During Cataract Surgery To Improve Refractive Outcomes

Posted by on Oct 14, 2009 in Article, Published Works

Using Real-Time Feedback During Cataract Surgery To Improve Refractive Outcomes

Wavefront aberrometry has become a common method of determining refractive error in conjunction with corneal refractive surgery (e. g. , LASIK). The technology has now been adapted for use in cataract surgery, providing surgeons with a tool that allows them to measure refractive error during surgery… Tags: surgery, surgeons, Technology, Refractive surgery, Experience, Wavefront, Vision, LASIK, Cataract, corneal refractive surgery Download the full article   ...

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A Survey of Consumer Demand for Premium Cataract Surgery

Posted by on Mar 26, 2009 in Published Works, Report

A Survey of Consumer Demand for Premium Cataract Surgery

Since their introduction five years ago, presbyopia-correcting IOLs have created a new category within cataract surgery. The combination of greater visual functionality with the ability to charge an additional fee for the implantation of these lenses has given ophthalmology a new premium-level offering to consumers who are considering cataract surgery… Tags: Survey, Ophthalmology, consumers, Cataract surgery, surgery, Patients, Results, Vision, Data, Market Download the full article   ...

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Incorporating Premium IOLs Intro Practice: No Excuses

Posted by on Mar 23, 2009 in Article, Published Works

Incorporating Premium IOLs Intro Practice: No Excuses

It is a question of language and lifestyle, not technology and the economy. We are several years into the commercial launch of the premium IOL channel, and the discussion about why these lenses’ modest market penetration is not higher seems to center on two culprits: the technology and the economy… Tags: premium, Market, Cataract, Patients, surgery, surgeons, Technology, Cataract surgery, Money, Economy Download the full article   ...

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Optos: A Breakthrough in Diagnostic Imaging for the Ophthalmic Practice

Posted by on Mar 20, 2009 in Article, Published Works

Optos: A Breakthrough in Diagnostic Imaging for the Ophthalmic Practice

Optos (Marlborough, MA) has built an ophthalmic technology around wide field diagnostic imaging of the fundus. With over 3,800 units installed worldwide, the Company’s devices have been used to capture over 15 million patient images to date. With the recent introduction of advanced risk based imaging, the Company has begun commercializing its technology to ophthalmology to complement its strong presence in optometry… Tags: SM2 Strategic, Technology, Optos, Ophthalmology, ophthalmic technology, surgeons, patient, Data Download the full article   ...

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How to Compete Without Cutting Price

Posted by on Mar 1, 2009 in Article, Published Works

How to Compete Without Cutting Price

Refractive surgeons facing a difficult economic climate will do better by adding value than cutting price. There’s no question that the refractive surgery market is down in response to the economy’s overall weakened state. MarketScope data showed that 2008 volumes were down between 20% and 40% compared to 2007 volumes… Tags: Refractive Surgeons, Patients, time, Refractive surgery, surgeons, patient, surgery, Market, Economy, Data Download the full article   ...

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Dad, What’s An Album?

Posted by on Jan 11, 2009 in Article, Published Works

Dad, What’s An Album?

My son, who received an iPOD last Christmas, innocently blurted this question as I was searching for specific music to load onto the device. Wow, how fast the world has changed! Indeed, it was a bit sobering for me to explain how recorded music has shifted from LP (long play) records to cassette tapes and now CDs… Tags: Technology Download the full article   ...

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Managing Through This Economy

Posted by on Jan 6, 2009 in Article, Published Works

Managing Through This Economy

Refractive surgeons must think about both the short and the long term. Finally! The government has now confirmed that the United States is in a recession. Many practices and centers that offer refractive surgery have experienced significant declines in procedural volume for sometime now. Given the bombardment of bad economic news from our round-the-clock media outlets, I am not surprised by the doomsday-scenario comments that I have heard from several surgeons… Tags: surgeons, Refractive Surgeons, Refractive surgery, Economy, LASIK, surgery Download the full article   ...

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It’s Time To Invest

Posted by on Nov 11, 2008 in Article, Published Works

It’s Time To Invest

Today’s down economy is a window of opportunity. Each year, a word or phrase emerges that encompasses my current thinking about refractive surgery and its role in society’s marketplace. In 2006, I explored the theme of quality for Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today’s columns. In 2007, customer experience dominated most of the topics I covered… Tags: Experience, surgery, Cataract, Quality, time, Economy, premium, Customer Experience, Refractive surgery, Customer Download the full article   ...

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Homeward Bound

Posted by on Oct 20, 2008 in Article, Published Works

Homeward Bound

The future of educating patients. When we look closely at the factors that influence the demand for eye care services, we tend to focus on the content of what is being offered (eg, description of a procedure or type of prescription, discussion of outcomes, and costs). We could classify the content as the what part of the communication process with patients. The method of counseling patients rarely includes the how component; we tend to consider our methods of communication only as an afterthought… Tags: Eyemaginations, communication, Procedure, Patients Download the full...

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A Tale of Two Electronics Stores

Posted by on Sep 1, 2008 in Article, Published Works

A Tale of Two Electronics Stores

For years, consumers have been bombarded with advertising from big box electronics stores that tempt us to come in and buy the latest in TV and stereo equipment. You know the chains well: Best Buy, Circuit City and (the now defunct) Good Guys are probably the biggest in this category. For the longest time, I viewed them all the same way; annoying but necessary to get a good deal when I needed something new for the house or the car… Tags: Economy, time, Advertising, consumers Download the full article   ...

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Staffing for the Premium Patient Experience

Posted by on Apr 11, 2008 in Article, Published Works

Staffing for the Premium Patient Experience

Your employees are key to your strategy. When developing a premium patient experience, surgeons need to pay attention to four critical variables: price (what you charge); quality (as defined by the patient); experience (of your patient while under your care); and your staff (those individuals responsible for staging the experience)… Tags: employees, premium, patient, Quality, Economy, Experience, Price, surgeons, Attention, Your Patient Download the full article   ...

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What if Marketing Were Run Like a Clinical Study?

Posted by on Apr 11, 2008 in Article, Published Works

What if Marketing Were Run Like a Clinical Study?

  Surgeons’ frustration with marketing is understandable. They spend more than$100 million annually on paid advertising to draw new patients into their refractive surgery centers, yet the market’s grow this stagnant. Despite these efforts, the volume of refractive procedures has remained stable at 1. 3 to 1. 4 million eyes per year… Tags: Patients, Advertising, refractive, Marketing, surgery, surgeons, Refractive Surgeons, Refractive Procedures, Refractive surgery Download the full article   ...

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How Perceptions of Money and Pricing Influence Demand for Refractive Surgery

Posted by on Mar 20, 2008 in Article, Published Works

How Perceptions of Money and Pricing Influence Demand for Refractive Surgery

The realm of elective medicine has created a unique opportunity as well as placed a significant burden on the ophthalmic surgeon who performs refractive surgery. Collecting money directly for a medical procedure requires the refractive practice to be skilled in retail as well as clinical care… Tags: Refractive Practice, Procedure, Price, Pricing, surgery, surgeons, Refractive surgery, Money Download the full article   ...

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Future Growth in LASIK: Understanding and Reaching Generation Y

Posted by on Mar 7, 2008 in Article, Published Works

Future Growth in LASIK: Understanding and Reaching Generation Y

Since its commercial introduction to the US in 1995, Laser Vision Correction has evolved significantly in terms of technology and technique. Today, refractive surgeons agree that the procedure now available to consumers, called the iLASIK™ procedure(the combination of the Advanced CustomVue® Procedure and the IntraLase® Method of flap creation), is far superior to the technology and technique used in the first years following the initial FDA approval… Tags: surgeons, Technology, Vision Correction, Vision, Laser Vision Correction, Refractive Surgeons, Procedure, LASIK, surgery,...

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Economic Turbulence

Posted by on Feb 14, 2008 in Article, Published Works

Economic Turbulence

How will it affect refractive surgery? The past 10 months have been full of dramatic headlines about the economy. Last spring, we started hearing about a crisis in the mortgage industry, and subprime loans became a familiar term to anyone keeping up with the daily news… Tags: Economy, surgery, Mortgage, Reports, Refractive surgery, Industry, Crisis, Price, time Download the full article   ...

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The Experience Is the Marketing

Posted by on Nov 7, 2007 in Article, Published Works

The Experience Is the Marketing

Surgeons need to shift their focus to attract patients. Throughout 2007 I have highlighted companies whose products and services excel in their respective industries via my column and in various other articles for Cataract & refractive Surgery Today. My editorials took us well outside the ophthalmic industry to see what one can learn from personal music players, gourmet coffee, warehouse shopping, fine dining, charitable giving, video gaming, and even outdoor adventures… Tags: Economy, surgeons, Customer Experience, Customer, Fine Dining, Leadership, Cataract & Refractive...

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The IOLMaster® and its Role in Modern Cataract Surgery

Posted by on Oct 25, 2007 in Article, Published Works

The IOLMaster® and its Role in Modern Cataract Surgery

Advances in capsular extraction and lens implant technologies have commanded significant attention in the world of cataract surgery. New implants allow surgeons to provide even higher levels of visual outcome, including spectacle independence and a continuous range of vision covering all distances… Tags: Feedback, surgery, Survey, Attention, surgeons, Cataract, Vision, Technology, Cataract surgery, Carl Zeiss Meditec Download the full article   ...

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Elevating Service to Experience

Posted by on Oct 12, 2007 in Article, Published Works

Elevating Service to Experience

What surgeons can learn from a bunch of Geeks. The personal computer has become integral to the daily lives of millions of people. Not surprisingly, it has spawned many products and companies that support it, from furniture to software and, of course, repair. Back in1994, a young computer engineer founded a computer repair company with $200 and called it the “Geek Squad. ”1 Twelve years later, he sold the company to electronics retailer Best Buy Co. , Inc. (Richfield, MN)… Tags: Geek Squad, Service, surgeons, Best Buy, Elevating Service Download the full article     ...

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Putting the “ing” in Refractive Surgery

Posted by on Sep 21, 2007 in Article, Published Works

Putting the “ing” in Refractive Surgery

A technique for enhancing the patient experience. Tornado chasing. Race car driving. Hot-air ballooning. Spelunking. Cattle driving. Heli-hiking. Puffin birding. White-water rafting. What these activities have in common is that they are all adventures available to you (for a fee)… Tags: surgery, Technique, Experiences, consumers, Refractive surgery, patient Download the full article   ...

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The Wii and Mii

Posted by on Aug 13, 2007 in Article, Published Works

The Wii and Mii

What experience-based products teach about breaking the mold on industry growth. When first introduced last year by Nintendo of America, Inc. (Redmond, WA), the Wii (pronounced we) videogame console didn’t attract much attention. Hard-core video gamers, the customer base that drives the industry, had come to expect higher-resolution graphics and faster processing speeds such as those offered by the Xbox 360 (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA) and Playstation 3 (Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. , Foster City, CA)… Tags: wii, Nintendo, Industry, Customer Download the...

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Consolidation Within the Ophthalmic Industry

Posted by on Jul 12, 2007 in Article, Published Works

Consolidation Within the Ophthalmic Industry

The good, the bad, and the ugly. The past several years have brought a wave of consolidation to the ophthalmic industry, primarily in the form of acquisitions. This activity heated up even more in the first half of 2007with these major announcements: Advanced Medical Optics, Inc. (Santa Ana, CA), completed its acquisitions of IntraLase Corp. (Irvine, CA) and Wavefront Sciences, Inc. (Albuquerque, NM); Bausch & Lomb (Rochester, NY) made a strategic investment in AcuFocus, Inc. (Irvine, CA), for presbyopia correcting technology; Tags: Technology, Wavefront, Industry, Intralase,...

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Bon Appétit

Posted by on May 25, 2007 in Article, Published Works

Bon Appétit

What surgeons can learn from the dining experience. When Danny Meyer enters a restaurant, he knows in a matter of seconds whether the experience is going to be exceptional or not by observing two things: is the staff focused on their work, and are they having fun with each other? Meyer knows what he’s looking for. He is the founder and co-owner of eleven establishments in New York City, including the top Zagat-rated Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern… Tags: staff, Experience, Industry, surgeons Download the full article   ...

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Pay It Forward

Posted by on May 23, 2007 in Article, Published Works

Pay It Forward

The charitable giving experience. I found an exemplary customer experience that is revolutionizing philanthropy at the Web site of a nonprofit organization called Kiva. This site (http: //www. Kiva. org) has blended the concept of micro lending with the global connectivy of the Internet, seamlessly joining those who have with those who need. This portal offers a study in how a Website can engage its visitors… Tags: Customer, Experience, Charitable giving, Customer Experience Download the full article   ...

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Costco and the Customer

Posted by on May 11, 2007 in Article, Published Works

Costco and the Customer

Turning the deal into an art form. I do not like to go shopping. I have little interest in browsing and no time to-do it. My one exception is Costco. Whenever my wife says, “we need to go to Costco, ” my eyes light up, and even our kids show an interest. As with the other great companies I am studying this year, it’s time to look into how Costco inspires excitement in me and millions of other folks who otherwise loathe the thought of going shopping… Tags: Costco, Experience, success, shopping experience, Experiences, Wholesale Corporation, time, Economy Download the full...

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Feedback from Early Users of the PASCAL® Photocoagulator

Posted by on Apr 25, 2007 in Published Works, Report

Feedback from Early Users of the PASCAL® Photocoagulator

Along with the aging population and rising prevalence of ocular disease, technologies are being developed to give clinicians new and better tools to treat patients. As part of ongoing evaluation of these technologies and their impact, SM2 Consulting was asked by Optimedica Corporation (Santa Clara, CA) to interview a sample of practices that have adopted the Pascal system for use in commonly performed retinal laser procedures such as pan retinal photocoagulation(PRP), grid and focal treatment… Tags: Optimedica, Technology, Patients, Feedback, retinal laser procedures Download the full...

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A Diagnosis for the Future of Refractive IOLs

Posted by on Mar 16, 2007 in Article, Published Works

A Diagnosis for the Future of Refractive IOLs

An assessment of the growth and evolution of the industry. Across ophthalmology, there has been a good deal of excitement about the potential of the refractive IOL to revolutionize the outcomes surgeons can offer patients. There has also been a lot of disappointment, relative to expectations, about the number of implantation surgeries performed since the first commercialization of the lenses. This article attempts to explain what is happening and why as well as what the future could hold… Tags: evolution of the industry., Industry, assessment of the growth, surgeons, Patients,...

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The Power of Reinvention

Posted by on Feb 14, 2007 in Article, Published Works

The Power of Reinvention

Examining the “Apple” of your eye care practice. As a college student in the early 1980s, I fondly recall my time with Lisa, the hot new “personal computer” that resided in the engineering lab at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. It came from a company called Apple Computer, Inc. (Cupertino, CA), and by the time I graduated, I saw students toting their new Apple Macs around campus… Tags: time, Reinvention Download the full article   ...

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The Secret to Success at Starbucks

Posted by on Jan 15, 2007 in Article, Published Works

The Secret to Success at Starbucks

What refractive surgery can learn from premium coffee. Starbucks Corporation (Seattle, WA) has become much more than a large national chain. I’ve long been a fan of how this company has been able to create tremendous value for what was once just a plain cup of coffee. Those several pennies’ worth of ingredients, once fully customized (there are reportedly over 10, 000 different ways you can have your Starbucks cup of coffee made) and served in a pleasant ambience, now fetch $4 a cup, earning the company the nickname Four bucks… Tags: Refractive surgery, Starbucks, success,...

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Beyond Quality and Toward Experience

Posted by on Nov 16, 2006 in Article, Published Works

Beyond Quality and Toward Experience

Only the serious need apply. What composes your typical day? For most of you, a workday starts with treating patients but quickly gets consumed by signatures, phone calls, e-mail, postal mail, chart reviews, managerial issues, and a detail rep who wants a few minutes of your time. With facilities issues, instruments breaking down, computer glitches, phone calls from referring doctors, billing discrepancies, delayed Medicare payments—the litany of intrusions on the doctor-patient interaction seems endless… Tags: staff, Patients, Data, Service, success, Quality, patient, time,...

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Stop the Insanity!

Posted by on Nov 13, 2006 in Article, Published Works

Stop the Insanity!

Let’s not expect different outcomes from the same flawed operational approaches. Some of you may recall a TV persona named Susan Powter from the early 1990s. She was memorable for two things: her uniquely coiffed hairdo (she had shaved her hair to stubble and bleached what was left to a platinum color) and the way she screamed, “Stop the insanity!” while pushing her weight-loss videos… Tags: Susan Powter, surgery, Insanity, Refractive surgery Download the full article   ...

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Early User Experience with Visante OCT for the Anterior Segment

Posted by on Oct 11, 2006 in Published Works, Report

Early User Experience with Visante OCT for the Anterior Segment

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), initially developed for high-resolution imaging of the retina, has more recently found application in the anterior segment of the eye. OCT is unique for the front of the eye in that it allows precision imaging and biometry that previously was available only with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or immersion ultrasound. OCT also allows patients’ eyes to be imaged in a noncontact manner, which is both practice and patient friendly… Tags: Visante OCT, time, Survey, patient, Refractive surgery, Data, Femtosecond Laser, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Experience,...

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Structure in the Medical Practice

Posted by on Sep 26, 2006 in Article, Published Works

Structure in the Medical Practice

Does your practice run more like an ice hockey game or a ballet? Identify this scene: a team of people moving fast with lots of intensity, bumping into one another, creating chaos and confusion. Does this sound like a night at the ice hockey arena? Instead, I am referring to some medical practices, especially those with multiple physicians and support staff. Chaotic practices lack an effective support structure. Vital information such as phone messages, charts, and test results is not tracked carefully and sometimes gets misplaced… Tags: Structure, Results, Patients, Hockey, staff,...

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Telephone Improvement Project: A Skills Assessment of Refractive Surgery Providers

Posted by on Aug 16, 2006 in Published Works, Report

Telephone Improvement Project: A Skills Assessment of Refractive Surgery Providers

In the refractive practice, the “point of entry” for virtually all interested LASIK candidates is via an initial telephone call to the Provider to learn more about refractive surgery services. Given the significance of the telephone as a tool to convert interest in LASIK into the next step in the consumer decision process, SM2 Consulting conducted a study designed to quantify the level of skill employed in answering phone inquiries from prospective LASIK patients, with the goal of helping practices improve conversion rates… Tags: Telephone call, Refractive Practice, LASIK,...

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Practice Pitfalls

Posted by on Aug 8, 2006 in Article, Published Works

Practice Pitfalls

TODAY’S PR ACTICEAUGUST 2006I CATARACT & REFRACTIVE SURGERY TODAY I 89In my conversations with ophthalmicsurgeons about the challenges they face,it’s clear that many want to better under-stand what it takes to reach and main-tain success in their practice. Many prac-titioners have achieved professional suc-cess and are worried about losing it… Download the full article   ...

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Presbyopic Treatments in Refractive Surgery: Building the Bridge Between LASIK and Implants

Posted by on Jul 10, 2006 in Published Works, Report

Presbyopic Treatments in Refractive Surgery: Building the Bridge Between LASIK and Implants

Surgeon and consumer interest in refractive surgery continues to grow, with LASIK firmly established as a “category leader” and IOL implants evolving into a refractive segment with lenses that can restore vision for near, intermediate and distance vision. These two “book end” solutions address both ends of the refractive spectrum, with the laser able to address ammetropia earlier in adulthood and implants resolving cataracts later in life… Tags: Attention, surgeons, Vision, Refractive surgery, Refractive Surgeons, LASIK, Presbyopic Treatments, surgery Download the full...

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Creating Headroom for Growth

Posted by on Jul 7, 2006 in Article, Published Works

Creating Headroom for Growth

Cost cutting is not always the best answer. Quick—what’s the eight-letter name of the monster haunting most physicians? If you guessed o-v-e-r-h-e-a-d, you’re right. Typically, overhead is described similarly to a sci-fi monster: it shows up at the worst times, is difficult to control, and never goes away. Strategies for taming this beast were not included on your MCATs or found anywhere during your residency… Tags: Headroom, Strategies Download the full article   ...

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Telephone Improvement Project – Year 2 Ongoing Assessment of Refractive Surgery Providers

Posted by on Jun 16, 2006 in Published Works, Report

Telephone Improvement Project – Year 2 Ongoing Assessment of Refractive Surgery Providers

Refractive surgeons and their staff face the ongoing challenge of successfully attracting consumers to learn more about their services. Increasingly, providers are becoming aware of the high cost of marketing promotion and the desire to carefully handle each and every inquiry, whether via phone, internet, or in person… Tags: Marketing, refractive, staff, consumers, Refractive surgery, surgeons, Refractive Surgeons, CareCredit, patient, surgery Download the full article   ...

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Premium Refractive Surgery: DEAD or ALIVE?

Posted by on Jun 15, 2006 in Article, Published Works

Premium Refractive Surgery: DEAD or ALIVE?

Refractive surgeons should examine what business they are in. What does it mean to be a premium refractive surgeon? This is a question surgeons should be asking themselves frequently, especially as the market’s offering shifts from a one-product category (LASIK) to multiple products that allow surgeons to better customize the treatment to each refractive candidate… Tags: surgery, premium, LASIK, surgeons, Refractive Surgeons, Refractive surgery, Download the full article   ...

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Closing the Gap in Refractive Surgery

Posted by on Jun 9, 2006 in Published Works, Report

Closing the Gap in Refractive Surgery

In its first decade, LASIK eye surgery has emerged as a viable alternative to corrective lenses for 5 million people(8% penetration as of Q1 2006). With over 700, 000 adults having refractive surgery in 2005, one would expect that “word-of-mouth” marketing by itself would spur the market to grow rapidly in consumer acceptance. What the industry has seen, however, is a flattening of consumer demand over the past 5 years, a phenomenon which coincided with lower prices being offered by select providers in a attempt to stimulate market growth… Tags: Marketing, Industry, Market,...

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You’re Wasting Your Time – Increasing Efficiency In The Refractive Practice

Posted by on May 17, 2006 in Article, Published Works

You’re Wasting Your Time – Increasing Efficiency In The Refractive Practice

Most of what has been written on refractive surgery has focused on making the practice (surgeon, staff, marketing) more effective. Given the size of refractive surgery’s opportunity and the relatively low penetration thus far relative to the market’s potential, focusing on effectiveness makes sense. That is, we need to explore ways to make refractive surgery more attractive to more of the population. Of equal value to a practice’s effectiveness is the concept of practice efficiency… Tags: Refractive surgery, Refractive Practice, Quality, surgery, time, staff...

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Top 10 Marketing Mistakesby Refractive Surgeons

Posted by on Apr 26, 2006 in Published Works, Report

Top 10 Marketing Mistakesby Refractive Surgeons

1. Surgeon-centric vs. Patient-centric Most medical practices are designed for the convenience of the doctor rather than the customer. In refractive surgery, a major symptom of this problem has been the attempt to differentiate based on technology (important to the surgeon) rather than on the benefits of the procedure (important to the customer)… Tags: Refractive Surgeons, Technology, surgeons, Leadership, Marketing, surgery, Refractive surgery, Procedure Download the full article   ...

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Good – The Enemy of Great

Posted by on Apr 16, 2006 in Article, Published Works

Good – The Enemy of Great

Why refractive surgeons must adopt a philosophy of continuous improvement. This past fiscal quarter, the refractive surgery industry in the US reached a milestone: 10 million eyes have now undergone laser vision correction since the first excimer lasers received FDA approval 1 decade ago. That’s 5 million Americans who are ambassadors for LASIK as well as for the new generation of refractive procedures available to surgeons and their patients… Tags: Refractive Procedures, Continuous Improvement, Industry, LASIK, refractive, Vision Correction, Patients, surgeons, Vision,...

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Case Studies on Waterlase® in Today’s Dental Practice

Posted by on Mar 10, 2006 in Published Works, Report

Case Studies on Waterlase® in Today’s Dental Practice

Investing in Your Patients and Your Practice A Tale of Two Practices As a dentist, have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could start all over again and build your dream practice based upon all you have learned over the years? Well, that’s exactly what Robert “Bo” Turnage, DDS did… after 23 years in clinical practice. His story offers significance for newly-minted dentists, established practitioners and older dentists verging on retirement… Tags: tale of two practices, Your Practice, Patients Download the full article   ...

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Building the Foundation for a Successful Lens-Based Refractive Practice

Posted by on Mar 6, 2006 in Article, Published Works

Building the Foundation for a Successful Lens-Based Refractive Practice

Now that we have officially crossed over into the era of refractive surgery, in which corneal treatment is joined by lenticular approaches, I think it’s important to look back over the past decade for lessons we can learn. Although LASIK has become the most frequently performed elective surgical procedure in the US, even the optimist in me is somewhat disappointed by the fact that it has penetrated only a small percentage of the target population… Tags: surgery, Refractive Practice, surgeons, LASIK, Refractive surgery, Refractive Surgeons, Procedure Download the full...

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Who Is The Competition? They’re Closer Than You Think

Posted by on Feb 24, 2006 in Article, Published Works

Who Is The Competition? They’re Closer Than You Think

Last month’s column focused on the need to differentiate your services as a LASIK provider in order to successfully compete in the refractive surgery market. This position implied that other providers are the LASIK surgeon’s main competitors. Now, let me turn the tables on you, and say that your competition is not other providers at all, but actually prospective LASIK patients. That’s right, your competition is patients, not doctors… Tags: Patients, surgery, Lasik Surgery, refractive, Market, Refractive surgery, Your Practice, Competition, LASIK Download the full...

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Mission: Control

Posted by on Feb 6, 2006 in Article, Published Works

Mission: Control

Putting your business processes in order. Most surgeons , I think, are pretty happy with their refractive surgery results. They have a process by which they approach surgery, called surgical protocol, which at its core is designed to help them execute the procedure the same way each time. Following protocol is a means to achieving results that are predictable and that, in virtually every case, lead to a successful outcome… Tags: surgery, Refractive surgery, surgeons, time, Procedure, Results Download the full article   ...

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IntraLase’s International Expansion A Growing Global Presence

Posted by on Jan 11, 2006 in Published Works, Report

IntraLase’s International Expansion A Growing Global Presence

Twenty years after laser vision correction was first performed, the technology utilized in the procedure today has improved dramatically to make the procedure (now known as “LASIK”) even safer and better than before. One of the key transitions currently underway in many markets is in how the corneal flap is created, moving from a “bladed” approach with traditional microkeratomes to an “all laser” approach utilizing the femtosecond laser as well as the excimer… Tags: laser, Procedure, Vision Correction, flap, Laser Vision Correction, traditional microkeratomes, Technology,...

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2006: The Year of Quality

Posted by on Dec 15, 2005 in Article, Published Works

2006: The Year of Quality

Putting best practices to work in refractive surgery. The year 2006 marks the Year of the Dog in the Chinese Calendar, and celebrations will begin later this month as part of the Chinese New Year, a tradition that dates back thousands of years. For this column, 2006 is going to be the Year of Quality. Throughout the coming 12 months, I will devote this space to helping you define, explore, and apply what it means to have a high-quality refractive practice… Tags: Refractive Practice, surgery, 2006, Quality, Refractive surgery, Year of the Dog, refractive Download the full...

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CK: Worth a Second Look?

Posted by on Nov 4, 2005 in Article, Published Works

CK: Worth a Second Look?

Conductive keratoplasty and its role as a primary and a rescue procedure. This is the second in a series of articles that highlights results from market studies on topics of interest to refractive surgeons. These studies comprise original research conducted by SM2 Consulting of Pleasanton, California. refractive surgery has evolved beyond the era when it was defined by a single procedure such as RK and then LASIK. Today, there are laser and non laser corneal treatments and the first of many IOLs for lenticular treatments… Tags: surgeons, Refractive Surgeons, patient, Technique,...

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Retail Pricing in Refractive Surgery, Part III

Posted by on Nov 2, 2005 in Article, Published Works

Retail Pricing in Refractive Surgery, Part III

Signs of a turnaround. Three years ago, I became deeply concerned about the lowering of LASIK retail prices, and I wrote an article1 to try to shed some light on the issue of pricing and how it relates to consumers’ adoption of LASIK. The key points of the article could be summarized as follows: Tags: retail pricing in refractive, Retail Pricing, surgery, Refractive surgery, pricing in refractive, LASIK, Pricing, refractive Download the full article   ...

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Intralase: Coming of Age

Posted by on Oct 9, 2005 in Article, Published Works

Intralase: Coming of Age

How femtosecond technology impacts the business side of refractive surgery. This is the third in a series of articles that highlights results from market studies on topics of interest to refractive surgeons. These studies comprise original research conducted by SM2 Consulting of Pleasanton, California. Since its debut 10 years ago, LASIK has undergone numerous refinements in technology and technique… Tags: surgeons, Results, Intralase, Refractive Surgeons, Data, Technology, LASIK, refractive, Market, Customized ablation Download the full article   ...

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Addressing the Weakest Link in Refractive Surgery

Posted by on Aug 11, 2005 in Article, Published Works

Addressing the Weakest Link in Refractive Surgery

Measuring and assessing telephone skills. This is the first in a series of articles that highlights results from market studies on topics of interest to refractive surgeons. These studies comprise original research conducted by SM2 Consulting of Pleasanton, California. Ten years after the first excimer laser was approved in the US, there is enough industry experience in marketing laser refractive procedures to identify the weak links in the process… Tags: Refractive Surgeons, Refractive surgery, Refractive Procedures, surgeons, refractive, Marketing, Weakest Link, surgery,...

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How Conductive Keratoplasty is Impacting the Presbyopic Practice

Posted by on Aug 2, 2005 in Published Works, Report

How Conductive Keratoplasty is Impacting the Presbyopic Practice

Abstract: CK has been commercially available in the United States for a little over 3 years. Refractec engaged SM2Consulting to field a research survey to assess how surgeons are integrating this technology into their treatment of presbyopia. Surgeons indicate that CK clinical outcomes have improved dramatically using the “LightTouch” technique, restoring their confidence and usage of the procedure… Tags: Patients, surgeons, Presbyopic Practice, Survey, Technology, Refractec, Eye care services, Cataract, Conductive Keratoplasty, patient Download the full article   ...

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The Brave New World of Refractive Cataract

Posted by on Jul 28, 2005 in Article, Published Works

The Brave New World of Refractive Cataract

A message to cataract surgeons who are going refractive. The most important governmental approval in ophthalmic medicine in recent times did not come from the FDA but from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) when it voted to dismantle a law that prevented consumers from making their own decisions about their eye care. Specifically, the CMS changed its rules to allow ophthalmologists to bill separately from cataract surgery for the implantation of presbyopia-correcting IOLs… Tags: Cataract surgery, laser, surgeons, surgery, Cataract, consumers, Centers for Medicare and...

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The Whoops! Factor

Posted by on Jun 29, 2005 in Article, Published Works

The Whoops! Factor

Consumers who undergo the process of deciding to have refractive surgery overcome a great deal of innate fear before choosing in favor of it. Having weighed the potential benefits and risks, they go forward with the hope and expectation of experiencing daily life without glasses. For nine of every 10 patients, the procedure goes as planned, the outcome is great, and everybody’s happy… Tags: surgery, Fear, Patients, Experience, surgeons, Refractive surgery, Procedure Download the full article   ...

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Team-Building for Success

Posted by on May 5, 2005 in Article, Published Works

Team-Building for Success

Just like in sports, success in refractive surgery depends on the strength of your team. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working closely with a number of refractive practices. It’s always a privilege to get a look inside the practice and learn what issues are hindering its success. Beyond the numbers and behind the programs are the people—whether called staff, employees, or team members—upon whom the surgeon and administrator count to get the work done day in and day out… Tags: Refractive surgery, staff, refractive, surgery, success Download the full article   ...

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A Three Year Perspective on the Business Impact of IntraLase Technology

Posted by on Apr 27, 2005 in Published Works, Report

A Three Year Perspective on the Business Impact of IntraLase Technology

For the third consecutive year, SM2 Consulting has surveyed users of the IntraLase FS Laser System (IntraLase Corp. , Irvine, CA) to quantify how this technology is impacting the business of LASIK within the practice. As the industry has rebounded from its low point in 2002(measured by total number of US LASIK procedures and average fees collected per eye), IntraLase has seen its number of laser placements in the US grow from under 40 (as ofQ1 2003) to 182 (as of Q1 2005)… Tags: Technology, Industry, LASIK, Intralase, Three Year Perspective, laser, Business Impact Download the full...

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When Fear Is the Factor

Posted by on Apr 20, 2005 in Article, Published Works

When Fear Is the Factor

Understanding how to deal with this key emotion. Fear is a word that has a broad definition. In refractive surgery, it is often said that there are only two obstacles to patients’ having a procedure: price and fear. I agree, and this month, I want to explore the topic of fear in greater detail… Tags: Price, surgery, Refractive surgery, Fear Download the full article ...

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The Mindset of the Refractive Patient

Posted by on Mar 21, 2005 in Article, Published Works

The Mindset of the Refractive Patient

Using what we have learned so far to improve how we attract consumers. MARCH 2005 I CATARACT & refractive SURGERY TODAY I 77COVER STORY When laser refractive surgery became available in the US in 1995, the refractive surgery market included fewer than 1, 000surgeons who had performed radial keratotomy(RK) or automated lamellar keratomileusis on a total of 400, 000 patients… Tags: consumers, Product, surgery, LASIK, Laser Refractive Surgery, Cataract, Patients, surgeons, Market, Refractive surgery Download the full article   ...

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Ka-BOOM! Here They Come

Posted by on Feb 16, 2005 in Article, Published Works

Ka-BOOM! Here They Come

The countdown begins as baby boomers are about to reach 60. In a little less than 1 year, the first of America’s 78 million baby boomers will reach 60 years of age. The boomers—those Americans born between 1946 and 1964—are closely watched by demographers because they vastly affect consumer markets. This group’s impact on the economy has been likened to “a pig in a python.” Tags: Baby boomers Download the full article   ...

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The Early Adopter of Refractive Surgery

Posted by on Jan 28, 2005 in Article, Published Works

The Early Adopter of Refractive Surgery

Why meeting the needs of today’s patients is critical to building the future market. refractive surgery providers spend a lot of guesswork trying to determine the size of the consumer market for LASIK. Although this effort is admirable, judgments are often made based on data that can be misleading, such as current or past procedural volumes, the population in the market area surrounding the practice, a recent positive (or negative) national news story, or marketing tactics employed by other providers… Tags: consumer market, LASIK, Data, Patients, Marketing, Refractive surgery,...

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The Power of a Patient Base

Posted by on Nov 24, 2004 in Article, Published Works

The Power of a Patient Base

Your LASIK alumni are critical to relationship marketing. After years of refractive surgeons’ complaining about the high cost of marketing to attract patients, I am amazed at the lack of attention paid to those patients who have already had refractive surgery. I think of them as the “alumni” of your refractive surgery program, primarily because they have gone through the emotional trials and tribulations leading up to their decision to undergo refractive surgery… Tags: Refractive surgery, patient, Marketing, refractive, Lasik alumni, surgery, Patients, Procedure, Refractive...

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No Fun! Why visiting the doctor is making it harder to attract patients

Posted by on Oct 28, 2004 in Article, Published Works

No Fun! Why visiting the doctor is making it harder to attract patients

Why visiting the doctor is making it harder to attract patients. How many people do you know who would say that visiting their doctor is something to which they look forward? Probably very few. More often, a person bemoans such an appointment as if it were some type of short-term prison sentence. Perhaps it was recent back-to-back visits to both the doctor and the dentist that helped to remind me that medical appointments are, simply put, not a fun experience… Tags: refractive, Fear, visiting the doctor, Patients, surgery, appointments, Refractive surgery Download the full...

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I Can’t Get No

Posted by on Sep 24, 2004 in Article, Published Works

I Can’t Get No

Measuring the satisfaction of your customers is critical. When it comes to satisfied customers(meaning patients who are glad they had LASIK), refractive surgery suffers from an identity crisis. Most people who have the procedure are transformed into raving evangelists who leave their early postoperative visits proclaiming that they will tell all their friends about their new and improved vision. But, here’s the catch: if everyone’s talking about it, why haven’t all those who’ve heard the story raced in to undergo the procedure themselves? Tags: Patients, refractive,...

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Refractive Surgeons and the X-Factor

Posted by on Aug 23, 2004 in Article, Published Works

Refractive Surgeons and the X-Factor

How confidence plays a role in attracting patients to your practice. This editorial is the last in a three-part series adapted from the recent lecture, “Ways to Stop Undervaluing Your Services, ”that the author presented at the 2004 ASCRS meeting. In the process of observing refractive surgeons and their practices, I am constantly searching for factors that distinguish more successful practitioners from their less successful counterparts. Historically, the No. 1factor that correlates with success is attitude… Tags: Attitude, Marketing, Refractive Surgeons, surgeons, success,...

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Building Value for Refractive Services

Posted by on Jul 28, 2004 in Article, Published Works

Building Value for Refractive Services

It’s up to the surgeon to make it or break it. This editorial is the second in a three-part series adapted from the recent lecture, “Ways to Stop Undervaluing Your Services, ” that the author presented at the 2004ASCRS meeting. refractive surgery is at a crossroads, unsure of the direction it should follow. Should refractive procedures be medical breakthroughs performed by highly skilled eye specialists who restore patients’ vision in life-changing ways? Tags: Refractive surgery, Refractive Surgeons, Deliver, Vision, Refractive Procedures, Results, surgeons, surgery, LASIK,...

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Quality in the Real World

Posted by on Jun 1, 2004 in Article, Published Works

Quality in the Real World

Surgeons need to view it through a wider lens. This editorial is the first in a series adapted from the author’s recent lecture, “Ways to Stop Undervaluing Your Services, ” presented at the 2004 ASCRS meeting. Quality is a big word in the world of business. Millions of employees, myself included, have been subjected to business programs designed to convey the importance of quality. Originally conceived after World War II as a means of improving product reliability, the quality movement helped spawn participative managerial styles and involvement by all...

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The Vision Thing

Posted by on May 1, 2004 in Article, Published Works

The Vision Thing

Leadership in the practice begins at the top. Walt Disney had tons of it. Bill Gates has changed computing because of it. And George Bush the elder admitted that his lack of it kept him from earning a second term as President of the United States. The “it” I’m describing here is vision. In the refractive surgery practice, having a vision and a plan for its achievement is fundamental to success… Tags: Walt Disney, Bill Gates, success, surgery, refractive, Vision, Refractive surgery Download the full article   ...

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How IntraLase Technology is Impacting the Refractive Practice

Posted by on Apr 27, 2004 in Published Works, Report

How IntraLase Technology is Impacting the Refractive Practice

One year ago, SM2 Consulting conducted a survey of IntraLase® (IntraLase Corp., Irvine, CA) customers to understand the impact of their laser technology on procedure volumes and pricing. Results indicated that through March of 2003, IntraLase customers were outperforming industry averages for procedure volume and pricing and had demonstrated an improvement over their own performance prior to acquiring IntraLase technology… Tags: Industry, IntraLase Technology, Customer, Technology, Survey, Results, time, Procedure, Intralase, Pricing Download the full article   ...

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Finding the Antidote to Low-Priced LASIK

Posted by on Apr 3, 2004 in Article, Published Works

Finding the Antidote to Low-Priced LASIK

It’s time to rediscover the meaning of adding value. For several years now, my monthly column has been battling the notion that low-priced LASIK could restore or revitalize interest among consumers to undergo the procedure. Most providers who have tried to grow their business through a lower price point have failed entirely or have succeeded only in robbing patients from other providers… Tags: Refractive surgery, surgery, consumers, Service, Lower Price, Price, LASIK, time, Patients Download the full article   ...

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Removing the Fine Print

Posted by on Feb 16, 2004 in Article, Published Works

Removing the Fine Print

How asterisks and miniscule fonts in LASIK print ads continue to hurt the refractive surgery market. For the first time in a long while, things are looking up in refractive surgery. Customized procedures are gaining acceptance, safer alternatives to traditional microkeratomes are proving their worth, and the first accommodative lens implant (albeit as a replacement for cataract surgery) has been approved. That’s the good news… Tags: refractive, Refractive surgery, Cataract, surgery, Lasik print ads, Cataract surgery, LASIK, time, Market Download the full article   ...

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Promise and Deliver

Posted by on Jan 16, 2004 in Article, Published Works

Promise and Deliver

It all boils down to expectations. Expectation is a powerful word. Words like anticipate, probable, and certain help define what it means when one expects something to happen. Take a moment and recall your reaction to some recent news, event, or experience. Whatever your reaction was, it generally followed your own expectations… Tags: reaction, Promise Download the full article   ...

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Minding Your Bedside Manners

Posted by on Nov 1, 2003 in Article, Published Works

Minding Your Bedside Manners

How doctors’ communication skills affect the refractive practice. Kudos to the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), which recently announced that newly minted MDs will have to pass a “clinical skills” exam. For the first time since the 1960s, doctors will be evaluated on their ability to listen to and communicate with patients. The exam, created to evaluate doctors’ interactions with patients, recently completed a successful pilot program at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and will now become nationally standardized… Tags: Refractive Practice, Survey, time,...

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The Purpose of Advertising

Posted by on Oct 1, 2003 in Article, Published Works

The Purpose of Advertising

Many practitioners mistake advertising for marketing, and miss the mark on both. Historically, many refractive surgery providers have mistakenly equated advertising with marketing, as if the two efforts were one and the same. Providers believe that advertising their services will serve as sufficient marketing for building their practice. In truth, advertising is just one component of marketing and brand building… Tags: refractive, Marketing, Refractive surgery, surgery, Advertising, Mistake Download the full article   ...

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The Simpler, the Better

Posted by on Sep 1, 2003 in Article, Published Works

The Simpler, the Better

Putting the KISS Principle to work in your practice. As the world around us grows increasingly complex, people everywhere are clamoring for simplicity. A quick search on Amazon. com returns over 5, 500books with the word simple in the title. It’s a popular topic, perhaps because it seems to elude most of us in our daily lives, no matter how hard we strive for it… Tags: KISS Principle, Product, Simple Download the full article   ...

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Measuring the Impact of Femtosecond Laser Technology on Procedure Volume and Pricing

Posted by on Aug 5, 2003 in Article, Published Works

Measuring the Impact of Femtosecond Laser Technology on Procedure Volume and Pricing

Abstract: Objective: To understand the impact of the use of Femtosecond laser technology on the procedure volume and pricing within refractive practices across the United States. Methods: Formal interviews were conducted with the key surgeon and/or business manager of 32practices nationwide using the INTRALASE® FS Laser to create lamellar flaps as part of the LASIK procedure… Tags: laser, Intralase, Industry, Data, Procedure, femtosecond, interviews, LASIK, Technology, time Download the full article   ...

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Change, Anyone?

Posted by on Aug 1, 2003 in Article, Published Works

Change, Anyone?

Making changes is a difficult task, especially if you go it alone. For nearly 2 years, I’ve had the privilege of offering commentary on the changes in marketing and customer service that providers must make in order for refractive surgery to gain mainstream acceptance. As refractive technology reaches a new peak with fully customized solutions, the focus of physicians’ efforts should increasingly shift toward marketing… Tags: Customer, Patients, surgery, Procedure, Refractive surgery, Technology, Customer Service, Marketing, Service, Advertising Download the full article   ...

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Tipping the Market in Your Favor

Posted by on Jul 6, 2003 in Article, Published Works

Tipping the Market in Your Favor

Fanning the flames ignited by word-of-mouth marketing. In 1996, laser vision correction was hardly known beyond the circles of eye care professionals and a few thousand patients. In October 1999, however, LASIK became known to all as Tiger Woods’ became the most famous pair of eyes among more than one million that had undergone the procedure. The skyrocketing awareness of LASIK between those two dates occurred without any organized promotional launch or national media effort… Tags: LASIK, Word-of-Mouth, Vision, Market, consumers, surgery, Laser Vision Correction, Refractive surgery,...

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The Art of Customer Service

Posted by on Jun 1, 2003 in Article, Published Works

The Art of Customer Service

It begins with “hello” and never really ends. I had not walked 30 feet into the hotel before three different employees greeted me: the valet, the doorman, and the custodian. Each person looked up from the task at hand to say hello and smile. Was it because I was wearing a suit? No, it was because the hotel was the Four Seasons. This greeting had a tremendous impact on my entire experience at that hotel. That initial encounter set atone for the rest of my visit that magically rubbed off on everyone in the business meetings… Tags: Four Seasons, task, Customer, Customer Service,...

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Retail Pricing in Refractive Surgery Part II

Posted by on Jun 1, 2003 in Article, Published Works

Retail Pricing in Refractive Surgery Part II

How discounting has hurt physician providers. Last fall, I detailed how trends toward lower retail pricing in refractive surgery had thus far failed to expand overall demand for LASIK procedures at the consumer level. This article aims to quantify the impact that price discounting has had on the short-term financial health of refractive surgery providers in the US market… Tags: Industry, Retail Pricing, Price, Pricing, LASIK, retail pricing in refractive, surgery, Market, Refractive surgery, pricing in refractive Download the full article   ...

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The Marketing Challenges of Customized Ablation

Posted by on Apr 1, 2003 in Article, Published Works

The Marketing Challenges of Customized Ablation

Customized ablation is a whole new game that requires a new way of thinking for most refractive surgeons. There’s a lot of buzz in the ophthalmic profession about customized ablation. As we enter the next era in laser vision correction, there will be new challenges in building greater market penetration among consumers. The approvals of customized treatments represent an incredible opportunity for refractive surgeons to grow their businesses and the entire surgical category… Tags: surgery, Vision, competitors, Market, Marketing, Challenges, Cataract, Refractive surgery, Cataract...

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The Telephone: Friend or Foe?

Posted by on Mar 1, 2003 in Article, Published Works

The Telephone: Friend or Foe?

First impressions can make or break you. In a high-end service business like refractive surgery, there is simply no substitute for face-to-face, in-person communication between the provider and the customer. If practitioners could entice all the consumers interested in refractive surgery to meet them in person, many more procedures would likely take place… Tags: Service, time, communication, refractive, Refractive surgery, surgery, consumers, surgeons Download the full article   ...

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The Market Has Moved

Posted by on Feb 1, 2003 in Article, Published Works

The Market Has Moved

In order to ensure that LASIK becomes a fixture and not a fad, surgeons must bring “high touch” into balance with “high tech. ” Many refractive surgeons I encounter are befuddled by the market’s lack of growth in procedural volumes over the past several years. Having recently moved across town to a new house, I find myself in a daze that I think is similar to the confusion these surgeons feel. The day to-day activities are the same, but I’m starting from a different location, which can be unsettling. I think of the current refractive surgery marketplace in the same way. With 2...

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A Strand of Pearls

Posted by on Jan 11, 2003 in Article, Published Works

A Strand of Pearls

Providing excellent customer service requires patience and dedication, but it yields an enduring reward. Just recently, I was inspired by the story of how a single grain of sand naturally transforms into a beautiful pearl. It’s a fascinating process in which the tiny grain reaches an oyster and becomes an irritant to its bed. Slowly and with great patience, the oyster coats the irritation with a substance called nacre… Tags: Service, Customer Service, Refractive Practice, Marketing, time, Customer, refractive Download the full article   ...

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The Business of Branding

Posted by on Nov 1, 2002 in Article, Published Works

The Business of Branding

LASIK surgeons can learn from the cattlemen’s lore. “It is not enough to appeal to reason and logic, we must also appeal to the emotions. ” — Aristotle Have you ever wondered why you instinctively purchase an item that costs more than another similar one, simply because you like it better? When you evaluate them side-by-side, you can see objectively that the composition is the same. But for some inexplicable reason, you prefer one to the other and come up with all sorts of reasons as to why it’s better. Well, that’s what branding is all about: emotion… Tags: LASIK,...

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Retail Pricing in Refractive Surgery

Posted by on Oct 1, 2002 in Article, Published Works

Retail Pricing in Refractive Surgery

Lower prices have failed to boost market demand. Since the first FDA approval of refractive surgery in late 1995, there has been a great deal of debate over the pricing issue, and many providers have assumed that price is the key factor in a prospective patient’s decision-making process. Implicit in this assumption is a belief that, the less something costs, the more of it you will sell… Tags: surgery, refractive, Price, Refractive surgery, pricing in refractive, Retail Pricing, Market, retail pricing in refractive, Pricing, Product Download the full article   ...

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Turn Your Practice “Inside Out”

Posted by on Sep 1, 2002 in Article, Published Works

Turn Your Practice “Inside Out”

Changing your marketing focus from extensive media campaigns to superior customer service may reverse sinking LASIK volumes. The US refractive market seems to be caught in a holding pattern. Doctors and industry people are sniffing around for answers as to why procedural volumes are down and consumer interest does not seem to be growing. We tend to point our fingers at big external factors, such as negative publicity and an economic slump, which have reinforced the challenges of marketing… Tags: Customer Service, Customer, Service, US Refractive Market, Challenges, Your Practice,...

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Are You Experienced?

Posted by on Jul 1, 2002 in Article, Published Works

Are You Experienced?

It’s time to step into your patients’ shoes. When we talk about experience in refractive surgery, we’re usually referring to the number of cases a surgeon has performed. This definition has created a pecking order within every community of surgeons : Dr. A is the busiest, Dr. B is second busiest, and so on. I think it’s time we turned the table around to look at experience from the patient’s perspective… Tags: surgeons, Experience, time, LASIK, Refractive surgery, surgery Download the full article   ...

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The Buck Stops Here

Posted by on Jun 1, 2002 in Article, Published Works

The Buck Stops Here

It’s time for a change of attitude toward financing. Not another discussion about money! Yes, it’s time to delve into one of those sore subjects for most refractive surgeons : patient financing. For those having an allergic reaction to the mention of this topic, please overcome your personal discomfort and read on. I suspect that doctors, just like most people, feel awkward asking for money… Tags: surgeons, time, patient, Refractive Surgeons, Vision, Paying, Financing, Attitude Download the full article   ...

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Who Is the Competition?

Posted by on May 8, 2002 in Article, Published Works

Who Is the Competition?

Last month’s column focused on the need to differentiate your services as a LASIK provider in order to successfully compete in the refractive surgery market. This position implied that other providers are the LASIK surgeon’s main competitors. Now, let me turn the tables on you, and say that your competition is not other providers at all, but actually prospective LASIK patients… Download the full article   ...

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Dare To Be Different

Posted by on Apr 1, 2002 in Article, Published Works

Dare To Be Different

Is all LASIK created equal? There’s a problem with how LASIK is being perceived by the public. It’s gone from being thought of as a miracle to becoming a generic commodity product. It seems like providers have been “dumbing down” the benefits and risks of the procedure to the point where the public thinks LASIK is the same procedure no matter who performs it… Tags: Procedure, commodity, LASIK Download the full article   ...

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Ready! Fire! Aim!

Posted by on Mar 1, 2002 in Article, Published Works

Ready! Fire! Aim!

Where’s the mark in your marketing? To the ophthalmologist, one of the most positive aspects of LASIK surgery is that there are so many people who could benefit from the procedure, a number approaching one-half of the total population. It’s a big number, and it has become a great source of frustration for providers who wonder why more people don’t elect to undergo the procedure. There are many answers to this question, but let’s limit this discussion to one factor that you can control: a lack of targeting… Download the full article   ...

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The Technology Trap

Posted by on Feb 1, 2002 in Article, Published Works

The Technology Trap

Marketing your technology is risky business. Technology. Just hearing the word conjures up images ranging from The Jetsons and the electronic pet, Meow-Chi (one of my child’s new toys), to the wonders of genome sequencing and nanomuscle motors. Technological innovation has kept millions of us enthralled with the newest, the neatest, and the next… Tags: Technology, Market, Marketing, refractive, surgery, Refractive surgery, Innovation Download the full article   ...

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The LASIK Farmer

Posted by on Jan 1, 2002 in Article, Published Works

The LASIK Farmer

Don’t look to the economy for a bumper crop. I’ve been hearing a lot about LASIK volumes lately. Reports of surgeons ’monthly averages being off one third or even two thirds are not uncommon, a far cry from the rapid growth of the past few years. At the same time, the economy is teeter-tottering right before us. What’s going on here? Tags: time, Economy, surgeons, LASIK, Lasik volumes, Reports Download the full article   ...

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Barriers to Patient Acceptance

Posted by on Nov 1, 2001 in Article, Published Works

Barriers to Patient Acceptance

We’re managing the wrong issue. Two emotions that drive human behavior are greed and fear. When it comes to LASIK, the factors that drive patient decision-making can also be boiled down to two: price and fear. Over the past 20 months, the industry has been obsessed with trying to manage the price issue: “If I drop my price, won’t more people come to have LASIK?”“How does she make money offering LASIK at such allow price?” “His volume is tanking because his fees are so high. ” You recognize these hallway discussions at shows and meetings. It appears we’ve been discussing the...

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The Perils of Price Advertising

Posted by on Oct 1, 2001 in Article, Published Works

The Perils of Price Advertising

Cheaper is not better. I get nauseous every time I see or hear an ad for LASIK that talks about the price: “Call now for our$699 special, ” or, “For a limited time, you can get both eyes treated for the price of one, ” and so on. It’s hard to think of this incredible procedure being bandied about in the same fashion as mattresses, long distance phone service, and fast food… Tags: Price, Procedure, Service, LASIK, time, Advertising, consumers Download the full article   ...

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Refractive Surgery: Looking Ahead

Posted by on Sep 1, 2001 in Article, Published Works

Refractive Surgery: Looking Ahead

A glimpse into the past helps avoid future mistakes. Along with all the great successes in refractive surgery so far, there have been sizable mistakes that have slowed down physician and consumer acceptance of refractive procedures. This column will look at some of the dynamics concerning this young industry and explore how mistakes of the past—many of which are marketing-related—can be better understood and avoided in the future… Tags: Mistakes, Acceptance, Industry, Refractive surgery, Marketing, surgery Download the full article   ...

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