Ophthalmology Business

NOV 2012

Ophthalmology Business is focused on business topics relevant to the entrepreneurial ophthalmologist. It offers editorial, opinion, and practical tips for physicians running an ophthalmic practice. It is a companion publication of EyeWorld.

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which is used to create videos and animations on common eye health topics. ECHO sends out those videos to patients via email or social media. It can also be used to electronically distribute routine forms and appointment reminders. "ECHO is designed to help disseminate the LUMA module not only to patients but to all the contacts patients have," explained Cynthia Matossian, M.D., Matossian Eye Associates. "Patients will be able to more readily share it with friends and connections on social media." Kristen Harmon, account executive, Eyemaginations, said that patients who are educated before the visit, during the visit, and after the visit "are much more likely to retain the info the doctors speak about and apply it." For example, take something as complex as IOLs. If the patients receive information on IOL options before their cataract consult visit, they will be able to better grasp the recommendations of their eye sur- geon. Or take something as simple as proper contact lens wear. If patients receive educational material on contact lens handling before they get to the office, patients will know to wash their hands before use. "Then the practice can reinforce these messages in the office with ani- mations that show their benefits and consequences," said Ms. Harmon. "We use it to better educate our patients, and therefore the discus- sion between the patient and the physician starts at a more advanced stage," Dr. Matossian said. "It reduces my chair time, but the patient is much better educated." ECHO is also helpful in educat- ing the entire family on procedures like cataract removal so a spouse and children, for example, know what to expect when a loved one goes in for surgery. Furthermore, the majority of patients coming in for cataract sur- gery and a multifocal IOL consulta- tion believe the premium lens deci- sion is a family one, Ms. Harmon said. "They have to go back home and talk to their spouse and kids," she explained. "When you have ECHO send that video home with the patient, [the family] is getting the same message the patient got in the office about the risks and bene- fits of surgery and why [premium IOLs] are something insurance may not fully cover." ECHO gives patients the tools to have a more educated conversation with their families about premium IOLs, allowing them to make a more educated decision at home. ECHO doesn't simply rely on patients to share information. The software includes a feature within the Broadcast tool that allows a prac- tice to post links for each presenta- tion directly to its Facebook and Twitter pages. ECHO also provides statistics on the content circulated, enabling practices to know how many emails have been sent, how many of those have been forwarded on, and what videos are watched the most. The software collects the same statistics for Facebook and Twitter. "Social media is something you have to do, but it's very ambiguous as to what impact it's having on your business," Ms. Harmon said. "With ECHO, you can put some quantitative numbers to it. I think once doctors see the impact these emails and social media [postings] are having on their practice … it becomes even more powerful for them. They'll start using the product more and getting more benefit out of it at the same time." For more information on ECHO, visit corporate.eyemaginations.com. OB Editors' note: Smitha Gopal is the current vice president of Product & Strategy for Eyemaginations. Ms. Harmon was an account executive for Eyemaginations. Dr. Matossian has no financial interests related to this article. Contact information gopal: smitha@eyemaginations.com Matossian: cmatossian@matossianeye.com November 2012 • Ophthalmology Business eZine 9

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