Some 96% of UK optician practices have an IT system which is primarily used for recall, but less than half are making use of the full functionality, believes optical marketing consultant Patrick Myers of Optrafair London exhibitor, Myers La Roche.
“Financial key performance statistics are a very valuable tool in running a practice, but too many do not make maximum use of the investment that they have already made in IT, or need to update to a more advanced system,” he said.
The opportunity to engage more with patients through IT, and to link in diagnostic technology, is highlighted by the large number of software companies exhibiting at Optrafair London: 11-13 April 2014, at Olympia.
Optix believes it has the answer to “connected systems where the optometrist expects to be able to access all data in real-time both across a group of practices and externally,” according to Managing Director, Trevor Rowley.
Expectations from patients, who may want to check when their next eye exam is due through the website and make that appointment, or notify a change of address, are also highlighted by Optix – “The practice saying ‘my patients won’t expect that’ will find their business shrinking over the next five years. Try to find a GP practice that doesn’t offer online booking and you’ll struggle, but a few years ago it was unheard of. The revolution is coming and Optix is leading the way,” added Trevor.
Optisoft, which claims to have 20% of the optical IT market, is celebrating 25 years in supporting opticians throughout the UK, and many of these as a Microsoft and HP partner. Easy KPI reporting, GOS electronic form submission and fully integrated recall letter printing are key features.
“Optrafair London will see us launch our next generation – Optisoft.NET which provides a multiple practice solution with real-time synchronisation, not reliant on unstable or slow broadband connections. With centralised business intelligence for all branches it also provides analysis of patients’ time in the practice – how long in the consulting room, how long in dispensing, and so on,” said Des Mayhew, Optisoft Sales Manager.
VisionDB, by Click Software, is a new entrant to the optical scene with “an easy to use cloud-based practice management system. Designed with the support of opticians, the software aims to manage all the day to day business aspects of running an optometry practice,” says Vishal Bedi, Director. “We will be demonstrating the numerous advantages of VisionDB practice management software to a large number of opticians at Optrafair London. Optrafair is widely known as the leading exhibition and we believe that it is a great platform to get our message across,” added Vishal.
“Removing the need for servers, multiple packages, and expensive infrastructure within a practice this cloud-based application takes care of all that stress for you. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection. VisionDB handles all incoming and outgoing phone calls, financial records and reporting, the customers and medical records. All data is securely stored on our fully encrypted servers and with the option of backing up your data whenever you wish. The data can be accessed from anywhere through your laptop, tablet and mobile phone,” added Vishal.
See20/20, also a web-based practice management system, is designed to provide a complete online solution whatever the size of the business.
“With over 300 sites we are a key player in the optical industry’s IT sector, demonstrated by the launch of our latest version of the system during Optrafair 2013 which allows our customers to use
See, 20/20 on all devices from standard desktop PCs to iPad and Android tablets,” said Colin Hurst, See 20/20 Sales Manager.
“It is important to keep up to date with latest technologies. Being able to demonstrate our software enhancements, such as our new Clinical Notes Module, and customised letter templates, at Optrafair London is a key part of our business strategy,” added Colin.
Ocuco, Optinet and i-Clarity from TOPCON will all be promoting their practice management systems, and latest updates, at Optrafair London.
Beyond practice management systems, Optrafair London is set to host exciting providers of new diagnostic software including CAPTIV8®, Optimed’s flagship product which runs on any PC or iPad.
“Our comprehensive, versatile, all-in-one 3D animation software program comes with captions, voiceover and a selection of 15 languages. It can be used chair-side, in the waiting area, and online giving patients at home access to a practice-branded online resource library,” says Optimed.
“CAPTIV8® includes the waiting area where the user can play our highly impactful visual animations on their large screens. Users are able to incorporate their own static promotional messages or even videos and schedule them to play on a specific day/time.” Thomson Software Solutions, the leading supplier of software for vision testing and screening in the UK, will be launching several new products at Optrafair London. A computer-based visual field screener, and the latest version of the Schools’ Vision and Hearing Screening software are key launches.
“Our portfolio of software is at the cutting edge of vision assessment and is already in use in over 6000 optometry consulting rooms, hospital eye departments and schools. We developed the first computerised test chart in the world and the latest version, Test Chart XPert 3Di, maintains the company’s reputation for innovation by interfacing the Test Chart software with a range of tablets for near vision testing and the Nidek phoropter. Our 3D monitor, allowing stimuli to be presented to each eye individually or binocularly at any point on the screen, opens up exciting possibilities for binocular refraction and binocular vision testing,” said Professor David Thomson, Managing Director.
Of particular interest at Optrafair London is the new Colour Screener XPert software which provides a solution for managing patients with Meares-Irlen syndrome.
The software includes a diagnostic module and is capable of determining the optimum colour for overlays, computer screens and tinted spectacles. The software links with the ReadEZ system of calibrated tints available from another Optrafair London exhibitor, Norville.
“This provides a cost-effective way of prescribing coloured tinted clip-ons and prescription lenses for patients suffering from visual stress,” added David.