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Saturday / April 13.
HomemiequipmentJim Kokkinakis: An Obsession with Gadgets

Jim Kokkinakis: An Obsession with Gadgets

For Jim Kokkinakis, owner of the Eye Practice in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, eye care equipment is not just a necessity – it’s a passion.

“It’s part of my character – I’m obsessed with gadgets – I always have been,” he said.

Obsessions aside, he said investing in equipment for his practice has enabled him to create efficiencies, deliver a superior level of eye care and provide patients with peace of mind.

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They feel confident they are getting a far superior eye exam, which delivers peace of mind about their most precious sense…

“We’ve invested in technology since the 80s, often for illogical reasons, but what’s came out of that has in the end, proved to be logical – because we’ve found that our patients engage in technology. They feel confident they are getting a far superior eye exam, which delivers peace of mind about their most precious sense – their vision. In the end, that’s what we’re selling – peace of mind.”

Processes Built on Technology

Mr. Kokkinakis said having built a practice process around the technology he has invested in, he now has far greater opportunity to directly communicate with patients and diagnose any conditions.

“We perform a number of preliminary tests which provide me with a whole bunch of information, so that I’ve got a good concept of what I’m looking at before I even start on an eye examination,” he said.

“So by using technology I have become a diagnostician – rather than a data collector – and I can spend more time talking to the patient about what they’re experiencing. Often the answer is in what they’re telling me – so if I can’t give time for the patient to talk, then we’re both missing out on part of the consultation process.”

Mr. Kokkinakis said his patients have come to expect extensive use of technology as part of any eye examination at the Eye Practice and they also expect to pay for it.

Lessons Learned

Over more than 30 years investing in practice technology, Mr. Kokkinakis says he has learned a lot about making clever choices.

“One business mistake I’ve made over the years has been to buy equipment without giving it too much thought – sometimes it hasn’t added value, other times the technology has been too early to market and better equipment has come through soon after. I’ve become more conservative in my purchasing in recent years – through experience and also probably because of the business environment.

“Before I invest in anything, I ask myself, how is this going to benefit my patient? The equipment must enhance my diagnostic capability because that’s what gives the patient peace of mind about what they’re paying for.

“At the end of the day they have to perceive that they have received value for money.

Increasingly, Mr. Kokkinakis said, he asks to trial equipment before he commits to purchase, especially if it is equipment that no one – or very few other optometrists have.

Equipment kept him in optometry

Mr. Kokkinakis says that aside from creating efficiencies and delivering patient’s peace of mind, equipment
has been what’s kept him in optometry.

“In the 80s I was retraining to be a computer programmer, but then along came a raft of optometry technology and I leapt at the opportunity to take it on.“Using equipment makes my job much more professionally satisfying – I’m delighted to turn up every Monday because eye care is a fantastic service to provide. Being able to make a difference to someone’s life – and doing that by using toys to enhance the experience – what could be better!”