Having asked ‘Why?’ in 2017, ‘How?’ was the big question posed at the national EyeQ Optometrists conference held in early June. A series of presentations, small group sessions and one on one meetings provided delegates with ideas for ‘how’ they can continue to improve on the delivery of personalised, holistic eye care.
EyeQ Optometrists 2018 national conference in Sydney was high on energy, positivity, and practice building insights. From the opening address by Ray Fortescue, Executive Chairman of EyeQ Optometrists, right through to the end, and including a mad fancy dress Eye Ball in between, the atmosphere was engaging, fun, and inclusive.
Ray Fortescue kicked off the conference by reminding delegates of the meaning behind the 2017 conference theme, ‘Why?’ before expanding on the theme for 2018; ‘How?’.
You need to improve at every chance you can – do it well this time and even better next time
“Last year we spoke about ‘why’ we choose to come to work every day – and it is because we want to make each person’s life better… we provide personalised, holistic eye care… to genuinely care is the critical part of the deal,” he said before venturing on to describe ‘how’ the national office, in conjunction with the group’s optometrists, are implementing change to help make this happen.
“Legacy is what we’re about – we want to be here tomorrow, in five, 10 and 20 years’ time. The type of eye care we provide is unique to a group of this size,” said Mr. Fortescue.
By all accounts, the EyeQ national office has been working on significant developments across the board over the past 12 months, which Mr. Fortescue said are now being simplified to ensure they are viable for practice implementation.
These developments will enable practices to introduce new processes, acquire new skills and abilities, and in doing so, achieve further improvements in customer service, clinical consultations, administration, and practice performance.
“You need to improve at every chance you can – do it well this time and even better next time,” said Mr. Fortescue.
EyeQ’s recent initiatives include a marketing brand refresh exercise, the introduction of comprehensive courses for practice managers and potential practice managers and the development of a new suite of practice management systems, which is now more than 75 per cent complete.
Over the past 12 months, Optomate Touch has been rolled out, which Mr. Fortescue acknowledged had been a challenge for the group, and industry as a whole “but we’re out the other side”.
Additionally, he said the introduction of real time online bookings via the MyHealth1st platform is now driving online appointments across all practices, a claim supported by optometrists in the room.
Mr. Fortescue acknowledged the importance of its preferred suppliers as, “partners to the organisation”. He said the likes of VSP and Alcon, Eyes Right Optical, De Rigo, Optiqueline, Mimo, Matrix, Sunshades, and Maui Jim offered product variance at a price and with support that enables EyeQ Optometrists to effectively compete with both bricks and mortar and online stores. “They are wonderful friends and partners, they help us with profitability, support and performance,” he said.
A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT
Mr. Fortescue stressed the need for optometrists to embrace the systems being developed on their behalf by EyeQ, which were essential to achieve success in today’s competitive environment. He said the team at the national office was often surprised at the lack of systems in use by potential EyeQ franchisees and these same potential franchisees were also surprised at what could be provided to make their lives easier.
“Creating systems and processes is a massive job. They are built by national office in consultation with practices to help attract patients, manage stock and administration… fine tuning these systems is important, your feedback is always welcome.” he said.