DR. IAN WHIPPLE'S STORY:
How a leading OD uses CLX to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship under any circumstances.
DR. IAN WHIPPLE
Owner of Vision Source of Farr West, Utah
The Changing Eye Care Industry
The eye care industry is evolving fast. Today, more than ever before, services are being offered virtually and patients are able to get convenient online access to things they need, like contact lenses. There’s no doubt that this evolution is great for patients, but what about doctors?
The rise of telehealth in the industry before, during, and certainly after COVID-19 has shown ECPs that they need a system in place to serve their patients and drive revenue, whether or not patients are physically in the office. That’s where The CLX System can help. With CLX, any practice can easily provide their contact lens patients with online ordering options.
Dr. Ian Whipple, Owner of Vision Source of Farr West, Utah is one ECP that uses CLX to keep his contact lens patients satisfied and loyal. Dr. Whipple’s practice has tripled in size over the last 8 years and it’s due in part to his focus on contact lens patients.
Why Contact Lens Patients Are Still Valuable
“Even if the net margin on contact lenses is lower than it used to be, it’s still worth doing.”
Dr. Whipple stresses the importance of ECPs thinking beyond the dollars earned in a given sales transaction. He values a high contact lens capture rate in his office because it directly relates to patient retention: “The thing that’s more important to me than the dollars coming in from contact lenses is that if I’m not selling those contact lenses, where is my patient going to go to fill their prescription? They’re going to go to another optical, or a Walmart, or a Costco… if they go into another office, they’re going to walk right by another eye doctor.”
Dr. Whipple sees selling the contact lenses he prescribes to his patients as key to maintaining strong patient relationships, and he knows that if he can’t provide his patients with easy ways to get their contact lenses, they’ll look elsewhere. CLX helps Dr. Whipple give his patients what they want and by doing so makes it more likely that they will return for their next eye exam.
Patients Want Convenient Access
to Contact Lenses
In the eye care industry, practices are rewarded when they satisfy their patients’ growing demand for convenience.
That’s why Dr. Whipple says that CLX’s white-label, online, contact lens ordering platform is a necessary part of his approach to selling contact lenses. Along with a well-trained staff, he sees CLX as a critical ingredient to his high contact lens capture rate. “We have our physical location but we’re trying to also create an experience where patients can take advantage of the convenience and ease of ordering contact lenses online and they can do that through our office, online, in the middle of the night because of CLX”.
Options for When It’s Time to Reorder
In addition to providing a contact lens webstore for his practice, CLX helps Dr. Whipple’s team get proactive about contact lens reorders. What happens in his practice when a patient purchases a partial supply of contact lenses on the day of their exam? Before they are due to run out of contact lenses, CLX automatically sends these patients a personalized ordering link, prepopulated with their current prescription. “CLX sends a text message reminder or an email reminder, hey it’s time to purchase the rest of your lenses, you only bought a 6 month supply, your 6 months should be up, here’s one click to purchase the remainder of your year’s supply. I think that feature is incredible for us”.
Dr. Whipple’s Challenge to the Industry
By using disruptive tools and focusing on the patient experience, ODs can remain in control, even as the market shifts.
“I’d like to issue a personal challenge to optometrists — let’s disrupt our own profession and offer something that patients, frankly, want and that they’re demanding.” According to Dr. Whipple, right now is the time to start maximizing the use of solutions like CLX to satisfy patients, because as the industry continues to change, the relationship doctors have with their patients are at risk.
“I don’t know what optometry is going to look like in the future. But if ODs aren’t the ones leading the charge, I don’t know that we can trust other entities to maintain that doctor-patient relationship.”