In January of 2017 we acquired our first MEI Ez fit edger. Since then, our business has increased to the point where we’ve just added our third.
MEI puts the edging capabilities of big, industrial labs into our Scottsdale facility. They deliver the highest level of flexibility and accuracy, and allow us to do even the most complex edging jobs in-house, for greater speed and efficiency. It will cut any edge profile up to a base 16, which eliminates delays on the most problematic jobs.
Three edgers give us the capacity to keep up with our increasing demand, and ensures that there will be no delays when one of them is down for maintenance. This new acquisition represents our continued commitment to providing you with the greatest precision and highest quality for every job you order.
by Keith Posin
GSRx officially opened its doors in March of 2014. At that time, we had four employees and about 1500 square feet of space above an indoor batting cage. Today we have over 30 employees, investing heavily in technology, and a 6500-square-foot facility – and we’re running out of room.
GSRx was born out of a commitment to independent optometry, and that commitment is reflected in the signature programs we’ve developed over these five years. Programs like Proper Optics, an in-house marketing program designed to keep more patients in your optical. Or ProperOptics.com, which gives you the power to compete in the online market. Or the Family Vision Plan, designed to increase your patient base through partnerships with local businesses.
There are a lot of reasons for our rapid growth – outstanding products, a commitment to quality, and the best customer service department in the industry, to name a few. But the number one reason, by far, is you. You have trusted us, you have welcome us into your practice’s family, and you have partnered with us for mutual growth and success. Please tell a friend about GSRx if you think we can help them, that is the best compliment we can receive!
Over the next five years we will continue to grow. But we will never outgrow the values that built our company. And we will always look for new and better ways to support you.
Thank you for accompanying us on our journey. It has been fun and rewarding and will continue to be both!
Thank you for all your trust and support!
Photochromic lens treatments are better than ever. At one time they were characterized by darkening slowly (and not all that much), slow darkening and slower clearing, poor performance in high temperatures, and a noticeable gray tint indoors. Today, they have become a product that delivers the benefits without the annoyance of previous generations.
And as time has passed, more benefits have been discovered. Everybody knows that photochromic treatments make a primary pair of glasses more useful by providing a dark tint outdoors while being virtually clear indoors. As people have become more aware of the dangers of UV radiation, the 100% UV protection they provide has become a more important. And now it has become clear that photochromics protect against the effects of blue light – even in their “inactivated” state indoors.
Today’s best photochromic treatments darken very rapidly in the sun, and clear much more quickly than previous generations. (Photochromic molecules will always take longer to return to their normal state than they do to activate, so they’ll never clear as fast as they darken.) They are clearer indoors than ever before. They are less sensitive to temperature, and they maintain great performance through the life of the prescription.
GSRx is proud to offer you the best photochromics (or light-reactive lenses) available today. We offer the latest from the leading photochromic brand, Transitions® on our complete range of lenses from epik Variable to stock lenses. For your VSP patients, we offer the latest version of SunSync® light-reactive lenses. Addressing the one of the biggest complaints about photochromics, VSP claims that SunSync goes “from dark to clear in seconds.”
If you stopped talking to patients about photochromics because of performance issues, it’s time to take another look: the latest products are light-years ahead of older generations. And whether you’re dispensing eyewear to a private-pay or VSP patient, GSRx has you covered with the very best.
A positive culture is one of the most critical aspects for driving success. Over the years, much has been written about the importance of culture, but I’m not aware of any step-by-step guideline you can follow. Culture starts with leadership, and if you have leadership who doesn’t care about culture, you will have a long road ahead of you no matter how much effort you put forth.
Our goal at GSRx is to create a caring, energetic, and family oriented team, where everyone feels like they are working to make a difference in other’s lives as well as their own.
Here are just a few points of reference we use for developing a great culture.
In the end, we are not afraid to communicate how proud we are of our team and that without them success would be impossible.
Having a great culture takes hard work, time, and consistency. You definitely will have some highs and lows, but talking to your employees/teammates about issues, making them a part of a team with higher objectives, and holding them accountable when needed will help your business succeed.
We’ve been talking about Digital Eye Strain for years. In our world, it seems ubiquitous and obvious. But according to The Vision Council’s July 2018 VisionWatch survey, as reported in Vision Monday, the problem and its solutions are still not clear to many consumers.
Not surprisingly, digital device usage continues to take up a huge chunk of our days:
Almost 60% of adults report symptoms of Digital Eye Strain. The #1 symptom is neck and shoulder pain, followed by eyestrain, blurred vision, neck strain, headaches and dry eyes.
Among children, the most common symptoms of device use reported by parents are not strictly vision-related: short attention span, irritability, and poor behavior. These were followed by eye strain (9%), headaches (9%), and neck and shoulder pain (5%).
While symptoms of DES abound, awareness of these symptoms as an ocular health issue lags. About 51% of U.S. adults say they are aware of DES, which isn’t bad considering that most people spend very little time thinking about vision issues. But it still means that half the population needs to be educated. About 35% report that they aren’t concerned about the impact of digital device use on their eyes, and 25% of parents say they’re not concerned about the impact of DES on their children’s eyes.
Awareness of solutions for DES is also low. 70% don’t know that eyeglasses designed to treat DES symptoms are available. Disturbingly, half of those who had eye exams in the past year say that vision problems associated with digital devices were not discussed.
What We Can Do
Digital device use is nearly universal, and 8 in 10 adults have symptoms of DES. What’s more, there are lenses for nearly every type of wearer that are designed to treat the symptoms. Even for people who don’t need prescription eyewear, there are solutions like “gamer glasses” designed that address both DES and blue light effects. Given all that, there’s every reason to discuss DES and possible solutions with virtually every patient. Even if they don’t report symptoms of DES on their patient questionnaires, a conversation might cause them to think a little harder, or to start noticing the symptoms after the appointment. Even if the conversation doesn’t lead to a sale of DES lenses, the patient will know his or her options. A more informed patient is always a better patient.
In the 1950s, 10-20% of the Chinese population was myopic. Today, as many as 90% of children and young adults are. Over 96% of 19-year-old Korean men are nearsighted. And the problem is not confined to East Asia: 40 years ago, 25% of Americans aged 12 to 54 were myopic. Today the number has risen to 42%.
There’s no doubt that we are witnessing a huge increase in myopia around the world, and it’s not just a matter of more kids needing glasses. Early childhood myopia can lead to serious vision problems later in life, like glaucoma, macular degeneration and even retinal detachment. So what’s behind this dramatic increase in myopia?
Clearly, genetics are one factor. But genes alone can’t explain the very rapid increase in myopia, so environmental and behavioral factors must also play a role. Book work has long been considered a primary culprit. Centuries ago, Johannes Kepler, the astronomer and optical scientist, attributed his own nearsightedness to all the time he spent studying. And even today, people associate eyeglasses with intelligence (or nerdiness, especially if the bridge of the frame is taped together.) Kids who read and study more appear more likely to be myopic, and the pressure for academic achievement helps explain the high levels of myopia in China and Korea. But even before they can read, many children play with smart phones and tablets, which could be setting the progress toward myopia into motion even earlier.
However, some evidence suggests that up-close work is not the actual trigger for the eyeball to elongate. A study by the Ohio State University College of Optometry found that neither book nor computer work correlated to increased risk of myopia. The one factor that did appear to reduce the likelihood of myopia was spending time outdoors. If this is true, increased study time and is still a factor to the extent that it can mean less time spent outdoors. Other factors could include the reduction of PE programs in many schools, parents’ reluctance to let their kids play outdoors unattended, and the rise of video games as a preferred leisure activity among kids.
Results are preliminary, and more research is needed to confirm the link between outdoor time and myopia. The specific mechanism by which outdoor time prevents myopia also requires further study, but some researchers believe that sunlight plays a role. But whatever the causes, the increase in cases is real, and likely to continue.
There are a number of treatment options that have been effective in slowing the progression of myopia in children: atropine eye drops, soft multifocal contacts worn in the daytime, or rigid contacts worn at night (ortho-k). Some eyeglass-based treatments have also been developed or are in development. But none of these can compete with the natural solution – more outdoor time for kids, which of course has additional benefits for children’s health (and perhaps the mental health of their parents.)
The explosion in myopia shows that parents need to be more vigilant than ever before in detecting warning signs so the problem can be addressed through behavioral changes or treatment. These include squinting to see in the distance, holding books very close to the eye or sitting close to the TV, headaches and eye strain. Once elongated, and eyeball can never be made shorter, but it is possible to slow the progression.
You will be responsible for working directly with the GSRx & Proper Optics Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service team to insure the onboarding of new customers.
Duties will include:
Hourly pay of $15-$19 per hour plus full benefits and incentive program.
Moving package of up to $1,000 and temporary housing of up to 90 days.
Your pretest room and refracting lane have all the sleek, high-tech equipment you need to measure every aspect of a patient’s eyes. But if you’re like a lot of practices, you’re using 4500-year-old technology in your optical. Yes, I’m talking about the ruler, the earliest known example of which was discovered in ancient Sumeria, and dates back to around 2650 BC. It is doubtful that it was used to measure PD, but the concept has never really changed. How do patients react when you take measurements for a customized lens made to .01mm tolerances with a 4.5-millenia-old tool?
Not that old technology is necessarily bad: when we eat we use knives, a tool developed by early humans about 2.5 million years ago and is still state-of-the-art, at least until laser food cutters hit the market. The main problem with PD rulers is they are prone to inaccuracy – slight lateral movements by either the patient or the dispenser can cause measurement errors of one to five millimeters. And, of course, they don’t make a great impression when you’re selling advanced lenses. Pupillometers are more accurate, but for the best accuracy and the greatest sophistication, nothing beats a digital centration system.
Digital centration systems take two basic forms: freestanding and tablet-based. Freestanding units make a distinctive, high-tech impression in the optical, but they tend to be expensive and they take up space that many offices don’t have. Tablet-based units are more affordable and can be used anywhere. And since they tend to be bundled with digital lens demos, they offer a complete solution for working with patients in the optical.
Digital measurement systems are easy to use and produce consistent results. Many of them just require just one photo to produce both standard and position-of-wear measurements, like pantoscopic tilt and vertex distance. A lightweight attachment to the patient’s frame provides reference points for the camera. When patients are measured this way, they know they’re getting a pair of advanced optical devices in their frames.
Digital centration instruments are available from companies like ABS/Smart Mirror and Optikam, as well as many lens manufacturers. If you’re not using one, check them out. You’ll discover how easy it is to make a 4500-year technology leap.
In the days before eye exams, the method for selling eyeglasses was very simple: the seller (often a jeweler) had a bunch of eyeglasses in various powers, and patients tried on one pair after another until they found the one that worked best. Clearly, it was an imprecise approach, and was limited to the inventory available in the store, or the travelling salesman’s wagon. On the other hand, it had one distinct advantage over the way we sell eyewear today: consumers knew exactly what kind of visual experience they were buying.
Today we can design and manufacture a lens based on specific individual parameters. Even so, patients don’t get the opportunity to try before they buy. They have to accept on faith that the new eyewear will work as well or better than what they’ve been wearing. That can cause anxiety, both for the patient and the dispenser, especially if the eyewear they are purchasing is more expensive. For that reason, many dispensers prefer to keep patients in the same lenses, however much they are surpassed by newer technology.
A true lens test-drive continues to be impossible, but new demonstration systems offer the next best thing, with animation and imagery that can bring the latest lens technology to life. Some of these systems are standalone, while others are bundled with try-on and measurement systems. Today, many are housed on tablet computers, which are both more flexible and less expensive than freestanding versions.
These systems can demonstrate aspects of lenses like the difference between standard and customized lenses, how AR reduces reflections and polarization reduces glare, and how photochromics work in various lighting conditions. These are all things lens manufacturers do with side-by-side photos on dispensing mats, but digital systems provide animation and interactivity that dramatize the demonstrations.
The most advanced systems, like ABS Smart Mirror, can show the wider visual field of a customized progressive using the patient’s own prescription. While this probably won’t be as dramatic as showing what the difference would be for a -4.00 Rx, it is much more realistic and avoids false expectations. Some systems use the tablet’s camera to show the difference as the patients looks around the exam room or the optical.
Most manufacturers and ECPs agree that these systems are best used as an enhancement to, rather than a replacement for, a consultation by a doctor or dispenser. Your word as an expert is always the most important element in helping the patient choose the best eyewear, but seeing is believing.
This blog entry was based on my cover story in the November issue of Vision Monday, called “Dynamic Demos.” For a rundown on the various types of demo systems available, and their use, check out the article at VisionMonday.com. I can’t honestly say the article is a masterpiece of journalism, but I bet my mom would.
According to patients, the most important factor in determining their satisfaction with an eye care practice is how long they have to wait for their exam. It somehow weighs more heavily than the thoroughness of the doctor’s exam, the care demonstrated by the staff, or the quality of the eyewear you sell. This tells us two things: first, life isn’t fair; and second, keeping wait times short is extremely important.
A Jobson Research survey shows that about two-thirds of patients think that a wait time of no more than 15 minutes is appropriate to see an Optometrist. The good news is that of all medical professions, Optometry has the shortest wait times – about 17 minutes on average. On the downside, patients don’t expect to wait as long for an eye doctor as they do for other types of doctors.
Every office tries to schedule appointments such that the exam chairs will always be full, but patients don’t have to wait long. But it’s not an exact science, and inevitably there will be delays. Patients who arrive early are content to wait until their scheduled appointment times, but once that time passes, they become increasingly impatient (there’s actually a name for this: appointment syndrome.) Here are a few of ways you can make long waits more tolerable.