The New World Order: ECPs Weigh In



As detailed in this month’s cover topic, internet portals like VisionWeb and Eyefinity and various suppliers continue to improve and refine their online ordering proced. VM also spoke to ECPs and optical staff around the country to find out just how web-based ordering plays ures a role in their practices and which features they like best.

Laurie Kleven, Contact Lens Coordinator

Eye Center of Northern Colorado (3 locations)
Fort Collins, Colo.

“I do all the ordering and stocking, including trial lenses, for all three of our offices. I order lenses every day, and do 95 percent of the ordering online. I phone in special orders.

“Our primary source for lenses is ODG. I’m not very computer savvy, but fortunately their site is very simple to navigate. One of the biggest features is scanning. That saves me about four hours every week. The technician or doctors just scan bar codes on the lens containers, and I can then download it to ODG’s website, and it just orders for me. It makes things a lot easier, especially having multiple offices.

“I also use the online ordering to keep up our inventories. I like the system because it automatically tells you if ODG has the lenses in stock. Then you can tell the patient if they can get their lenses in two days, or if they have to wait seven to 14 days. That’s especially important if your patient is on deadline, like if they’re going on a trip in two days and need their lenses.

“You can see where your shipments are, too, and see the estimated time of delivery. And you can save a patient’s order and prescription so you can automatically reorder. That saves time and keeps the patients happier. We can provide more accurate timelines to our patients, and that helps us offer better customer service.”

Ryan C. Wineinger, OD

Wineinger Vision Associates (1 location)
Shawnee, Kan.

“We have utilized online ordering through Eyefinity for the last few years. It's a great way to reduce excess work on our staff. The way eBuy pulls frame from a processed VSP claim is a significant time saver for our staff. They love the fact that they don't have to spend as much time reconciling frames sold and re-ordering. Our opticians also utilize all of the online catalogs for both frames and stock lenses. These catalogs help our staff stay up to date with current lenses as well as help patients with frame selection by seeing colors and sizes that are available for a particular frame. It's nice to have the catalogs from all companies at one internet location. Plus we can order directly from the site once we've found the particular frame we're looking for.

“More recently we've been taking advantage of the expanded sun Rx ordering that's available through eBuy. This allows us to order popular sunglasses in for our patients without having to carry an entire line. The feature gives us a way to compete with retailers by allowing us to order specific frames that patients ask for. We can also communicate to our patients that we have the ability to offer both prescription and non-prescription sunglasses by popular brands such as Oakley and Rudy project. This feature helps us to portray a cutting edge image to our patients that we have all of the latest and greatest optical options.

“We have been using electronic medical records for the past eight years and the way that eBuy has expanded over the last year has allowed us to reduce paperwork and double data entry in another area of our practice. It's always nice to have a partner that can help us to increase efficiencies in our practice.”

Marnie Zuckerman, Optician

Eagle Vision Eye Care Optometric Group
Sacramento, Calif.

“We definitely use online ordering for the convenience. It’s much easier than having to make a phone call to the manufacturer. Since all of our dispensing tables are computerized, being able to do our ordering online makes it much more convenient. We can do it from start to finish right at the dispensing table. Because computers are incorporated into every part of our business, we’re very dependent on them and having one thing we can do online is always great.

“Since we started using the online ordering, it’s become more and more user friendly. They’re constantly getting the bugs out of it. There are fewer steps to go through now.

“Having the ordering incorporated into our software so we didn’t have to leave our system would be ideal though. Getting those two intertwined would take out one more step and make it even easier for us.”

Keshia Gray, Lab Manager

Vision Source Arlington (1 location)
Arlington, Texas

“It’s a lot quicker and way more efficient to order online. Sometimes when you’re on the phone ordering something or filling out a form, there’s room for human error. Someone can hear you wrong or read the form wrong. But online, it’s efficient and you can print out exactly what you ordered. I’m on the computer most of the time so it’s just easier that way. Since I’m already online, I can just click on it and get it done.

“There are now certain options that weren’t available before. You couldn’t order just lenses before and now there are drop down menus that let you choose exactly what you want to do with a certain order. Before you used to have to write in what you wanted. Just recently, our format of it also changed. The fonts and the way it prints out are new and it’s much easier to read.

“We also really like it because it links with our OfficeMate software. So we don’t have to go to a different website, it’s already there when we need to use it.”