NEW YORK—Even as staffing challenges continue for many ECPs, economic pressures including inflation and business costs as well as ongoing supply chain issues were among the concerns within the second ECPulse Survey conducted in September 2022 by Jobson Optical Research. Some 80 percent of the ECPs surveyed said they noticed that patients are trying to save money due to inflation. Concurrently most noted a change in their traditionally "busy" months in terms of patient traffic.

The new ECPulse Survey of eyecare professionals across the country was started by Jobson Research in June 2022, as a new quarterly research series which monitors a range of factors influencing ECPs' business. The Q3 2022 ECPulse report, conducted in September 2022, surveyed 298 ECPs. Respondents included independent ECPs as well as regional and larger (more than 20 location) groups. It examines general business trends, practice profitability comparability by month and quarter, a closer look at business trends, such as interest in specialization, the impact of supply chain issues and more.

Feeling the pinch of inflation, 21 percent of respondents said they had been able to hold prices the same, but 51 percent in the September survey (compared to 44 percent in the June report) said they had raised prices in some areas while 28 percent in the most recent survey said they had to raise prices across the board, a slight increase from the 27 percent who said they did so in the June ECPulse survey. Those price increases seemed to be among all optical product categories, but included a reduction in the amount of sale or discounts made available to patients during the September 2022 survey.

In the Q3 September survey, 43 percent said they had cut costs in their practice, an uptick from the 39 percent who said they cut costs in the June survey. The cost reductions were spread in several areas. Forty-four percent in September said this was in the arena of reducing current product inventory, 29 percent buying fewer products, 22 percent making a reduction in marketing spend and 19 percent in remodeling costs.

In terms of supply chain challenges, 64 percent of ECPulse Survey respondents noticed problems, a noticeable jump from the June 2022 survey where that concern was 58 percent of respondents. The September 2022 survey result on supply chain issues was comparable to Jobson Research's late 2021 and early 2022 ECP surveys when those numbers were above 60 percent.

Also, in September 2022's ECPulse Survey these supply chain issues were most noticeable in frames (60 percent of respondents), contact lenses (71 percent of respondents) followed by lenses (42 percent), lab services (31 percent) and accessories (19 percent). Among those respondents experiencing supply chain issues, some 46 percent in September said they were seeing three-to-four-week delays, and 30 percent of respondents were seeing two-week delays. These were testing patients' willingness to wait, the survey illustrated.

The Jobson Research ECPulse Surveys includes some questions previously asked in Jobson's prior ECP Coronavirus surveys and shows those comparisons when possible.

To download the Q2 2022 ECPulse Survey, click here.

To learn more about the ECPulse Surveys, contact Jennifer Waller, director research and business analytics at Jobson Research at or visit Jobson Research for more information and details.