The opportunity to engage more with patients through IT, and to link in diagnostic technology, is highlighted by the large number of software companies exhibiting at Optrafair London.
Some 96% of UK optician practices have an IT system which is primarily used for recall, but less than half are making use of the full functionality, believes optical marketing consultant Patrick Myers of Optrafair London exhibitor, Myers La Roche. “Financial key performance statistics are a very valuable tool in running a practice, but too many do not make maximum use of the investment that they have already made in IT, or need to update to a more advanced system,” he said.
Optix believes it has the answer to “connected systems where the optometrist expects to be able to access all data in real-time both across a group of practices and externally,” according to Managing Director, Trevor Rowley.
Expectations from patients, who may want to check when their next eye exam is due through the website and make that appointment, or notify a change of address, are also highlighted by Optix – “The practice saying ‘my patients won’t expect that’ will find their business shrinking over the next five years. Try to find a GP practice that doesn’t offer online booking and you’ll struggle, but a few years ago it was unheard of. The revolution is coming and Optix is leading the way,” added Trevor.
Optisoft, which claims to have 20% of the optical IT market, is celebrating 25 years in supporting opticians throughout the UK, and many of these as a Microsoft and HP partner. Easy KPI reporting, GOS electronic form submission and fully integrated recall letter printing are key features. “Optrafair London will see us launch our next generation – Optisoft.NET which provides a multiple practice solution with real-time synchronisation, not reliant on unstable or slow broadband connections. With centralised business intelligence for all branches it also provides analysis of patients’ time in the practice – how long in the consulting room, how long in dispensing, and so on,” said Des Mayhew, Optisoft Sales Manager.
VisionDB, by Click Software, is a new entrant to the optical scene with “an easy to use cloud-based practice management system. Designed with the support of opticians, the software aims to manage all the day to day business aspects of running an optometry practice,” says Vishal Bedi, Director.