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Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others - Jonathan Swift


image by: Ken Teegardin

"Perhaps more than many other industries, optometry is facing a big time of change. Between HIPPA enforcement, the uncertainty of Obamacare, the online optical boom, and the increasing influence of mobile and digital media alone, ODs need to stay constantly up to date on the industry news if they want to succeed into the future.

Today’s forward thinking ODs are banding together using the progressive technology at their fingertips through online discussion groups and forums. These groups can serve as valuable tools to express individual opinions, gather feedback from colleagues and to act as a group in influencing the industry.

One group that has been using the power of social media to make a change in the industry is ODs on Facebook.  With over 5,755 members as of last week, they are using their strength to lobby and take an offensive on the “anti-competitive” actions of Insurance Agencies.  The official announcement last Friday that the “ECP OFFENSIVE ON INSURERS is OFFICIALLY "ON" includes a call for action - “The bus is leaving the station. You’re either on or you’re off! Learn how you can make a difference writing just one letter -FIGHT FOR YOUR PATIENTS, YOUR PRACTICE AND THE FUTURE OF YOUR PROFESSION.”   

While this initiative may not topple governments like the Arab Spring did, Dr. Alan Glazier, who started the group, asserts that taking the voice of this group out of the forum, armed with “pen and ink” (or keyboard and printer), will influence the FTC on the issue at hand. The mission for all those who choose to accept it is simple - to write a letter requesting the FTC to investigate the actions of the insurance providers. Dr. Glazier has provided sample letters and has kindly offered to collect the letters and hand deliver them once they have received over 100.

To draw attention to the effort, Dr. Glazier changed the ODs on Facebook cover photo to a call to action announcing the ‘’organized disruptive effort.”  This initiative is a great example of how social media can bring together a group of like-minded individuals and really make a difference in the reality around them.  As tools such as ODs on Facebook get used more for purposes of this kind, they become more a part of our social fabric... and as that happens, they become more and more important for Practices to embrace if the Practice is to succeed going forward.  

As Dr. Glazier charges, when it comes to embracing the new reality for ECPs you are either on the bus or you are off. Change is upon us and it would behoove all docs to take notice, because otherwise that change will roll downhill to the Practice and the “bus” will leave you."

Source: The Power of Social Media in the Optometric World, EyeCarePro Blog, November 7, 2013.