Shopping for eyewear?
Suppose you could go somewhere to experience the coziness of a small practice—cookies, fresh coffee, and a comfortable place to sit when you come in—but that also has the sophistication and expertise of a large organization.
Impossible? Not when it comes to Your Eye Care Team at any of its five locations—Family Eye Care in Chilton, New Holstein, and Kiel, Visionary Eye Care in Sheboygan, and Perspective of Cedar Creek Eye Care in Cedarburg.
It might be compared to an extended family unified into one close-knit group. A member clinic is never out of touch no matter how far away it is from the others, geographically speaking. And this is where the customer benefits.
For instance, a resident of Chilton can visit the Family Eye Care facility at 17 E. Main Street to shop for a pair of frames but have a specific style and color in mind. After examining the choices, let’s say he doesn’t find exactly what he had in mind. No problem. He can put in his order for a specific shape and color and come back the next day to try on numerous pairs forwarded from one or more of Your Eye Care Team’s other clinics. In fact, in the future, links from the company’s website will make it possible for the customer to view all the frames available at any location online.
After all, glasses aren’t just to correct vision; they make a fashion statement as well.
“They really are like an accessory,” said Karin Wille, manager of clinic operations. They’re like jewelry for your face. They enhance your best features, and yet they help you to see.”
Some customers shop for multiple pairs—one for dressy occasions, one for casual and a pair to wear with jeans.
And with its five locations, Your Eye Care Team is able to pass the savings from ordering in larger quantities on to its customers.
Own lab an advantage
Of course, picking out frames might be the fun part, but the lens is the most critical part of eye wear. The fact that Your Eye Care Team has its own lab in its Sheboygan clinic makes it possible to produce a high-quality product in about a week or so—even more quickly if the customer has an urgent need. The frames and prescription go right to the lab where the lenses are installed on site. They arrive back to the clinic ready for a few minor adjustments before the customer walks out the door.
The team at the clinic does all it can to make the process as painless and easy as possible. As soon as they come through the door, patients are greeted by the receptionist at check in. The insurance information is collected and processed quickly by a knowledgeable member of the staff. Then, they are taken to a private exam room where a staff member will question them about their medical history and enter that into the computer—no complicated forms to fill out—Your Eye Care Team clinics are paperless.
Finally, one of organization’s four doctors will conduct the exam, which often includes a dilated eye exam.
“We’re not looking just at the prescription and selling the patient glasses,” said owner and team leader, Dr. Cheryl Roers. “We want to make sure their eyes are healthy. We’re checking for glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye diseases or problems.”
But that’s not all.
“The only place in the body where you can look directly at blood vessels as they work, without opening the skin, is in the eye,” she said.
That being the case, the doctor can learn a lot about the patient’s circulation, blood pressure, and cholesterol simply by examining the eye. Often diabetes can be detected early in this way, and the eye doctor will refer the patient to his general practitioner for immediate attention, before the disease gets out of control.
Doctor saves a life
In fact, Dr. Tracey Strombeck, another part of the team, was able to detect plaques in some of the vessels in one of her patient’s eyes, indicating a condition that could lead to a stroke. Dr. Strombeck sent him to his cardiologist, who told the patient, “You should thank your eye doc-
Turn to EYE CARE/page 22 B