Winner Announced of This Month’s “Ocular Photography Challenge”

Andrew W. Nahas, OD of Boscobel, Wisconsin, was announced as this month’s “Ocular Photography Challenge” winner for his photographs of an 11-year-old boy with Marfan syndrome. As the winner, Kowa Optimedwill award Dr. Nahas with Kowa’s new state of the art YF Binoculars for his excellent work.

As shown in the photographs, Nahas said the patient’s manifest refraction time in the right eye was -10.50 D -0.25 D x 180 with visual acuity of 20/40-2. In the left eye, the patient’s manifest refraction time was -8.50 D -2.00 D x 170 with a visual acuity of 20/25 +1.For more information regarding Kowa Optimed products, please visit: www.kowa-usa.com

For more information regarding the Ocular Photography Challenge by Primary Care Optometry News

please visit: www.PCONSuperSite.com. Submissions for the contest can be emailed to nhemphill@slackinc.com.

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Eyecare Professionals Select Kowa Marketing Campaign Number 1 in Medical Device Category as conducted by Signet AdProbe Survey

In a recent survey done by Signet Research Inc. for Optometric Management, Kowa Optimed was honored by being recognized as having the best advertisement in their category and third place overall. The advertisement for the WX3D retinal camera by Kowa Optimed was the ad critiqued by the survey.

The purpose of the Signet AdProbe study was to provide those who purchased ad space in Optometric Management with feedback regarding the noticeability and information content of their advertisement. The report was based on the responses of 243 subjects questioned during the study. In order to reduce bias and respondent fatigue, a split sample technique was used and the sequence in which respondents viewed the ads was rotated. The desired end result of this survey is to help advertisers to better communicate with their audience through more effective advertising.

Of survey responses, 33% ranked Kowa’s ad’s noticeability as “excellent” and 47% responded to Kowa’s noticeability as “good.” Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed rated the ad’s information content as “excellent” and 56% rated the information content as “good.” The advertisement for Kowa’s WX3D was categorized overall as “excellent” by 33% of survey responders and “good” by 47%. Survey responders remarked about the advertisement with comments such as, “informative and pleasing to the eye” and “strong images, easy to understand.” The ad was mostly highlighted for its clear imaging and easy to read information. Another large portion of comments served to attest to Kowa’s quality and ease of use by those who are already familiar with their products.

Information regarding Kowa Optimed eyecare division visit: www.kowa-usa.com/eyecare.


Implementing The Newest Technology Around Customer Experience

The number of ECPs implementing technologies in order to create greater customer satisfaction as well as increase ocular health wellness and knowledge has vastly grown in recent years. People are demanding technology in every aspect of their day, now including their optical needs. Everything from iPads with informational videos to diagnostic systems that illustrate retinal images to text-reminder appointment confirmations are being utilized by today’s leading practices.

In this day and age it is hard to differentiate yourself from other ECPs with all the technology that is so readily available. Basing your practice around patient experience allows a practice to offer the same eye care services in an innovative way. ECPs are constantly looking for ways to further impress and please customers resulting in patient satisfaction as well as referral business. Educating patients has been deemed one of the more challenging tasks within eye care. Having to explain and demonstrate retinal issues in layman’s terms can become a tedious task. The application of videos and digital imaging to illustrate retinal tissue is more informative but also enhances patient image of the practice.

ECPs are using more advanced diagnostic instruments to provide patients with personalized perspective of their needs. Instruments such as aberrometers, retinal scanners and corneal topographers can capture and display highly detailed images of a patient’s eye thus enabling doctor’s to more accurately diagnose and treat any ailments. These images can then be used during patient-doctor dialogue to further understand the condition at hand and any possible treatments. This new software is freeing up precious time doctors do not have in order to better care for patients.

Mobile care is the next frontier in eye care. The number of eye care practices installing mobile systems is continually increasing. Seemingly basic services such as scheduling appointments and text-reminders for patients, electronic newsletters, event announcements and  question-and-answer forums for after business hours are creating a more patient friendly experience within optical care.

Doctors are not the only ones using technological advances in order to fulfill the consumer. Dispensing companies have also started to use advanced systems that take precise position-of-wear measurements and, when desired, additional biometric measurements guaranteeing optimal frame fit and maximal performance. These high tech systems were first embraced by independent eye care practices that were backed by major spectacle lens vendors however; optical retail chains have begun to introduce their own exclusive measurement systems. Most typically these systems analyze the relationship between a patient’s eyes, face and frame in order to create the optimal lens fit. Some software even includes a frame-and-lens system that minimizes lens stress thereby eliminating distortion.


Kowa Optimed Supports the Ocular Imaging Challenge

Kowa Optimed is encouraging submission for the upcoming Ocular Imaging Challenge hosted by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. According to the OIC homepage, this challenge calls innovators and software developers to “create an application that improves interoperability among office-based ophthalmic imaging devices, measurement devices, and EHRs.” The application process began May 14, 2012 and will close on November 9, 2012.

Challenge.gov

For this challenge, ONC has required necessary attributes for first place. The application should convert output from legacy ophthalmic imaging and measurement devices from proprietary formats to vendor-neutral standard formats. The application should also be able to archive data from multiple imaging and measurement devices. Images and data should be displayed for clinicians and permit basic functionalities such as optimizing viewing parameters. For example, settings such as brightness and contrast should be adjustable for viewing ease. Finally, the application should generate integration with existing EHRs (Existing Health Records). Where applicable, the application should additionally leverage and extend NwHIN (Nationwide Health Information Network) standards and services.

All applicants will be reviewed by the ONC review panel during the four day evaluation period (November 16, 2012-November 20, 2012). Selections will be based collectively on the previously mentioned criteria and other standards such as mobile usability, functionality, accuracy, security and general practicality. Categories for selection have been labeled as, breadth of input devices and formats, usability and interface for image viewing, integration with workflow and platform neutrality.

OIC is offering a total of $150,000 in prize money to its first, second and third place winners. First place will not only receive $100,000 but also win conference exhibition opportunity. Second and third place will receive $35,000 and $15,000 respectively.

Craig Ross, President of Kowa Optimed, voiced his positive opinion of Kowa’s involvement in the OIC stating, “It’s important to take a leadership position with ocular imaging technology. These contestants are creating the next platform for ocular technology and eye health.”

For more information regarding the Ocular Imaging Challenge visit: http://challenge.gov/ONC/363-ocular-imaging-challenge


Kowa Optimed to Participate in 2012 Vision Source National Meeting

This year has already been a busy one for Kowa Optimed who has participated in a number of events including Heart of America, Vision Expo East, and SECO International.  Next on this month’s agenda is the 2012 Vision Source National Meeting to be held April 26th – 28th in the beautiful city of Orlando. Florida.

Vision Source was founded in 1991 with the belief that eye health care is best provided by an independent family eye doctor, free to make his or her own decisions about what is best for the continued good vision of the patient. As a member of Vision Source, a private practice optometrist has access to the shared knowledge and resources of a network with more than 2,000 offices.

Eye care is forever evolving and we are excited to be apart of yet another event allowing us the opportunity to share our knowledge as well as gain insight into what others are doing to help everyone posses the best vision possible.

For over 50 years Kowa has been a leader in providing the most advanced instrumentation to ophthalmic practices. Some of our products to be presented at the event include a line of the largest selection of precision instruments including digital fundus imaging, perimeters, tonometers, slit lamps, and binolcular loupes. The DigiVersal image management system and our comprehensive activeEHR practice management solutions is designed specifically for eye care professionals and supported by a network of dedicated service specialists.

For more information on Kowa Optimed products and services visit our booth, #34,  in the Bonnet Creek Ballroom or visit our website at http://www.kowa-usa.com/Eyecare/index.html .


EHR Adoption and The Connection to Internet Access

Since EHR’s came out there has been a divide between the consumers and the health care providers.  There is a movement to bring health management tools to the consumer through such devices as apps for the iPhone and iPad, games to play on Wii, or kiosks at your local pharmacy.  The question is what happens to those of us who do not have a smart phone, computer or Internet access?  Meaningful Use incentives are mainly targeted at those who have government sponsored healthcare, but they are also the one’s who are the least likely to have access to such items as smartphone and reliable Internet.

It is only those patients who have reliable Internet and smart phones that will be able to see how well digital health care can work.  This is because they will be the ones receiving e-mails from their doctors, connecting with them via social media, and be able to receive updates regarding EHR’s.

The question is how can we solve this divide of Internet access?  How can we make sure that all those who want to take full advantage of the EHR system can?  The government recently unveiled a new initiative – the Connect to Compete initiative – in which broadband Internet will be offered at a cheaper price for low-income families.  This is a great step in the right direction to bringing healthcare to all of America.  We are in a digital age, and so everyone should have access to the digital world.  EHR’s are an amazing system that we hope everyone can use to it’s full potential.

 


10 Questions to Figure Out if You Need an EHR system

As Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems become more talked about, and have more incentives, you may be wondering if you need one at your practice?  It is a costly endeavor, but there are many features that could help both you and your patients.  No matter if you are a practitioner, dentist, optometrists, or run a PCMH and EHR system could really benefit you.

Here are some questions to ask your self:

1. Is this the right time for my business to switch?

  • There are great financial incentives.  There are many tools that improve a practice greatly.  The flow of information is easier and there is filing of paper.

2. Is this an affordable endeavor?

  • With the new IRC section 179 tax laws if a practice spends up to $2 million of qualified equipment, a $500,000 deduction will qualify for that year.

3. What are your goals?

  • Chart a variety of aspects that EHR systems look at (workflow, refill time, time optimization, medical errors) and see where you are.  In doing this make a list of the goals to see if you are ready for an EHR system and then which system is best for you?

4. Is time optimization a concern of yours?

  • EHR systems optimize both patient and doctor time by having readily available patient information, easy to document records, and fast flow of information.

5. How will my workflow be affected?

  • Although it may take time to file all the papers into the system, ultimately it should increase your workflow.

6. Does it take a long time for refill orders to process?

  • Is this a complaint from your patients?  If so EHR greatly improves this system to be automatic and fast.

7. What is your medical error rate?

  • Before you get an EHR system you will want to chart this number.  In doing so think about this number – is it where you want to be?  EHR

8. Do I want to go to paperless?

  • What costs are cut?  What costs are gained?  How much time will this take?  These are all important questions and will have unique answers for each business

9. Talk to your patients and staff about where they feel your practice could improve.

  • In doing so this will also help you figure out your goals and if an EHR system will be helpful.

10. How do I choose an EHR system?

  • This will take time and effort is a whole different set of questions.