Alamo Optometry Blog

February 6, 2012

Medical Eye Visits

Filed under: Uncategorized — gkblog @ 8:35 pm

(As appeared in Alamo Today, February 2012)

As your local full-service eye care office, we were finding that all of our patients’ needs were not being met.  To help fulfill that need, we are expanding into more medical eye visits.  We were always being asked about visits for red eyes, ocular allergies, infections, abrasions, etc., but we were not on most of the medical plans that would cover the visit.  We have recently been added to most PPO plans including Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Aetna, HealthNet, and United Health Care.  These plans will cover your visit minus any office co-pays like it would for your regular medical exams and specialist visits.

            For ocular medical visits, it is always advisable to see an eye care professional.  We are trained specifically to treat eye disorders and infections better than pediatricians, internists, and emergency room physicians.  We see patients of all ages from kids to adults, and have the equipment, knowledge, along with the best treatment options to handle most eye conditions.  Our microscopes, dyes, drops, and tools allow us to fully view and assess the eye to help reach the correct diagnosis and proper treatment.  In our office we routinely diagnose and treat conjunctivitis, corneal infections, foreign bodies, corneal abrasions, and allergies.  These conditions are effectively managed and resolved for the patient within a short period of time.

            Some conditions such as retinal detachments and glaucoma can be diagnosed at our office, but would require a referral to an ophthalmological specialist for surgery or further treatment.  These certain situations would require a visit to a specialist regardless of which type of doctor is seen first, i.e. an optometrist, general ophthalmologist, internal medicine, or emergency room physician.  However, eye care doctors should be the first-line doctor to see the patient as they are more likely to correctly diagnose and manage the patient.

            Appointments for red eyes, floaters, allergies, etc. generally can be seen on the same day.  We ask that you call when the symptoms arise, and we will do our best to accommodate you as soon as we can.  Even if you are squeezed into the schedule and have to wait for a little while, it is better than having to sit in an emergency room for a few hours.  Since the eyes can be very sensitive, a quick diagnosis and initiation of treatment is paramount for a full and speedy recovery.

            In addition to providing primary eye care including glasses and contact lenses, we are expanding our service to our patients by adding more medical plans and medical visits to our practice.  Next time any medical situation with the eyes arises, give our office a call and we will try to get you a same-day appointment to help treat those red eyes.

What It Means to Be a Local Business

Filed under: Uncategorized — gkblog @ 8:33 pm

(As appeared in Alamo Today, January 2012)

As we enter 2012 and embark on a new year, I decided to write my article from the perspective of a small private business in Alamo.  I would like to take some time to reflect on what we have accomplished and what we hope to continue this year and in the years to follow.

            First and foremost, I owe all of our office success and viability to our patients.  You keep the practice alive and thriving.  The office staff and I truly appreciate the chance you have given us to be your full-service eye care office in Alamo.  All of our patients from the ones that stayed with us from the prior doctor and the new patients that have entered into the practice in the past few years have helped sustain and grow the practice.  These patients have then recommended us to other friends and family members.  We all understand and are dealing with the downturn in the economy these past few years.  I am well aware that patients have many choices for their eye care, but am thankful that they have chosen our office. 

            My personal approach with patients and in the management of my office is to provide something that other large corporate offices are unable to offer.  The personal service and attention we are able to give each patient can generally not be found at the larger practices.  I pride myself on getting to know each patient, I generally recognize returning patients as they come into the office and call them by name.  Since we have a small staff, you can also be assured that you are always dealing with the same members of the office, you will not get “lost” as you can in other offices.  The difficult part of having a small staff is that sometimes we are a little short-handed or several patients will come into the office at once.  We understand that sometimes this can be frustrating for everyone, but you can be assured that we don’t rush patients, and that everyone will get the attention and service they need.  Our staff members all have defined roles, but we assist each other to make sure everyone is taken care of.  As an example, if I am not with a patient, I will often answer the phone or “man” the front desk if the need arises.  Patients are sometimes surprised by this, but as they get to know us better, it almost becomes expected. 

            We have also found that our local patient base are loyal people and prefer to spend their dollars locally.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard patients comment that they are so glad that we are here, our office is in a convenient location, and it is so close because most patients literally live “right down the street”.  I can honestly say that my shopping behaviors have definitely changed since I became a small business owner.  I can appreciate the effort and time commitment is takes to manage and prosper as an owner.  I try to make it a point to frequent local businesses when I can; it is the only way these restaurants, shops, and offices can survive.

We strive to be your hometown eye care office.  We want your family and friends to be welcome and feel comfortable when you come to the office.  We purposely don’t schedule patients every 15 minutes.  Our exam slots always allow plenty of time to meet and learn about each patient.  Good care necessitates learning about the patient and what they do to completely help them; this cannot be accomplished in a quick, rushed exam.          I would highly recommend shopping and dining in Alamo or your local community when you can.  These offices and shops are vital to the community for several reasons.  Small businesses are the livelihood of the local economy through employing the majority of the workforce.  In addition, it keeps local dollars and tax revenue in the community.  Regardless if you are a patient at our office, I would urge all people to patronize local businesses when the opportunity is available.

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