FirstSight Vision Services

We are here to support and guide our Optometrists in growing a successful practice while delivering quality eye care.

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Theresa Ayers April 27, 2022 Practice Management no responses

Many of you are probably asking “Do I really need a website for my practice?” The loaded answer is it depends. Ecotone Digital Solutions provides 18 Benefits of a Website for Small Businesses including gaining access to new patients and educating both new and returning patients. If you want to build your practice and expand beyond referrals and in store foot traffic then yes a Website is a must!

The path to a website can be confusing with all of the lingo and providers. You have options to navigate this minefield toward a great website.

There are several free builders available including and These services allow you to develop a free website using predesigned templates. They will even provide a domain name and hosting for free. The downside to free hosting is the ads and complex website names. You can still use the free builder and register a custom domain at a site like If you are not comfortable building your own site there are several paid options the range in price and complexity. You will have to research providers and determine which one works best for your practice. Many of these providers deliver extra value by providing tips and tricks for your marketing needs.

If you do not have a website yet, take some time to research your options and make adding a website as part of your practice marketing toolkit in 2022.

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Nicole Gonzales April 8, 2022 Practice Management no responses

We live in a review based world. Potential patients are probably searching review sites like Yelp to help decide which Doctor to see.

Now you are asking “What about bad reviews?”. Ryan Erskine provides the following guidance for handling bad reviews in his Forbes article ( “How to Respond to Negative Reviews”.
Handled properly, bad reviews will not be a practice killer. When you do receive a bad review make sure to respond. Your response should include an apology (even if you were not wrong), acknowledge their concern and tailor your response to that concern, finally if needed, offer to take the take the conversation offline to get to a resolution. Make sure your response is timely and not defensive.

Done properly responding to both positive and negative reviews can actually increase your ratings. If you are worried about losing clinical hours to monitoring and responding to reviews train your staff to monitor your professional profiles and use template responses to customer feedback.

Embracing customer reviews is a low cost method to grow your practice. Satisfied patients are a great source for referral patients. Ask you customers to provide a review on your preferred site or include a link to your profile in follow up communication with patients with a request to provide a review.

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Theresa Ayers March 10, 2022 Practice Management no responses

Unfortunately, when we experience trying economic times, we also see an increase in the number of scams taking place.  This applies to individuals and to businesses.   

Be cautious to not put yourself or your business at risk.  If something sounds too good to be true, take a bit of time to do some research and never give out information that could be compromised. 

A recent occurrence was a person trying to schedule exams for several patients with hearing disabilities.  This person was going to pay for the exams at the time of service, but then after more communications asked if the doctor would help him out as he was going to have a problem paying for the driver that would be transporting the patients to the office.  His request was to have the doctor run his credit card for the amount of the driver’s fee and for the doctor to then pay the driver (with cash).  This could very well be an innocent situation, but as a business, you should never process amounts for services that you don’t provide.  And it is never a good idea to try to run a credit card for more than the amount of the service and credit back in a different form of payment.   

Other scams that you may hear about are: 

Merchant services calling to ACCESS you credit card machine 

Malware representative NOTICING a breach to your computer 

Collections needing an URGENT reply 

This is not a complete list but just some examples of potential “red flags”.  Take a bit of time to make sure your staff knows of the potential risks and that they alert you to requests that are out of the ordinary.   

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Theresa Ayers February 28, 2022 Practice Management no responses

At some point, you may find yourself in a position to have to interview candidates to fill a position in your practice.  Here are a few tips to make sure that you find the right person for the job.


When reviewing any resume, don’t automatically assume that someone is more qualified or less qualified than what you may desire.  Some of the things to identify on the resume could be their writing style, grammar and possibly technology skills that you may be looking for.

A pre-interview phone call can help to identify candidates that you want to bring in for face-to-face interviews.  During this phone call, you can find out what their availability is, if they have salary requirements that are in line with the pay scale you have established for the position, etc.

Have a list of questions ready.  Make sure that your questions are open-ended (avoid the yes/no answers).  You can easily go on Google to find some great questions for the position you have available.

Be a little brief/vague about the specific job duties before asking questions.  This will prompt your candidate to be more honest with their response as opposed to tailoring their answers based on the details you provided.

Take notice of the time the candidate arrived for their interview.  It is also extremely important that you are available to start the interview at the scheduled time.  This will demonstrate your value of keeping to scheduled times.

Take notes during the interview process.  Once done asking the questions you have prepared put down the pen and paper and continue conversing with the candidate.  You may find that once you aren’t taking notes, they relax a little bit and offer more information.

Make sure that you are aware of questions that are illegal to ask.

Finally, let the candidate do most of the talking.  You want to make sure that their personality is going to fit into your practice and the expectations of the position.

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Nicole Gonzales January 31, 2022 Practice Management no responses

As a part of your annual budgeting and planning, review the plans you currently accept. For the most part, any existing plans will remain in your practice. But this is the opportunity to review the profitability of each plan in the right light. Decisions to drop plans should not be made in the heat of the moment if you encounter a rude or unhelpful claims processor. Integrate the additions and deletions of managed care into your annual planning process and don’t worry about this component for the balance of the year.

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Nicole Gonzales January 10, 2022 Practice Management no responses

Imagine yourself as a patient and you show up to your doctor’s office and they are closed. But how could that be when you had checked a few days earlier and confirmed their days open and hours open and timed your visit during those times. How likely are you to call that office to schedule an appointment or to try at another time to go back?

Keeping your office open and available during posted/contracted hours IS important. Not only for access to care should an existing patient need records, but also because it is what people expect from a business. In today’s environment, if you aren’t there, people will just go somewhere else. Why give away your business?

There are always going to be the occasional situations that may cause a change to schedule and that is completely understandable. Trying to keep that to an occasional instance is the key though. When it becomes more frequent the effects to your business and reputation can be impacted in a negative way.

Don’t forget to look at how your practice is run from the eyes of a patient’s point of view. They really value the service and care that you provide. Being there for them is one way to thank them for choosing YOU as their eye care provider.

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Nicole Gonzales November 22, 2021 Practice Management no responses

Who doesn’t want to know more about the person providing care for you and your family? Why not take a moment to write a biography of yourself and your practice to post at your office door. It’s even better if you include a recent picture of yourself.

For those who have websites, you’ve probably already done this, but not everyone visits the website. Having a framed biography at your office door gives those potential patients a peek into the person on the other side of the phoropter.

Your patients are all thankful for you, so sharing a piece of who you are is just a small thing you can do to show them that you are there because of them.

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Nicole Gonzales October 1, 2021 Personal Development no responses

Let’s face it. The past year has thrown a barrage of challenges at us that none of us had even considered. As a result, it can be easy to be burned out and be less than positively motivated.

You have the power though to change that! Some very simple steps can be incorporated into your daily routine. As with any new “habit”, it can take a little time to make these changes effortless but the payoff can be well worth it.

Get a little exercise time. Whether you choose to take a walk around the perimeter of the store, or actual gym visits, a little movement is not only good for your body, but it can be a great time to reflect on the positive things that occurred recently. Think about the smile on the face of a patient as you fit them in their first pair of contacts, or a milestone that your child may have achieved. Look at that, two tasks completed with one action!

Make sure that you take a moment to look your best every day, not just the days that you go into work. Keeping to a regular routine of getting up and ready at the same time every day helps keep you on track.

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Nicole Gonzales September 1, 2021 Practice Management no responses
You only have ONE chance to make a GREAT first impression so it is important that you and your team are proactive to make sure ALL first impressions are great.
Take a moment to look at your front office space and try to see it through the eyes of someone who has never gone into your office before. Is it clean and clutter free? Are the floors clean? Don’t forget to look under the chairs and check behind any tables/bookcases. When did you last dust or sweep and mop the floors? If it wasn’t yesterday and/or you have to think about it, then it was too long ago.
Now let’s take a look into that pre-testing area, contact lens room and exam lane. Keep in mind, your office is a clinical setting. The expectation of a neat, organized and extremely clean and sanitized space is high on the list of all patients.
A great looking office is just part of the patient experience. Don’t forget that first impressions are also the interactions the patient has with people. This often starts with a phone conversation. People can hear a smile and on the flip side, they can tell when there is no smile. Take some time and actually listen to how your staff communicates with people. If you are not looking, can you hear the smile in their voice? When communicating in person, you can actually see a smile…or can you? Take some time to observe how your staff greets people coming into your office. Remember, your staff is a representation of your practice. Make sure it is pleasant, welcoming and professional.
The little things really do count a lot when it comes to those first impressions. Don’t lose sight of those things so your office can continue to thrive with positive experiences.

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Nicole Gonzales July 29, 2021 Practice Management no responses

Many times we go with the assumption that the Associates in Walmart know that there is an eye care provider inside their store.  You would be surprised to know that only a small percentage are aware.  During some of your “down time”, why not take a few minutes to walk out, talk to the pharmacist, and introduce yourself to the Associates at the registers.  Not only can these folks be your patients, but also they have family and friends that could be your patients.  Most stores have regular morning and afternoon meetings with the Department leads.  Generally, this is done right on the store floor and is very quick.  Talk to the Store Manager and see if you can attend  these meetings on a somewhat regular basis.  This will help capture some of the areas of the store you may not get to, such as automotive.   Don’t underestimate the value of your personal interactions with those Walmart Associates.


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