Social Media-Do You Use It?

From Facebook to Yelp and Twitter, the manner that we communicate is constantly changing. I can remember when having an email address was somewhat unique. Now many of us have a Facebook account, Twitter about current events and use Yelp to find businesses to visit.

We’ve been working with various social media formats over the last few years and now concentrate on our blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. Myspace has somewhat faded into the background, and Bing hasn’t caught on yet, but the rate that social media changes and morphs is pretty stunning so who knows what we’ll be doing next year!

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

Cabin Fever – I’ve Got It Bad

When it’s cloudy and cold it’s easier to not think about outdoor activities like cycling, camping and swimming. The recent reappeaeance if the sun has mad me think about all of those fun spring, summer and fall activities.

It’s still more than a month until spring break, and I can’t wait! I’ve been getting ready for the start of biking but it’s no replacement for the real thing.

How have you been dealing with the weather?  One of the things I’ve been doing is a bit more web surfing, much of it researching things to do on our spring break trip, but not all of it.  Check this page out for a great optical illusion.

JW

Now What? Regarding Health Care

With the win by Mr. Brown in Massachusetts today will there be more thought and due process put into the health care reform process? I sure hope so. Our current system needs to be changed, without a doubt.
My family and I feel the effects of the current health care system every month when I make our over $700 premium payment for a plan with a $5,ooo deductible and no pharmacy coverage. I also feel it when my staff processes insurance explanation of benefits (referred to as an EOB) and the payment from the insurance company is at or below the level that I received five or more years ago.

So I’m paying more for my premium (over twice what I was paying five to seven years ago) and the insurance companies are paying less for the care that I provide. It seems that the money is being lost in the middle. Is it any coincidence that insurance colmpanies have spent so much money fighting health care reform?

All sides will probably have to accept change in order to reform the US health care system. The plan brought forward by the Obama administration isn’t a workable solution. If doctors are already refusing to see Medicare patients (One of the Mayo Clinics in the Phoenix area already has), just imaging what will happen if the 21% cut in Medicare payments goes through, as part of health care reform or on its own.

Its sure a mess…..

JW

Seems Like Old Times…..

I’m waiting for a flight to Indianapolis to depart. then a short drove to Bloomington, where I attended optometry school from 1988-1992. I’ve not been back to Bloomington since the fall of 1992.

I’m looking forward to seeing Bloomington again, as well as the new optometry clinic in Bloomington.

I’ll update this post with some photos over the next day or two.

Here are a few pictures from around Bloomington….

View into campus, the optometry school, Assembly Hall and out old apartment. Ahhh, the memories….

Avocational Pursuits

After listening to my 11 year old son play his 6 string electric guitar, I finally took the plunge and have started playing 4 string electric bass.  What a great outlet, I’m not any good at all yet, but I’ve gotten to the point that I’ll jam away in the basement and really enjoy myself.

One of the best things that I did was buy a decent bass.  I picked up (actually an early Christmas present from my lovely wife Carmen) a Peavey BXP NTB at Schmitt music here in Racine.  Its a gorgeous piece of workmanship with its natural wood finish finish and I love the narrow (referred to as “fast” by us guitar players <G>) neck.

I’m only a bit more than a month into my guitar career, and I don’t think that I’ll be giving up the eye doctor gig any time soon, but it sure is fun!

JW

HD Eye Exam-Did You Get One?

It used to be said that a refraction is a refraction is a refraction.  That certainly isn’t the case anymore.  The refraction is the portion of your eye exam when your glasses prescription and the best that you can see with correction is determined.  Many patients have come to dread this part of the eye exam out of a fear that “I’ll get it wrong and screw up my glasses prescription” and out of confusion about just what they are supposed to say.

For decades, the manner in which the refraction is performed has not changed.   Recent technology has revolutionized the refraction at Warren Eye Care.  We now almost never ask our patients “which is better, lens 1 or lens 2”?  while at the same time flipping from one lens to another.  We now show patients both choices simultaneously and have them pick between the two.  This makes the process not only easier for the patient is much faster as we get to the final Rx in less than half of the number of questions as with a traditional refraction.

By using the 3D Wave Autorefractor/Topographer/Aberrometer, we have an excellent starting point for the refraction as well as having the information directly imported into the Total Refraction System (TRS).  The data is used then used to perform the refraction.  For many patients, the HD Eye Exam consists of taking measurements with the 3D Wave and then refining the prescription with three questions per eye.  That’s it!  We complete the exam quickly, easily and more accurately.

With the TRS we can also show patients the way that they see with their current Rx compared to their new Rx.  This makes the decision to upgrade their eyeglass lenses or not much more clear and easy.  At Warren Eye Care, its all about the patient experience……

JW

I’m Scared About The Pending Health Care Reform, You Should Be Too

Tell me how any of these provisions in the rushed and recently passed House Democratic health care “reform” bill are good for America and its citizens? Our current health care payment system is undoubtedly in need of change, but this bill will do much more harm than good.

Here is a link to a Wall Street Journal article that highlights a few of the provisions in the bill: http://bit.ly/1fW4UY

I fear greatly for personal choice, access to care and the quality of care that many people will have access to. There will always be easy access to high quality care for those who can pay for it out of pocket. For the rest, you’ll get what you deserve if you don’t get involved in the process. Contact your Congressperson and your Senators now if you are as concerned as I am, as a consumer and a provider of health care….

JW

How Connected Are You?

I’m writing this blog entry at 40,000 feet above Iowa as I’m flying to a meeting in Las Vegas where I’ll be doing some presentations and have several meetings scheduled.  I know, tough duty.  But this trip really is going to be about 80% work with some fun thrown in just to keep me from becoming a dull boy!

I’m amazed by the percentage of our patients who have email addresses that they check frequently.  We use this information more and more to communicate with our patients.  From emailing newsletters to appointment reminders and in the not too distant future, appointment confirmation/rescheduling and booking will be available to our patients.  We will be rolling these features out a bit at a time, but online bill payment, order status updates, contact lens reorders etc will all become available to our patients.

You may have read about the federal push towards electronic medical records and access to information.  You can rest assured that we are at the forefront of these efforts, because of our commitment to our patients and because of my ownership stake in RevolutionEHR (www.revolutionehr.com).  We’ll continue to push the technology envelope for our patients’ benefit both in and outside of the office!

JW

PS.  If anyone has any surefire Keno numbers, I’m all ears!

News And Information – How Do You Get Yours?

I’ve been consuming more and more news and information from non-traditional sources.  I now find that my morning “information search/retrieval” is more centered around my iPhone/Computer than ever before.  I do the following each morning:

  • Read my emails, which catches me up with friends, family and colleagues and generates lots of information which I may follow up on via links in emails
  • Cruise through my FaceBook account to see what friends have been up to/are up to
  • Read Twitter (I have two accounts, one personal and one for my practice), this gets me a ton of information and links to stories of interest.  It takes awhile to get a decent list of people on Twitter that you follow, but once you do, you hear about many things quickly
  • Check out the AP News app on my iPhone which is set to grab any local stories of interest
  • Review USA Today on my iPhone which I use for national news and other stories, they have some very good “off the beaten path” pieces in many of their sections
  • Read the “Racine Post” which is a local online news source

Its only after the above activities, which usually only takes me 5-10 minutes, that I turn on the radio and listen to either FM drive time for entertainment or AM talk radio/news.  I don’t read any newspapers on a regular basis.  I simply don’t need to.  I will visit the Journaltimes.com occasionally, usually when pointed that way via Twitter, and occasionally will read jsonline.com.  With more and more of the traditional print media serving up their information via the internet (either on a computer or even better a phone), its simply much easier, more efficient and free to gather the information that way.

For professional information/education, I listen to several different podcasts (usually when traveling and sitting on airplanes or in airport terminals).  The amount of information that is available via iTunes is incredible.  iTunes U allows you to listen and many times even watch courses that you may find of interest.

So, how do you get your information?……..

JW