Is there a commercial benefit to introduce Dry Eye Clinics into your Practice? 
The two hot topics in Optometry at the moment seem to be Myopia Management and Dry Eye.  
From the many conferences I attend these are always the most popular lectures with the newest ideas and treatment protocols.  
Dry Eye is on the increase and patients are desperately looking for treatment. 
Specialised Dry Eye treatment clinics are appearing on our high streets – not a pair of spectacles for sale in the building.  
Can this business plan really work? 
There is no doubt that these clinics take a greater risk by specialising in Dry Eye solely but it does get you thinking……..just how profitable can this be if ECP’s are willing to concentrate on just this area of eye care alone? 

Can a dedicated clinic for Dry Eye fit into your practice? and…more importantly … can it make a worthwhile return for your business? 

You need to look at your patient numbers, demographic and clinic space.  
Have you got the passion and desire to add in the extra training required for yourself and the team. Have you the marketing resources to advertise this new clinical offering? 
You might be reading this and say ... ‘Forget passion and desire…what about the cost of extra diagnostic equipment? Surely that’s the most important factor?’ 
I am not so sure it is… 
Let’s take an investment of say £20,000 and another of £40,000, for equipment, or practice refurbishment to accommodate a Dry Eye spa or clinic room. 
Now let’s run some numbers based on two new Dry Eye patients a week and borrowing either £20,000 or £40,000 in order to create this Dry Eye clinic in your practice... 
New Dry Eye Patients per week = 2 
Charge for 3-6 treatments = £495.00 
Monthly income from this = £4,290 
Monthly cost for £20,000 5 year loan = £425 
Annual profit from £20,000 investment = £46,380 
Monthly cost for £40,000 5 year loan = £850 
Annual profit from £40,000 investment = £41,280 
Whilst the £40,000 investment is slightly less profitable, a £40,000 investment is a large sum of money, which can  
achieve an enormous amount in most practices. 
I would therefore argue it is not the cost that is the real driver here but the patient numbers and cost of appointment that provide the bedrock for a sound investment. And of course, these patients have a chronic condition that needs managing with regular appointments.  
They will be returning regularly to your practice for years to come….. and hopefully recommending others too! 
Your practice team needs to send a clear message to your patients that this is a specialised service and you have invested, to ensure clinical excellence.  
You will need strong patient numbers and also ensure the clinic sits comfortably alongside your other clinical appointments.  
Your regular eye appointments and contact lens clinics should be a great feeder into this new service if your Optometrists and staff have been trained properly. 
Food for thought I’m sure. 
Stuart Burn 
Managing Director 
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