Trendspotting the Biggest Trends in Sight

Covid-19 + You

The coronavirus has taken its toll—and continues to wage its attack on health and wealth around the world, including mental health. In fact, an ABC News/Washington Post survey recently found that 70% of people were experiencing stress as a result of the new coronavirus outbreak. That compares with the March 2009 peak of 61% reporting stress during the last recession.

With eyecare businesses shuttered across the country and bottom lines pummeled, many optometrists and eyecare professionals are now scrambling to form reopening plans and secure difficult-to-come-by PPE, disinfectants, and slit lamp shields. Thus, stress is no stranger to our own industry’s peers.

When asked how they would rate their current stress level about their business on a scale of 1 to 10, many ECPs pegged that at 9.5 or even 10, while some rated their anxiety level as a 2 or 3, according to the Eyecare Business Covid-19 + ECPs Focus Group Study Wave #3.

The average stress level for ECPs today—6.5 out of 10.

Turn the page to reveal more critical results from EB’s exclusive study, including everything from the Covid-19 financial impact expected by ECPs to how (and when) they are planning to reopen. —ERINN MORGAN

Trendspotting: On Our Radar

ECP Opinions, Defined.

We know these are challenging times for you and your business—and that you are navigating completely uncharted territory. To help track the actions and opinions of eyecare professionals across the country in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Eyecare Business has deployed three waves of the EB Covid-19 + ECPs Focus Group Study. The feedback has been overwhelming and the directions and opinions are truly eye-opening.

How many practices expect a significant financial impact from the crisis at hand? How many have furloughed employees and what percentage are utilizing telemedicine options?

Here, we present the answers to these questions and more in the Study’s Wave #3 results, which help clearly define the directions, actions, and opinions of ECPs across the country as they navigate their course into the future. —ERINN MORGAN, EB EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

The Covid-19 + ECPs Focus Group Study Wave #3 survey group included 88% optometrists, 9% opticians, and 3% other.

Precautions We’re Taking: “Installing sneeze guards at check-in and check-out desks; instead of two frame selection desks (24" depth each), we push them together for a single optician station, 48" depth.” —SURVEY RESPONDENT

Precautions We’re Taking: “Added cleaning, masks/gloves for all staff when interacting with public, sanitizing frames, wipe down all incoming shipment boxes, telehealth services, curbside pickup for orders.” —SURVEY RESPONDENT

What is your biggest concern about reopening?

“Generating revenue to stay open.”

“Staff fears and my ability to convey confidence and assurance.”

“It is hard finding PPE & cleaning supplies. Worried about how staff will handle new environment—may be scared.”

“Having enough patients and having patients feel they can spend money in the optical during a recession.”

“Staff training, PPE, new protocols.”

“We’ve discussed all aspects at length; the staff is prepared and protected. We worry about patients disregarding CDC guidelines and not respecting the distancing measures we’ve put in place for office visits.”