New Practice Management Software Excels by Every Measure

By Paddy Kamen

eyeonindustry_ocucoThere’s a ‘new kid on the block’ in the world of practice management software and if you’re looking to increase sales, organize your office to a ‘T’, and have access to new business development tools, you’ll want to check out the latest player in the Canadian optical market: Acuitas by Ocuco.

While relatively new to Canada, having launched in May 2012, Ocuco is the number one software developer for optical practices in Europe and the second largest optical retail software company in the world. The company’s expansion into North America from its home base in Ireland adds to its already successful presence in 36 countries including the UK, Italy, France, Spain and Australia. As thought leaders in the industry, Ocuco has 17 years of solid growth under its belt, with over 100 employees, including 40 developers. The company has invested over $20 million in R&D, making it the practice management suite leader in the industry.

Ocuco software has been installed in over 5,000 locations world-wide since 1997. It serves independent eyecare professionals (ECPs), optical retail chains of all sizes, as well as optical lens manufacturing labs, for the fulfillment of all aspects of the patient’s journey. Customers include Vision Express in the UK and Salmoiraghi & Vigano in Italy. In each market, Ocuco has ‘localized’ its software so that health insurance plans, whether public or private, and the local vernacular are incorporated.

“Our software, for both opticians and optometrists, is less expensive and far more comprehensive in its offerings than that of our competition. We offer scaled versions for just retail alone and for electronic medical records,” says Dermot Walsh, vice-president of sales for North America. “With most other systems you need to change your process to work with it. But with Acuitas, we can configure our application and mold the system to best fit your business needs, making for an easy transition period.”

So easy, in fact, that Ocuco recently won a software “face-off” with the buying group Vision Source. The event allowed six vendors a one-to-one face-off where the names of the competing vendors were picked from a hat. Contestants were then read a script and had to demonstrate how quickly and easily they could incorporate it into their system. “All the other vendors used doctors who were experienced with their system to do the input,” explains Walsh. “I took a person from the audience and gave her 15 minutes of training to demonstrate the simplicity of the application. We won hands down with 54 per cent of the votes and are now the supplier of choice for Vision Source Canada.”

Yes, the software is easy to use but Ocuco doesn’t skimp on support. Their support team of 38 is the largest in the global optics industry. “Ocuco offers what we call ‘follow-the-sun’ support. Our engineers are always online waiting to assist you, no matter the time or time zone,” explains Walsh. “All new practices receive a welcome call, hardware review, stock setup, data migration, onsite training and go-live day support, follow up advanced on-site training and dedicated account management and consulting. Furthermore, our staff members resolve customer inquiries on the first call 94 per cent of the time, which is a remarkable record.”

Integration is the name of the game for Ocuco’s Acuitas, which was the first paperless practice management system with full integration of all imaging equipment and data systems. “Our customers can seamlessly manage the entire patient journey from marketing and appointment booking, through to exam, dispensing, order collection, recall and e-commerce,” notes Walsh. “All types of clinical systems are integrated for automated validation, electronic submission and reconciliation of insurance claims.

“Business Intelligence (BI) reports are a key feature of the system and essential to the survival of any business,” says Walsh. “These BI reports include revenues, exam outcomes, sales figures, stock availability, sales and brand performances, recall trends and return-on-investment (ROI). With 65 BI reports in Acuitas, there’s no more guessing about how your business is performing,” he adds.

The proven ROI of Acuitas is very impressive indeed. “We can demonstrate a six-month ROI,” notes Walsh. “Our software reduces the time needed for an examination because all the information is at the practitioner’s fingertips immediately through interfaces with optical equipment including the Rx, the diagnostics, previous lens and frame selections, stock availability and so on. Recalls are automated and can be accomplished by email, letter, text messaging or phone. A lot of administrative time is saved, in addition to chair time. Plus the conversion rate from exam to sale can be increased by up to eight per cent. This gain alone will pay for the application.”

Personalized demonstrations of the software are available via the Ocuco website at: “I’d rather take a potential client through the demonstration personally, rather than conduct group webinars,” says Walsh.

So the ‘new kid’ is in fact, a well-seasoned global software developer for the optical community. Who knew?