June 2018 Trends/Technology

Lens Design Computing at American Optical – a Personal Reflection, Part 2

In Part 1, I reviewed equipment used in lens computing from the 1911 Comptometer to the 1970s teletype. Here, I’ll tell you about the rapid changes in computing from the 1970s into the late 20th century. As an Engineer, I recall in the late 1970s being pleased to have a TI 99 desktop Calculator at my disposal. It was a powerful scientific calculator, but was memorable because it included a programmable magnetic strip. This permitted lens design/power calculation programs to be read into the calculator and subsequently executed. It was handy to have and helped as it was something engineers could bring to and use in offices and on the shop floor. The magnetic strip allowed programs to run calculations where prompting for variable input was possible.

August 2016 Eyewear

Go Back to School…Vegas Style

Vision Expo is right around the corner. Hopefully you’ve already made your travel plans. Next on the agenda is your strategy. What do you want to accomplish while you’re there? From courses to the exhibit hall, events to parties, and let’s not forget the night life, a few days in Vegas may feel like a whirlwind. Take full advantage of the many opportunities by planning ahead: register for classes, note which companies you want to see, and schedule appointments when possible.

July 2016 Trends/Technology

Leaving Lab Vegas

Last year, I took a job at a branch lab of a nationally known lens manufacturing company, working in a small, regional finishing lab built near my house. At the time, I felt I’d reached the highest level I could at the dispensary where I’d been working as an optician and optometric assistant since early 2012.
July 2016 Trends/Technology

Getting Back Into The Flow

Another hot summer day! I feel exhausted and it is only 10 am. First thing this morning, I noticed that the front window lights are not working, including the OPEN sign. Next, the lab called to inform me that our shipment missed last night’s pick up and will be delayed by a day.
June 2016 Trends/Technology

A Tough Lesson To Learn – Delegation

Our schedule looked quite busy. Office meeting in the morning, monthly frame inventory adjustments, reordering top sellers, picking the featured designer for the month, full patient load and then there was a sales representative in the afternoon.
May 2016 Lenses

Looking Back: Know Your Optical Heritage

I’d like to say that I’m incredibly cultured and that I knew the phrase “Know Your Heritage” because I’ve studied the philosophies of Rastafarianism and have a working knowledge of the works of Bob Marley. The fact of the matter is, I know it because of a t-shirt that several gamer friends of mine used to own around the time we graduated college.
April 2016 Trends/Technology

Are You Measuring the Quality of Your Patients' Experience?

It's been called Medicare's alphabet soup: PQRS, MU, VBM, CAHPS, QRUR, SGR and MIPS. It's all part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Strategy, which aims to improve health outcomes through quality measures, attention to population health and coordination of care. In early 2015, the Department of U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS) announced specific plans to tie Medicare reimbursements to quality, rather than quantity, of care.

February 2016 Eyewear

Ensuring You Never Hear “I Don’t Like My Glasses!” Again, Part Two

I make a point of discussing the doctors’ recommendations with a patient. Whether they saw one of our optometrists or have brought in a prescription, most doctors have begun a dialogue with the patient and can provide insight about how a patient wants to use their glasses. Hints that these conversations have taken place include modified prescriptions, as a prescription written for specifically for fine needle working. Or sometimes the recommendations are written on the prescription specifying a blue-blocking anti-reflective treatment for computer work.
February 2016 Lenses

Thanks to the Opticians Association of Massachusetts and the Opticians Association of America for Their Support of the Optical Heritage Museum

This past November 14th-15th, the Opticians Association of Massachusetts (OAM) held their Annual Meeting at the Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center, which was formerly the American Optical main plant. This was the sixth consecutive year the OAM has hosted their Fall meeting at the Southbridge Hotel, which in addition to being optically fitting is also a beautiful facility for the large continuing education meetings hosted by OAM. Diane Matuck, an OAM board member, discovered the hotel and the museum when she visited Southbridge in 2009 and got involved with the Optical Heritage Museum.
July 2015 Trends/Technology

Be Kind, Online: How David Kind Allies Brick and Mortar Opticianry with Online Optical

Attention opticians of America: Online optical has been hospitalized. Now, before you get your hopes up, he isn’t on life support, or even in critical condition. The attack wasn’t that severe: Just a few broken bones, maybe a sprained ankle, a cut here or there. The point is, this was no accident.