that could lead to a stroke. Dr. Strombeck sent him to his cardiologist, who told the patient, “You should thank your eye doctor for saving your life.”
With four different doctors working together on the same team, each with his own forte, not only can each doctor draw from the strengths of his colleagues, but patients can benefit from the variety of expertise as well.
Take Dr. Roers, for instance. She has years of experience in all aspects of optometry even before beginning her business in 2004, but she has a special interest in the senior population and their needs, focusing on cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
At the other end of the age spectrum, Dr. Strombeck, who completed a residency in pediatrics, loves working with children.
Dr. David Vanderloop, who received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, likes to delve deep into medical problems. And then there’s Dr. Jane Bachman who works part-time in the Cedarburg clinic while practicing at the medical college at Froedtert in Milwaukee, exposing herself to medical research and teaching.
Doctors travel around
Except for Dr. Bachman who practices solely in Cedarburg, the other doctors each have a home base while traveling to the company’s other clinics as well. This allows them to become familiar with different geographical areas and different types of patients, broadening their experiences and giving patients the opportunity to work with different doctors.
When a patient needs surgery, ophthalmologist Dr. Douglas Salm, who has partnered with the eye care team, sees patients at the New Holstein location and performs surgery at Calumet Medical Center in Chilton. This saves patients the hassle of traveling back and forth from Appleton for surgery and post-operative care. Elderly patients especially appreciate this feature.
After surgery, Drs. Roers and Vanderloop handle the patients’ post-operative care either the same day or the next and continue to see them until they are fully recovered. In that way, patients can be assured their needs will be completely attended to with as little hassle as possible.
“Our focus is on our customers,” Karin said.
She added that at times the staff has been known to even drive patients to appointments or carry glasses to nursing homes to make adjustments. Recently, a parent dropped off glasses for his child. He mentioned that she got headaches when she wasn’t wearing them, but they were broken so he was hoping for a quick repair. Not only were the glasses repaired at no charge, but one of the staff delivered the glasses to a young girl at her school later that day.
“That’s what you do in a small town,” Karin said. “People are your neighbors and friends. You help them out. When you come in to our clinics, you’re going to be treated like you’re part of our family.”
Help with contacts
For a patient new to contacts, the staff is ready to walk him through the process
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of putting them in and taking them out and explain how to care for their contacts. But what happens when that patient gets home? Will he remember what he learned? The Your Eye Care Team Web site has a video he can access to refresh his memory.
Since she joined the team in June last year, Karin has been working to tie the five locations together. Until she arrived, the job fell into Dr. Roers’ hands.
“What I like to do most is see patients,” Dr. Roers said. “I don’t like to do all the other administrative things. Karin has taken a lot of that off my plate so I have more time to attend to patients.”
When Karin first entered the picture, she encountered five clinics, each having joined the group at a different time, bringing with them their own policies different from other clinics in the group. Now, having spent time at each facility, Karin has been able to observe the best of the bunch and draw up policies to fit the organization as a whole, uniting the entire team and putting the best practices into place.
Besides that, Karin observes the staff
themselves, identifying the key players, and puts these in charge of training new members of the team. In addition, she organizes staff meetings to provide training in an enjoyable atmosphere.
The internet has been a great tool to connect the five offices as well. By summer, they hope to have one central data base. In addition, the organization is now united by a social platform similar to Facebook called Yammer. The big difference is that while Facebook is open to anyone, Yammer is open only to those who are part of the Your Eye Care Team.
“It looks a lot like Facebook, but it’s actually a secure site that only our team can access,” Karin said.
Only those with the company’s e-mail system can join. Members can post to the entire community or send individual messages. There are groups, like an optician group and a front desk group, so they can have conversations relative to their work. The system will serve to further unite the team—20 members to act as if they were one person with the central goal to serve the patient as effectively as they can.
All this being the case, when you enter one of the five locations, it’s as if you’re entering one room of a much bigger house, one that has the warmth and coziness of a small town with the sophistication and expertise of a much bigger community.
“This office,” said Karin of the New Holstein location, “is just one piece of our big puzzle.”
New Holstein Family Eye Care, located at 1405 Milwaukee Dr., can be reached at 898-5531. Kiel Family Eye Care is located at 500 Fremont St. (894-2727). Chilton Family Eye Care is at 17 E. Main St. (849-4642). Evening and Saturday hours are available. Check hours on the Web site www.youreyecareteam.com/.