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Equipment Additions Expand Practice Growth With Increased Efficiency, Revenue and Dry Eye Services

Marco automated refraction system and low level light therapy transform practice into a one-stop hub

Fifteen years ago, Melissa Tada, OD, started Mountain View Vision with one exam lane and one employee. Fast forward, her office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, includes three doctors, 12 employees and five exam lanes with a specialty in dry eyes, pediatric optometry and visual-related learning problems. The practice offers a full suite of vision services, and what a bustling office needs is the maximum efficiency, she says.


Dr. Tada first heard of Marco’s TRS automated refraction system at The Exchange(R), and she was attracted to the streamlined data transitioning. She decided to transform two exam lanes, and soon enough, she found herself upgrading the third lane as well. “The installation made the whole process much easier and faster. There wasn’t any manual card transitioning required and reduced risks of transposition errors,” she says.

Her dilation and contact lens rooms have manual phoropters, but Dr. Tada moves her patients to the Marco lanes to save time. “The efficiency gap is big, so I try to lessen it by taking refractions in the exam lanes where the Marco system is,” she says.

Here, she can minimize the time patients spend in the chair. “For young children or patients who aren’t proficient with the English language, it’s a huge benefit to change the refraction chart on the fly,” she says. Dr. Tada also noticed her patients perform better with simultaneous viewing. “A lot of patients have anxiety with their refractions because they don’t want to mess up their tests and their prescriptions. The simultaneous viewing eliminates a lot of the second guessing, and patients are more confident saying which image is sharper and clearer,” she says.

It’s a great tool for getting patients involved in the conversation, she says. “When patients ask, ‘Has my prescription changed enough to change my eyeglasses,’ I’m able to show the comparison between their current and past prescriptions without having to dial in the change,” she says.

All of this can be done while adhering to social distancing. “Mask policies are constantly changing, and in several states, people aren’t required to have masks on indoors. This system doesn’t require me to be in close proximity with my patients during slit lamp examinations, which not only assures patients but also gives more us comfort as the doctors in these small rooms,” she says.


The addition of The Marco Equinox low level light therapy (LLLT) supplements the practice’s dry eye management revenue and provides her patients with lasting relief and a different option. Some of the other equipment she has brought in for dry eye treatments have not always had the great result, but with Equinox, she feels she can be “more interventional and handle a lot more treatments. It’s filled in that patient space,” she says. Dr. Tada’s patient base has significantly grown, both from creating additional services for her existing patients but also as a specialty referral service for other optometrists in the area.

There’s also less time commitment required from Dr. Tada. “The low level light therapy is technology-driven, so it doesn’t require me to be in the room. It’s been a great addition that allows me to multi-task,” she says.


“These equipment additions help us provide a comprehensive eye care approach to the community, giving services that aren’t there otherwise,” she says. Our primary goal was to drive practice efficiency, but it’s provided more: increased revenue, patient base and practice reputation.

“Our patients expect us to be state-of-the-art, and the equipment additions help us exceed their expectations,” Dr. Tada says.


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