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The Bad Review – Embrace Change

I’ve been in a writing slump since July. A former patient recently left a poor review of Focal Pointe Eye Care on a popular business review website, and to be quite honest… it got to me.

I went through a variety of emotions initially, trapped an eddy of disappointment and self-doubt, wondering if I did the right thing by opening my business. It’s not that I have thin skin – I can usually take a lot. After all, I’m the one that “embraces change.” This particular review, however, stunned me. It called me out by making assumptions of what had happened during her examination and events that followed. I became defensive and discouraged that someone would write such a negative thing about me and my practice.

My first pair of glasses came at age 6. I will never forget that first time I put them on and could see the world again. The leaves on the tree never looked so clear. What an experience! Since then, I have lived through my share of exam “experiences,” some good, some fell short. With the mission of creating an “eye care experience like none other,” I founded Focal Pointe Eye Care based on the patient experience. It is what I dreamt of during Focal Pointe’s early conception, and it is what I focus on daily.


This is why the review bothered me. I expect everyone to have a great experience at my practice, because I built my practice through my vision.

Over my years in healthcare, one of the most important things that I’ve learned about myself, and human nature in general, is that we live our lives through our own filter. This is our perception of how we view the world that is presented to us. The perception versus the reality of any given situation is subconsciously altered without our knowing. It then becomes our truth.

I thought I had built a practice that was meeting my patients’ expectations [my filter]. But, maybe not everyone was having a positive experience, and that’s where a component of my vision was ineffective. I wasn’t removing my filter enough to appreciate the view of others, especially someone that was stepping into my vision for the first time.

So, after dwelling over this review, I have learned that this negative review wasn’t so negative. It was her telling her story through her filter. I had to remove my filter to appreciate the review and understand that being in health care makes me vulnerable to criticism, especially during a time where social media dominates our lives. But the criticism is the knowledge I need to continue to learn and make my vision clearer and stronger. And with that knowledge, comes the reward of helping people see, and every so often, prescribing other 6-year olds with their first pair of glasses and creating their vision.

For you, the bad reviewer, I do apologize that you had such a bad experience. I really do strive for perfection, and I let you down. In the same breath, thank you for giving me focus and the energy to be even better. And for all of you that have taken time to write positive reviews, I am forever grateful and indebted to you. I thank you. And as I continue failing forward, I will forever be embracing change to create an “eye care experience like none other.”

EHR – Embrace Change

In the last ten years there are 3 known letters, said in a particular order, that will cause even the strongest physician to become nauseous and weak in the knees – E. H. R.

Of course I’m speaking of Electronic Health Records. EHR (or as my auto spell check to this date still corrects to “HER”) is an abbreviation that, in theory, should be a cause for celebration. Imagine a system that successfully and efficiently gathers all of your health data, including allergies, medications, and past diagnoses, and is able to seamlessly communicate this data with all of your other health care providers. Keep imagining…at least for now.

EHR has become essential in this area because it has now been incorporated into almost every medical office in the Dayton, Cincinnati, and northern Kentucky region. The reason being is that this area represents a unique blend of providers and health care coverage that is considered an “average” cross section of the United States by Medicare. In 2010, this region was chosen to participate in the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, a Medicare-sponsored program designed to study the impact of physicians practicing more efficiently while incorporating a variety of different systems in how health care is delivered, one of which is EHR (https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/comprehensive-primary-care-initiative/).

Since opening Focal Pointe in 2008, I always envisioned my practice utilizing EHR – paper records never made much sense to me. Like any new technology, there are always bumps in the road. Doctors are required to adjust to the EHR more than the EHR can adjust to how doctors practice. And what most health care providers have quickly realized with EHR, including myself, is that charting on the computer is almost always slower than a handwritten note, and we are now forced to click through a series of menus instead of focusing on the task at hand, which should be patient care.  To overcome this, I do what many offices have done – I utilize a technician in the exam room so my eyes are focused on you, and not a monitor.

In 2012, I decided to make my first change in EHR software because I was frustrated that my original software was not staying up to date with some of the latest technologies in the industry. I interviewed dozens of companies and narrowed it down to two. Again, the one I chose out of the two was providing great technology for the time. However, I saw a consistent drop off in innovations in 2015; so in May 2016, I brought on our third software company in 8 years. Ironically, this EHR company is the exact same one that I determined to be the “runner-up” 4 years ago (bummer).

Remembering my moto, “Embrace Change,” I always look at these challenges through my “positive goggles.” The challenge of launching new EHR is quite possibly the toughest for any office, though.  The shift of EHR software impacts every aspect of the office, from the time you call to schedule an appointment, to the time you leave with your new glasses or contact lenses. So those of you that have visited my office in the last month, I say thank you for your patience and understanding as we embrace this change in order to provide better service to you. EHR will continue to evolve and bring us closer to that seamless health care. And all of us at Focal Pointe will continue to smile and work hard, and each day will get better as we get better. That I promise you.

-Dr. Mike

Embrace Change

My own internal and often externalized motto since opening Focal Pointe Eye Care has always been, “Embrace Change.” I use it as a motivator, a force to keep me going. This is my vision that inspires me to do things better.

With so many positive changes occurring within the walls of Focal Pointe, and the many external changes in the healthcare industry, I’m going to “focus” a series of articles on the changes you can expect to “see” – and hopefully embrace, while visiting my practice. And remember, the one concept that will never change at Focal Pointe is our loyalty to our patients. Our change is always aimed at improving your experience here. My team and I are devoted to you and I value your support of my family business.

I hope you enjoy the future content as much as I will enjoy writing it.

-Dr. Mike

Dr. Lyons Honored As Notable Alumni

Dr. Lyons was recently honored as one of the notable alumni at the Ohio State University College of Optometry. To celebrate their 100th year anniversary, the College has recognized their graduates throughout the course of the year. To read the article and to view the other distinguished graduates, click here.

Optician Shirley Earley brings expertise and national leadership to Focal Pointe

You can’t miss Shirley Earley’s smiling face when you visit Focal Pointe Eye Care. Many patients know her for her skill at making them look and see their best. What you may not know is that Earley is a leader in the field of Opticianry who’s making an impact on the profession—both in the state of Ohio and nationwide.

“High-quality eye care doesn’t end when Dr. Lyons writes you a prescription,” Earley says. “Those are the hard numbers, but there’s an art to integrating any optometrist’s recommendations with the proper lens and fashion choices to ensure you get optimum vision.”

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