Fully 98 percent of respondents to the Wave 14 of Jobson Optical Research, taken Aug. 21-27, said that their businesses have reopened. Most employees have returned to work, although 31 percent of respondents said that some employees have chosen not to return due to the pandemic.
CHANGING VISUAL DEMANDS
A new question in this wave asked respondents if they noticed that more patients are having visual issues due to increased screen time; 64 percent said they are noting that trend. Indeed, 68 percent said they are noticing it among both children and adults, while 26 percent said they’re seeing it in adults and six percent are seeing it with children.
Learn-at-home virtual lessons seem the standard for most schools this fall, with 35 percent of respondents saying that schools in their area have opened to a virtual-only format while 63 percent have opened to some hybrid of virtual and in-person learning. Only 14 percent said that full-time in-classroom learning is happening.
Perhaps in response to the lack of traditional back-to-school health screenings and/or the increased digital demands of virtual learning, 54 percent of the respondents said that they are putting more emphasis on children eyewear this year.
Most respondents said that their businesses are remaining vigilant, screening employees and patients with temperature checks and questions about potential exposure to infected people. Sixteen percent of respondents said that someone at their workplace has gotten COVID-19, and 28 percent of respondents said that rising COVID-19 cases in their area have caused other businesses regionally to shut down. There is an atmosphere of concern about what this means for their businesses. Twenty-one percent of respondents said that they are very concerned and 44 percent said that they are somewhat concerned that they might need to shut down their businesses again. That 65 percent expressing worry, however, is lower than the 79 percent who were very or somewhat concerned in the Wave 12 survey.
Several indications show that practices are regaining their footing. Respondents in this wave reported the higher average number of patients per day (22.4) since that question was introduced in May. In addition, 74 percent of patients are making purchases—also the highest number reported since the survey began asking that question. Average revenues per week are at about 62 percent of the same week the prior year.
The patient mix is also balancing more toward regularly scheduled patients who are returning for annual appointments and new patients.
Read the full results of the Wave 14 survey.