When Palatine Vision Center reopened in its new location at the end of 2014, just a mile away from where it had been since 1971, Laura Rosanova-Philipp, OD, was surprised by the number of people who stopped by and said they didn’t even know there had been an optometry office in the area. “We were located in the middle of strip mall,” she says.
The three doctors and staff members were also busting out of the 3,000-square-foot space, especially because the design and traffic flow was far from ideal. “There was a large area in the back that wasn’t very user-friendly, and the exam rooms were down one hall but the contact lens area was down another. So there was a lot of back and forth and passing in crowded hallways,” she says. The new area, with 4,200 square feet, is roomier and more practical. There are now two pretesting rooms, instead of one, eliminating a lot of the bottlenecks, too.
In addition to being a more functional and visible location, with large signage that includes their Vision Source® affiliation, the new office has a modern and relaxing atmosphere. Morris Lehrfeld, OD, and Dr. Rosanova-Philipp met with Eye Designs to design the optical dispensary in June, only about six months before the opening. “The first thing we chose was the color for our frameboards. In our old office, everything was blue—the carpet, the chairs. So we said, ‘no blue!’ We chose a gray and green instead,” she says.
Patients comment on the spa-like feel of the practice. “They love the colors and think it’s inviting. We wanted people to feel comfortable here,” says Dr. Rosanova-Philipp. The reception area offers big couches and comfortable seating. “We wanted it to feel different from other optometry offices, but we didn’t want it to feel so fancy that people would assume they couldn’t afford our products.” The displays and the layout encourage patients and customers to wander around the larger optical dispensary. “We had about 400 frames on our board space before, and now we have 800. So we were able to bring in more frame lines. Per patient sales have increased,” she says. normally, February is the slowest month in terms of revenue, but this year, it was one of the busiest months the practice has ever had. “I never realized how limited our exposure was before,” she says.