The nearly four years since the opening of Vision Veritas has flown by, says Olivia Carleo, OD. By 18 months ago, both Dr. Olivia Carleo and her sister Anita Carleo, OD, who are partners in the practice,
had stopped working in the other practices where they were employed to dedicate their time to the practice they started cold in Dallas, Texas. “We have been beating all our initial goals, and it’s been a fun process to watch the business grow over time,” Dr. Olivia Carleo says. They budgeted conservatively on their gross revenue, and “we’re just knocking that out of the park,” she says. They were recognized three years in a row as the best place for eye care, voted by the local community, and their families have grown as well when Dr. Olivia Carleo had her second child, and Dr. Anita Carleo welcomed her first.
Now both of them spend 2.5 days in the office offering five days of coverage, and they can spend the rest of their week home as moms. They also each work one Saturday per month. “It’s the perfect balance,” Dr. Olivia Carleo says, adding that they are both are thankful to their families and support system that make it possible with all of their young children. “The complexity now is scaling our growth and not allowing quality to suffer,” Dr. Olivia Carleo says. “Our phone is ringing, and people want to come in, but we don’t want to book people too far out because then they might look to go somewhere else.”
They are analyzing how to book their schedule more efficiently and when it may be time to hire more staff or another doctor. “It’s scary because you want to make sure that another doctor would have the right personality and fit to take great care of your patients. And from a staffing standpoint, we feel it’s better to be slightly overstaffed versus understaffed so patient service
Business booms as they provide full-scope care and see a large number of patients for medical eye disease. Many patients who come in for an eye infection often return for their comprehensive care, and their referral network is growing with local ophthalmologists. “We’ve found that many of these specialty groups need to refer their patients who need to update their eyeglasses,” Dr. Olivia Carleo says. “Those referrals for refraction or contact lens fits land in our chair, and those patients can be additional good referral sources when they recommend us to their friends and families.”
Their Vision Source® membership has also helped with making new connections in many areas from referring doctors and new patients to colleagues. One nice benefit is the Vision Source member support team laying some of the groundwork to help provide greater access to patients with medical insurance.
Dr. Olivia Carleo says that one of the biggest benefits has been engaging in the Vision Source monthly meetings in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. “I really enjoy the coming together of all of our minds and talking about topics such as changes in the industry, new products and equipment and difficult situations and how we would handle them,” she says. “With Vision Source, you also get discounts and rebates, and that’s great, but I feel like the camaraderie and meeting on practice management are almost more valuable.” That’s been particularly helpful as the sisters prepare to launch their myopia control specialty services very soon and as they navigate the more challenging areas of their growth.
The doctors continue to receive comments on the yellow stucco building that they had constructed for Vision Veritas, which features a bell tower and a redtiled roof. “We get a lot of compliments about the aesthetics and feel,” she says. Dr. Olivia Carleo says that she knows it’s not always financially possible to make a big statement with your practice, but it is worth the investment. “If you can differentiate yourself just a little bit with something unique, it’s a talking point and people really notice.”