At the Eye Center of Houston, 85% of the patient base qualifies for government assistance and only 10-15% have commercial vision plans. Instead of viewing this as a hurdle, Faheem Inayatali, OD, strives to give his community—who face many challenges—an unorthodox experience at his practice.
A luxurious optical with the latest medical technology completely sets the Eye Center of Houston apart from other medical professionals in the area. Patients fill out intake forms on iPads, and patients are frame styled according to their facial structure. Parents who must bring their children with them for appointments at the practice can utilize a modern surveillance camera system to keep their eyes on their children, who are kept occupied by dedicated staff members in a play area. The staff communicates via smart watches and radios for instant communication for enhanced patient care. Patients are even given the option to have their A1c measured at the end of their visits, as Dr. Inayatali recognizes that diabetes often goes undetected in his patient population. And at the end of each patient’s visit, they are asked to model their new frames in the practice’s photography studio to be shared on social media.
The Eye Center of Houston has made a concerted effort to create and sustain relationships with urgent care clinics and nursing homes throughout Houston. The practice is now the exclusive referral center for more than 15 urgent care clinics in its 30-mile radius. It also services more than 10 nursing homes and adult day care centers each year, for which Dr. Inayatali and two technicians visit to refract and diagnose ocular conditions and provide glasses.
Dr. Inayatali is also passionate about advancing the profession through his work with current and future optometrists. He co-founded a national nonprofit organization, Student Optometric Leadership Network (SOLN), to provide a foundation for private practice optometry by helping develop leadership skills and bridging the gap between students and independent optometry.
Through his work at the Eye Care Center of Houston, Dr. Inayatali also became more cognizant of the community’s unmet needs. After he saw how many children develop amblyopia or end up diagnosed with ADHD, he developed a nonprofit in 2017 called Eye Give Sight. A percentage of every eyewear purchase at the Eye Center of Houston is donated to the organization, which provides patients in need with eye exams, diagnostic medical testing, and pairs of glasses.