to Patients' Needs
JOSEPH T. BARR, OD, MS, FAAO, EDITOR
really should read Mark Ritson, PhD's article in this issue. While working for the
London Business School, the Melbourne Business School in Australia associate professor
guided his 15 graduate students through a strategic analysis (in Europe) of the
relative value and profitability of contact lens-only patients compared to contact
lens patients who also acquire spectacles and spectacle-only patients. The study
was sponsored by Euromcontact, which is composed of Bausch & Lomb, CIBA Vision,
Johnson & Johnson, Allergan and Essilor.
of all, and Dr. Ritson agrees, proper patient care comes first. But once we make
sure that patients are good candidates for contact lenses and once we fit, instruct
and monitor them properly, then we can and should consider how we profit from various
types of patients. We've had reports in the past in Contact Lens Spectrum
about the relative profitability of contact lens (and spectacle) patients vs. spectacle-only
patients (Pier, Hanks, Christensen). But these authors reported on just one practice,
and brilliant practitioners operating in carefully controlled settings aren't necessarily
proof, as is Dr. Ritson's study, that a concept is generalizable to most practices.
The results of the London Business School study show that in more
than 200 practices among five countries and there's no reason to believe
that the same doesn't hold true in the United States the evidence is clear.
In short: Contact lens patients are 60 percent more profitable than are spectacle-only
patients. And we also know that contact lens patients are more loyal and they return
more frequently for care. We also know that proactively recommending contact lenses
to good patient candidates is far more likely to result in new contact lens wearers.
And in this day and age, few patients are poor candidates. So, fitting contact lenses
seems to be a win-win situation: Your patients get what they want proper
contact lens and spectacle care and your practice profits.
Contact Lens Spectrum, Issue: March 2006