prescribing for presbyopia
My Resolutions for Improving My Presbyopic Lens Practice
BY CRAIG W. NORMAN, FCLSA
It's January, so of course it's time for making promises to myself. Get more exercise — check. Lose some pounds — check. Plan better for my family's financial future — check. Improve my presbyopic contact lens practice — definitely, but how?
Here are my resolutions for improving my presbyopic contact lens practice.
I resolve to:
1. Ensure I'm using the latest products. Soft lens manufacturers have expanded design and parameter offerings, especially in silicone hydrogel materials. GP lens labs have done the same by providing new multifocal designs that provide better quality vision at both distance and near. I will investigate what's new and incorporate what I learn into my practice.
2. Evaluate and update my inventory and fitting sets. Do we have the appropriate number of diagnostic lenses in inventory for our patient population, especially regarding silicone hydrogel offerings of new base curves and powers that became available during the past year? While space is always an issue for in-office inventories, I still need to have the right mix of lens types available for efficient fitting.
I know I prefer to order my first pair of presbyopic GPs either empirically or from topography, but I still use trial lenses occasionally. I will make sure these diagnostic sets are all clean, verified and up to date with the present offerings from the GP labs I order from.
|Presbyopia remains a premium category, and I will ensure that our fees for consultation and materials reflect this.|
3. Review my fee structure for presbyopic fitting services and lens materials. Bifocal and multifocal contact lenses are still a true specialty product by design, manufacturing and fitting.
Presbyopia remains a premium category in our practice, and I will make sure that our fees for professional consultation and materials reflect this. I'll also keep in mind that these patients are generally not as price-sensitive as other lens wearers and that they're aware of the complexity of their problem and associated fees because of eyeglass purchases.
4. Review how we communicate contact lenses to our presbyopic patients. I will review any policy changes regarding our presbyopic patients and the products we offer them during our first staff meeting of the year. I'll update the internal marketing pieces we use and ask the manufacturers if they have new presbyopia informational pieces that may be appropriate in my practice.
I will also arrange to mystery shop my practice as well as have mystery calls placed to our office and our local competitors', particularly to inquire about bifocal contact lenses. I haven't done this in several years, but it's a good way to analyze how we're doing with our patient in-person and phone interactions.
5. Mention contact lenses to all appropriate presbyopic patients. I will reiterate to all of our office staff to consider offering multifocal and bifocal contact lenses to appropriate patients. There are so many individual interactions during the course of an eye examination. Positive reinforcement throughout the office visit can easily improve awareness of these designs for our patients. CLS
Craig Norman is director of the Contact Lens Section at the South Bend Clinic in South Bend, Indiana. He is a fellow of the Contact Lens Society of America and is an advisor to the GP Lens Institute. He is also a consultant to B&L.