The Value of Recommending
BY CARLA J. MACK, OD, MBA, FAAO, EDITOR
I'm passionate about our profession. I'm passionate about what we as clinicians, educators, researchers and all those in industry do to enhance the lives of our patients.
In its simplest terms, we improve the quality of people's lives through eye health and vision care. Or do we? Maybe I should say instead that we try our hardest to ensure that our patients receive the greatest value. Are we concentrating on value instead of the best products or procedures for our patients?
With that thought in mind, I want to discuss the power of prescribing, or what I would call the value of recommending. Who better to determine the eye health and visual needs for your patient than you, the practitioner?
I know there are excellent and extremely capable staff who are reading this and nodding their heads "yes" in agreement with me. They agree because their efficiency in completing a patient's treatment plan improves when the practitioner provides a clear, value-added recommendation for the patient. So, advise your patients on the best — not the second best or third best — but the best solution, prescription, corrective lens or treatment option available for them.
Patients want your highly qualified recommendation. That is why they come to see you. Ask your staff, when you have them discuss contact lens modalities, materials or designs, how often patients say, "Well, what did the doctor recommend? That's what I want."
I also know that some of you feel that you're "selling" when you recommend a specific product that may be priced at a premium. Consider a different perspective. When a surgeon recommends a less invasive arthroscopic procedure to forego a 6-inch scar, do we think the surgeon is up-selling? On the contrary, the surgeon is simply recommending the best option available, consistent with the current state of medical therapy. The more invasive procedure may be just fine for the patient. But as a patient I don't want "just fine" from my medical professional. I want top notch.
As eyecare practitioners, we need to take the same approach. Who better to determine the eye health and visual needs for your patient than you…the practitioner?