As I pulled out my summer clothes this past spring, I wondered whether they still fit or whether I still wanted to wear them—and are cargo pants still in? Consider looking at your contact lens business and asking yourself the same types of questions: What kind of eyecare practice do I have? Do I still want to fit the same contact lenses that I was fitting two, three, or 10 years ago, or should I be adopting some of the newer designs? Take these steps to transform your contact lens offerings and bring in something new.
1. Toss Out Those Old Fitting Sets
The really great part about being engaged in the current contact lens industry is all of the new options that we now have to offer our patients. In every modality, there are new options in the spherical, toric, specialty, and multifocal contact lens designs. New fittings sets arrive, and many eyecare providers take some time to see whether or how the new contact lenses will fit into their practice.
The good and the bad of this is that we then need to figure out what to do with all of the fit sets sitting around the office. There is only so much real estate available to store them, and choices need to be made to maximize both efficiency and success. I evaluate the sets that we have and look to move some of the older sets into our graveyard area, which is the holding tank for a short period of time before they are permanently moved into the recycle bin.
2. Jump Right in and Start Using New Fitting Sets
I am bad about wearing new clothes when I buy them. I need to take a little time to break them in. I get a new shirt, and for a while I am not sure where to wear it until I get comfortable with it.
With contact lenses, try to avoid that strategy. Instead, jump right in and start learning the benefits of each new lens design. Don’t try to prescribe them for just your most difficult patients, fit them in your successful wearers as well. At least make the offer.
For example, tell successful wearers: “this new lens X may provide improved night vision along with extended comfort for those long days.” Many patients who state that their current lenses are fine may not even know that they have a new option and that they don’t have to just settle for the same old lens.
3. Relate to Today’s Visual World
Let your patients know that the modern practice of excessive screen time can lead to chronic eye fatigue. According to a nationwide survey of 9,840 American adults, 87% use digital devices for more than two hours per day, and more than 52% regularly use two digital devices simultaneously (The Vision Council, 2016). Eye strain and other bothersome visual symptoms occur in 50% to 90% of computer workers; these problems can range from physical fatigue, decreased productivity, and increased numbers of work errors to minor annoyances such as eye twitching and red eyes (www.allaboutvision.com/cvs/irritated.htm ).
Prescribe contact lens options that may improve patients’ daily visual tasks. Offer something new and innovative. Consider making these changes to transform your practice; but better yet, consider consistent transformation in the years to come as technology advances. CLS
For references, please visit www.clspectrum.com/references and click on document #263.