As we stay busy with our back to school patients it is important to keep our office operating smoothly. It can be challenging to remember all of the strategies we have implemented and keep to our commitments to provide for and do our best for every patient when we know there are patients waiting and we are running a few (or several) minutes behind schedule. One of the opportunities we know our patients would enjoy is that of cosmetic contact lenses. When we are busy is the thought of color contact lenses the first thing that comes to mind or is that the first thing we push to the wayside? Back to school presents us with a wonderful time of opportunity yet it also can be a serious test of our office processes.
Many of us have struggled with how to help patients select color contact lenses efficiently. We may have had times in the past when patients would be at the contact lens dispensing desk for an hour or more having fun but keeping a valuable contact lens technician from being available to help with the next patient. How do we streamline this process particularly during the back to school season?
Be certain to implement the strategies we discussed in the previous articles including sending patients to the online resources to evaluate the color options before the appointment. In addition, when you are discussing the option of clear and colors in the exam room, ask your patient what color they have always wanted to try. If they respond with a specific color, be certain to pass that along to your team member when you transfer the patient to their care and suggest another color that you know would look great with the patient’s hair and skin color (utilize the tools provided by the vendor to help you gain that knowledge). It is very important to limit the selection process to two or three lenses and have your patients try on only one of each color so they can compare one eye with the other at the contact lens dispensing table. Remind the patient that the colors available today are made to enhance their own beautiful eye color and in some cases transform, whichever they desire.
Another tip to make the selection process more efficient and fun is to make certain your patients evaluate their lenses in a well-lit area so they can see the colors true to life. Remind them that the lenses will look slightly different in different lighting conditions and be certain to keep your myopic patients from evaluating the lens color with the mirror at 3 inches away from their face.
The best way to create an efficient and fun cosmetic contact lens selection experience for our patients is to be engaged in the process, be the expert and be attentive to your patient’s reaction to the lenses to help guide you to the next step. Join me next month with more on how to create an efficient and fun cosmetic contact lens “try-on” experience.
April Jasper, OD, FAAO has a private practice in West Palm Beach, Florida. She serves on several Advisory boards including VSP, Vision Source, Allergan and Alcon. Dr. Jasper is Benedict Professor in practice management at Houston College of Optometry. Her passion is sharing with her colleagues in areas of practice management and technology in an effort to help them become more successful in patient care and personal growth.