Color Lenses Not Available in Her Prescription…Now What?
In the course of fitting color contact lenses we may encounter obstacles on occasion. Readers have asked for help in addressing a few of these obstacles, so here is one you may encounter.
What do you do when a patient asks for color contact lenses and then you find the lenses are not available in her prescription?
The articles thus far have reviewed the importance of beginning the conversation about colors early on in the patient experience. We discussed bringing up the topic when the patient calls to set-up an appointment. We follow a short mention at check-in with a brochure, and the patient enjoys a virtual try on of colors before the exam. After the technician completes the wavefront refraction and we are in the exam room discussing contact lenses, the patient expresses interest in colors. You look at the prescription and know that there is no lens available for her in colors. At this point you have several choices. What do you do?
One option is to tell the patient that colors are not available in her prescription at this time. However, we will keep her name on a list and will call her when the lenses become available. Then go on to describe the lenses that will work in her prescription and move forward with that fitting.
Option two? Let her know that even though her prescription in colors will not be available for “a while,” we would love for her to try on the colors. Then when they become available, we will know which color to order. Even if you don’t know when availability will occur, this “try on” allows the patient to see how beautiful the lenses are. The patient will look forward to future visits with you, tell her friends all about color lens options, and satisfy that need she had to see them on her eyes. This is also an easy way to teach insertion and removal for a first time contact lens patient. After having fun with colors, the patient can put on the correct prescription and move forward with the fitting of the lenses she will take home that day.
The third option is to fit the patient with the corrective contact lenses in clear and also fit her with color contact lenses in plano. Then, when she wants to, she can wear the colors with her glasses just for fun.
It only takes a moment to run through these options with your patient and she will appreciate knowing that you are flexible, caring and will do what it takes to make her happy. Remember it is all about solving patients’ problems and creating an “experience” in our office that our patients cannot live without.
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.