Optometric Management Tip # 480   -   Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Scribes Dramatically Increase Contact Lens Profitability

It's obvious that I'm bullish on scribes, but the benefits of using them in contact lens practice are so profound that you really must consider adding the technique to your office routine.

Efficiency is as good as raising fees
There are two very important factors in your contact lens profitability: your fees and your time. I assume you have already set your fees as high as you can, given market conditions, but most practices I see are still very inefficient when it comes to contact lens fitting. If you can reduce the chair time and doctor time needed to fit a patient, you will have more appointment slots available for other patients and your revenue will increase.

Most optometrists are still fitting contact lenses the same way they were taught in school and have not made a significant change in office procedures for many years. Yet, contact lens technology has changed markedly along with managed care trends and competition for contact lens product sales. We must adapt our practices to the new market conditions to remain viable.

Analyze your fitting philosophy
We really should think of contact lenses differently than we did in the old days. Consider these traditional ideas.

Scribes can change your fitting process
Let's take a look at typical contact lens procedures in use today. Let's assume a patient is in for a comprehensive eye exam and has an interest in contact lenses either a new fit or a significant refit. The doctor usually performs the following steps and the amount of time really adds up.

Let's look at the process in my model using a scribing technician:

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management