Optometric Management Tip # 488   -   Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Optical Dispensing Instruments

Several companies are selling or leasing camera-based, point of sale devices as an adjunct to optical dispensing.  I saw some of them last week at Optometry's Meeting (AOA) in Salt Lake City.  These instruments offer many advantages to the eye care practice and they create a financial return that is much greater than the cost.

Benefits to your practice

How to implement
These systems are available as a stand-alone kiosk in your dispensary or the unit can be placed on a table.  After selecting one or two frames, the patient is escorted to the instrument and a plastic clip-on device is placed onto the frame and the combination is placed on the patient's face.  Photographs are quickly taken from two angles.

Train your staff to maximize the wow factor of using the system.  Educate the patient by informing them that you are using the most advanced technology for accurately measuring and fitting their new glasses.  This technology allows you to prescribe customized free-form lenses that actually make vision clearer than ordinary lenses.  I like to say that digital lenses are a step beyond the basic lens prescription and it is like having HD in your glasses.

To achieve faster patient flow without a bottleneck to use the device, the photos and measurements can be downloaded to a USB flash drive and carried to any computer in the optical for review with the patient.

Who sells these systems?
Some of the systems on the market include Visioffice by Essilor, i.Terminal by Zeiss, Expert 3 by Activisu, Optikam and I'm sure there are more.  Research the devices online, check with your local wholesale lab or attend the next major eye convention for an actual demonstration.  There are many creative ways to acquire these devices and some labs even offer reward points to help pay for them. 

Best wishes for continued success,

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