Optometric Management Tip # 66   -   Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Your Optical Order Form

The delivery of a new pair of eyeglasses is what management experts call a moment of truth in an optometric practice. It is a major event in the patient's perception of the quality of care you deliver.

If the dispensing visit goes smoothly and easily - the patient leaves your office with confidence, and is likely to be pleased with his new eyeglasses, and is more likely to refer others. To foster successful eyewear dispensing, it is important to have a few key bits of information available immediately to the optician or optometric technician who delivers the glasses and adjusts the fit.

By designing your optical order form - or job ticket - effectively, you make it easier for your staff to handle and educate each patient properly. Consider having your printer include a section with check boxes that denote the following: It is an easy matter for a previous technician, who is placing the order, to check the appropriate boxes, since he or she is working with the patient and is familiar with the case. You may think of additional factors that would be helpful to know at delivery. Since the optical order form usually stays with the glasses until they are dispensed - it is the natural place to put this information. The dispensing technician can see at a glance, the factors that would require some extra patient education, or special consideration if testing nearpoint acuity at the dispensing table.

The dispensing technician initials and dates the bottom of the order form, so we have a record of the delivery, and the form is filed away later with the patient's chart.

One other very handy bit of information we incorporate into our optical forms is a blank to write in the balance due. Our practice always requires payment in full when materials are dispensed, and having either a zero or a dollar amount written in the upper right hand corner allows the technician to request payment gracefully, or just say thank you and goodbye.

Best wishes for continued success,

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