Article Date: 2/1/2008



Training a Champion Staff Who Champions Your Training Message

By Glenda B. Secor, OD, FAAO

Contact lenses and their companion care products are integral to successful lens wear, and their appropriate use greatly enhances a patient's experience. When your staff reinforces your teaching message, patients are more likely to remember and follow your instructions and have a successful outcome.

Contact lens wearers see better and feel better when they maintain a regimen of ongoing, consistent cleaning of their lenses. Good lens care reduces the risk of problems with ocular irritation and when lenses are comfortable on the eye, patients are less likely to discontinue their lens wear due to dryness or other issues.

We condensed the previous statements into a concise, positive message for patients. "Clean contact lenses let you see better, reduce the likelihood of problems and greatly enhance your comfort." I say this to patients during the examination, and my staff reinforces the message. That way, patients know that contact lens care is important to all of us in the office.

I also take a proactive approach to potential problems. "If you have vision problems or pain in the eye, or if your eye gets red, remove the lens and call us."

Elevating Care

Advanced Medical Optics Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of an innovative educational program, Elevate Your Eye (EYE) Care, to help practitioners educate staff and patients about the importance of contact lens care, and, in doing so, improve the safety of these devices.
More than 35 million Americans wear contact lenses.1 Proper cleaning and care of the lenses and the cases are essential. A recent national survey by the Contact Lens Council found that more than 11 million wearers aren't practicing proper contact lens care techniques.2 According to The Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, 80% of all soft contact lens complications are the result of the wearer's failure to follow care instructions.3
Contact lens wearers may not realize that an extra 40 seconds spent rubbing their lenses in the morning and evening could significantly reduce the risk of infection.
According to the Simmons Market Research Bureau, nearly half of all contact lens wearers are between 18 and 34 years of age,4 so AMO enlisted the support of TV reality star, fashion designer and contact lens wearer Lauren Conrad to reach this demographic and encourage them to work closely with their eyecare professionals.
AMO's training team can show your staff how to teach proper lens care to contact lens wearers. Call us today to take part in a staff training program. You'll receive educational materials, acrylic contact lens models for demonstration, compliance materials, instruction videos, posters and samples of COMPLETE® MPS EASY RUB™ formula and Oxysept® UltraCare® Formula.

David W. Hansen, OD, FAAO (DipCL)
Director, Global Professional Services

When we have a new patient in the office, we prescribe the care products by giving them a starter kit and full instructions. We show the new user how to remove the lens, pour a little multipurpose solution into the palm of his hand, add the contact lens and another drop or two of multipurpose solution, rub the contact lens for 10 seconds per side, rinse it, put it in the contact lens case, add fresh multipurpose solution and store it. We discuss the importance of a clean lens case and the rationale for letting it air dry.

About 20% of my patients use a hydrogen peroxide system. It's probably not realistic to expect everyone to use a hydrogen peroxide system because it's more complicated. But it's a great problem-solver.

Staff reinforcement of the message has to be consistent with yours. We have ongoing staff training that we incorporate during lunch meetings or dedicated staff time.

We walk the staff through what we want them to tell patients, including the importance of regular checkups to examine eyes and lenses. Company sales representatives have been very helpful in reviewing the products and how to use them.

When your staff reinforces your teaching message, patients are more likely to remember and follow your instructions and have a successful outcome.

If your patients aren't aware of or don't practice proper lens care, they certainly can develop problems.

Many contact lens issues reported by patients may be easily solved with proper instruction. Patients may not understand the important relationship between the proper lens care system and contact lens success, so reinforcing this message is critical to maintain compliance.

Patients choose our office primarily because we have a reputation for having the latest technology. We have a digital refractive system and all the bells and whistles that are on the cutting edge of eyecare practice today.

Patients choose our office primarily because we have a reputation for having the latest technology. We have a digital refractive system and all the bells and whistles that are on the cutting edge of eyecare practice today. We're using an electronic medical records program, which is allowing us to become paperless. Patients recognize that our practice is forward-looking, and this includes the contact lenses and solutions that we prescribe. We always try to offer something new in our office — the latest equipment, contact lenses or care products.

In addition, we always discuss all of the current and future options patients may have. I believe this shows patients that we are always thinking about what's best for their eyes and their special circumstances. This attention to detail builds patient loyalty and enhances referrals.

Dr. Secor is a 1978 graduate of the Indiana University School of Optometry.
She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a Diplomate of the Cornea and Contact Lens Section and the current Immediate Past Chair of the Section on Cornea and Contact Lens.
Dr. Secor has been active with the American Optometric Association, most recently serving as the New Practitioner Practice Management Project Team Chair. Her honors include "Young OD of the Year" from the California Optometric Association and "OD of the Year" from the Orange County Society.
Dr. Secor is in private practice in Huntington Beach, Calif.
She's been selected as a Distinguished Practitioner in Optometry for the National Academies of Practice and was named one of the "50 Most Influential Women in Optical" in 2004 by Vision Monday.
She's been a clinical investigator for numerous manufacturers and has lectured, edited and published extensively.

I had my own contact lens specialty practice within an ophthalmology group for 25 years before I became a solo practitioner 3 years ago. The principles I've outlined here have withstood the test of time. Speaking from experience, I can assure you that success is built on a champion staff that champions your teaching.

Elevate Your Eye (EYE) Care Campaign at a Glance

AMO is dedicated to advancing the science of vision through the continuous development of products and technologies that enhance patient outcomes and improve practitioner productivity.

As a result, AMO launched the Elevate Your Eye (EYE) Care campaign to educate patients on doctor-recommended lens cleaning techniques and to raise awareness about the proper care for contact lenses so they can maximize the benefits of lens wear. Produced in partnership with eyecare practitioners, EYE Care seeks to keep eyes healthy and decrease the risk of eye infection.

Back to Basics

Rubbing and rinsing the contact lenses is an essential step in a lens-cleaning regimen. Proper rubbing techniques can help ensure that the buildup of protein and biofilm is removed from the lenses.

Reframe the Mindset

The public has come to view contact lenses and contact lens solutions as interchangeable consumer commodities. It's important to remind patients that contact lenses are medical devices that require a compatible lens care system. The patient's vision should be checked at least once a year by an eyecare practitioner and the contact lenses changed as prescribed.

Pact to Act

Practitioners and patients should be partners. Patients are faced with a multitude of options for cleaning, storing and disinfecting contact lenses and lens cases. The practitioner is educated in contact lens materials and their compatibility with contact lens care systems. The practitioner and staff help the patient find the best regimen, multipurpose solution or hydrogen peroxide system, or both, that fits with the patient's contact lenses and lifestyle needs.

Executive Spotlight: Angelo Rago, Senior VP of Global Customer Services

Angelo Rago has been senior vice president, global customer services, since February 2007, and served as vice president of customer support from June 2005 to February 2007.

Mr. Rago joined AMO after a 17-year career with Siemens Medical, where he held a number of senior management positions in both the service and product development areas.

From November 2001 to June 2005, Mr. Rago was vice president of global customer services for the oncology care division of Siemens Medical, and from September 1998 to November 2001, he was vice president of worldwide service for their nuclear medicine division.

How is the global customer services department structured to serve the customer?

Our team has two areas of focus. The customer support team supports the customers for all lines of business worldwide. This team is responsible for order entry, customer advocacy, returns, consignment management, master data management and implant registration. The customer support team is based in Irvine, Calif., Dublin, Ireland, and Singapore, with additional sites in Santa Clara, Calif., Japan, Australia and India.

The technical services team supports all of AMO's equipment globally. The field operations teams in each market have the responsibility for our equipment support by a relationship with the rest of the team, much like a skilled scrub nurse supports the surgeon in the operating room. At the moment the surgeon reaches out for an instrument, the scrub nurse places the right instrument in the surgeon's hand. The technical services team includes field operations, technical support, service development, spare parts management and service contract management. The equipment team is based in Irvine and Santa Clara, Calif., with support locations in Dublin, Ireland, Singapore and Tokyo.

Global Customer Services has been the catalyst for a major initiative at AMO. Can you tell us about it?

Global customer services is a strategic focus for AMO. We embarked on a program to enhance customer loyalty more than 2 years ago. As part of that program, we employed several unique tools to better understand our customers and improve their experiences.

One of the components, a detailed analysis of our customer support systems, proved very useful in identifying key areas for improvement. To give a simple example, we found that customers had to choose from several names and numbers to reach various groups within AMO. It sometimes took several calls that added no value.

The good news was, when they reached the right person and that person had the right tools, problems were resolved more quickly than when they had to go through several people. We looked at different options and determined that upgrading our call center and instituting a computerized issues management system would make it easier for our customers to reach the right person and expedite problem resolution.

We went live with the new, upgraded system on Jan. 1, 2008. Customers in each region are able to get all of their shipping-related, order-related or product-related problems resolved by calling a single central phone number. This is just one example of our customer services initiative at AMO.

What has the acquisition of IntraLase meant to AMO's customer service group?

IntraLase developed an excellent team and outstanding customer service. Therefore, we assembled a broad team from both groups to evaluate the IntraLase and AMO processes and identify the best practices we can use moving forward. As we go live with our program in the first quarter of 2008, we will bring these processes to our global team in a unified and consistent manner based on the SAP enterprise system. This will create a systematic approach for us to ensure we're improving the experience of our refractive customers around the globe.

How does AMO measure customer services?

AMO gathers both internal metrics and external data to understand the value we provide to our customers. Data show that 80% of our cornea customers and 62% of our cataract customers are willing to recommend AMO to their colleagues. These numbers are huge, especially when you consider that best-in-class in most industries is 30% loyalty. What's even more impressive is that external measures of AMO performance, such as data from MarketScope, show a 6-point improvement in 1 year in satisfaction with AMO services and products. Due to the outstanding performance of the AMO team, we're recognized by external groups, such as the Customer Contact Council, Washington, D.C., as a best practice partner in the area of customer service.

What motivates you when you walk in the front door of the corporate offices each morning?

I consider it a privilege to work in an organization that helps patients improve their quality of life. This is something I came to recognize very early in my career, as I moved from consumer products to the medical industry where I've served for more than 20 years.

I've worked in solutions for cancer treatment, cancer diagnostics, heart disease and now vision care. Seeing the joy on patients' faces when we're able to help them drives me even harder.

I love AMO's tag line "Vision. For Life." That puts all the focus on the patient. The eyecare practitioner and his or her team support the patient. The patient could be you, your spouse or your mother. Our job is to provide outstanding support to the practitioner to ensure success in serving the patient.

Two years ago, AMO set out to examine and revamp its customer service program. I was fortunate to be offered the challenge and opportunity to lead this initiative. In November 2005, I received approval from key executive leaders to move forward on a plan we had developed. Some people doubted it was possible to move so quickly, but enough people believed in the vision that we were ready to deliver.

How would you describe the program?

Global Customer Services is about creating value through serving our customers. Value creation comes with each customer you contact. The new framework of customer service is made up of people, processes and technology. Each person on the customer support, technical services and value-added services teams is responsible for providing the best possible outcome for the customer. Each team has processes to ensure that the team members have what they need to meet each customer's needs. Technology links them all globally. Processes, combined with technology, ensure that people can deliver customer service with continuity and consistency so all customers receive the same high level of service, whether they're in Chicago, Quebec, Frankfurt, Sydney, Tokyo or Mumbai.

References from column on page 1 by Dave Hansen, OD, FAAO (DipCL):
  1. University of California Berkeley School of Optometry,
  2. Contact Lens Council,
  3. Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists,
  4. Contact Lens Wearers. Simmons Market Research, San Diego, Calif. Simmons Database NCS/NCHS Full Year 2006, queried June 2007 by Meyer HA. Golin Harris PR Agency, Chicago.

The AMO Advanced Medical Optics logo, AMO, COMPLETE, the COMPLETE logo, ULTRACARE, OXYSEPT, BLINK CONTACTS and BLINK-N-CLEAN are registered trademarks, and EASY RUB and blink are trademarks of Advanced Medical Optics Inc.

Did You Know?

The main barrier to compliance with a contact lens cleaning regimen is the patient's belief that it's unimportant.

More than 44% of contact lens wearers always or occasionally top off their contact lens case with new solution rather than emptying and cleaning it out after each use.

Fewer than half (46%) of the respondents clean their lens case after each use, even though the majority of eyecare professionals (71%) recommend that patients clean their case after each use.

Nearly half (49%) of contact lens wearers wear their lenses longer than the recommended replacement schedule.

Nearly 1 in 5 wear their contact lenses more than a month longer than the manufacturer's recommended replacement schedule.

Source: The Contact Lens Council;

Product Spotlight


OXYSEPT® ULTRACARE® is a disinfecting, neutralizing and storage system for daily and extended wear soft (hydrophilic) contact lenses in a chemical contact lens care system.

Previously known as the ULTRACARE® Disinfecting System, OXYSEPT® ULTRACARE® is a sterile 3% hydrogen peroxide solution that disinfects the contact lens.

An OXYSEPT® ULTRACARE® delayed-release neutralizing tablet is added at the beginning of the disinfection cycle. The tablet causes the solution to turn pink to show that the tablet has been added. The tablet allows disinfection to occur before neutralizing the solution all in one easy step. OXYSEPT®ULTRACARE® is formulated with a lubricant, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC), for additional assurance of ocular comfort.


Blink Contacts® Lubricant Eye Drops work with the eye's natural tears to provide longlasting comfort for people who wear gas permeable and soft contact lenses.


COMPLETE® Blink-N-Clean® Lens Drops lubricate and rewet contact lenses, help prevent protein film build-up and remove particulate material that may cause irritation and/or discomfort during lens wear. These drops can be used with soft or gas permeable lenses.


AMO's COMPLETE® MPS EASY RUB™ Formula was launched with a Patient Compliance System that emphasizes proper hygiene and the importance of a rub-andrinse care regimen.

The regimen has been proven effective against ocular pathogens and noncytotoxic to the corneal epithelium. The system is easy to follow and use, and covers all of the key elements of good contact lens care.

Good contact lens care helps protect the corneal epithelial barrier against trauma, supports the ocular immune system by reducing microbial overload and reduces the risk of ocular infection.

Optometric Management, Issue: February 2008