Article Date: 6/1/2009

Boost Your Practice
instrumental strategies

Boost Your Practice

Topography software offers patients a unique service.

PETER E. WILCOX, O.D.

During a slow economy, you can maintain and possibly boost your practice's bottom line by offering unique services.

One such service is corneal topography-based contact lenses, via the Wave design software, from Wave Contact Lens System.

Catch the Wave

Wave allows you to design and deliver a contact lens that almost mirrors the cornea's shape, providing the patient with an excellent chance of achieving optimal vision and comfort, while maintaining his ocular health.

The software accomplishes this by using the topography data along with the patient's prescription to select a basic lens design template that you modify and manipulate to create a lens that will best fit the unique characteristics of the patient's cornea.

You can adjust any single meridian or combination of meridians, and view the results on the topographer's simulated fluorescein map. (Practitioners typically use the Wave software with EyeQuip's Scout topographer, though it's also compatible with the company's Keratron and Piccolo topographers.)

You can design single vision, multifocal, toric, orthokeratology (myopia, hyperopia), small and large diameter and semi-scleral and scleral lenses. (Almost all lens designs are for GP materials.)

The Wave software then enables you to save the design template you've created as a foundation for future use on patients who have similar corneas. Also, Wave offers Wave owners access to a user's group where you can share and exchange design templates.

Once you finish a design, Wave electronically delivers it to an optoform lathe. This means you don't have to worry about contact lens order forms and having to wait on hold to call in orders. You receive your lenses within days, unless — that is — you request overnight delivery.

Notice how the Wave software follows every minute curve of this 3.75D astigmatic cornea.

A Wave of benefits

The Wave software offers several benefits:

► You're not boxed into a limited number of design options.

► You can modify any lens parameter.

► Toric corneal molding allows you to satisfy the visual needs of a broad group of astigmatic patients, while often precluding the need for varying fitting sets for different refractive errors.

► Hyperopic corneal molding enables you to satisfy the needs of the hyperopic patient and offer the growing presbyopic population freedom from reading glasses.

► Semi-scleral wave lens wearers (i.e. those who have a diseased/ post surgical cornea, or those who have single vision or multifocal needs) have said, "This is as comfortable as a soft lens," and "I don't feel it in my eye."

► You'll attract and retain new contact lens patients. This is because you'll become known for solving difficult problems and providing unparalleled optimum vision and comfort.

Just think how grateful patients who have compromised corneas and have suffered years of reduced best-corrected vision or those who have sustained poor refractive surgery outcomes will be.

► Patients will view you as a technologically savvy practitioner who, as a result, provides the most up-to-date care throughout the rest of his or her practice.

► You'll maintain and possibly increase your practice's bottom line. This is because fitting fees are greater for these patients than standard contact lens wearers. In addition, these difficult-to-fit patients will often refer others to your practice.

Using the Wave software is intimidating at first. (The typical learning curve is about two months.) But in addition to the user's group, Wave offers design videos and a help desk for trouble shooting and fine-tuning your contact lens fits.

With one topographer, the Wave software and a willingness to invest the time to gain competence in the software, you can meet your patients' individual vision and comfort needs and create a specialty that makes you stand out from your colleagues.

From there, word of mouth, internal and external marketing tossed in with the requisite splash of professionalism and personality will not only get you through the slow economy, but also have your practice thriving through tomorrow. OM


DR. WILCOX OWNS AND PRACTICES AT THE WILCOX EYE CENTER IN HAYES, VA. HE HAS EXTENSIVE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE IN GLAUCOMA TREATMENT, CATARACT AND REFRACTIVE SURGERY CO-MANAGEMENT AND SPECIALTY CONTACT LENSES, INCLUDING CORNEAL MOLDING. E-MAIL HIM AT DOC@WILCOXEYE.COM.

Optometric Management, Issue: June 2009