Article Date: 11/1/2011

Give Patients an <i>Autograph</i>
spectacle focus

Give Patients an Autograph

Ophthalmic lens overcomes prescription and frame limitations

Melissa Short, Contributing Editor

Upon entering your practice, a patient, who's presented for her annual eye exam, is immediately drawn to a frame in your optical. After signing in, she tries on the frame, turns to your optician and says: “I really like this. Can you hold on to it for me for when I'm done with my exam?” Your optician happily agrees. Roughly 15 minutes later, the patient emerges from the exam room and hands the optician her prescription. “I'm sorry,” the optician says. “The lenses available in this prescription aren't going to fit in this frame.” Deflated, the patient agrees to look at those frames that will work, though eventually walks with her prescription. Sound like a familiar scenario?

To decrease this scenario's occurrence, and, thereby, increase patient satisfaction, loyalty, referrals and practice income, you should consider offering the Autograph II lens, from Shamir, say those interviewed for this column.

“The Autograph II has enabled my practice to stand out from others, in that it's expanded the amount of frame designs my patients with high and/or complex prescriptions can choose from,” explains Henry Kikunaga, O.D., of Chula Vista, Calif. “In addition to that, the lens offers diminished visual distortion.”

Features

The Autograph II is available in a fixed and variable corridor progressive, single vision, “the Attitude” (wrap sunwear for presbyopic patients) and “the Office,” the latter of which is a progressive lens that takes into account measurements from your patient's work environment. Each version of the Autograph II lens is comprised of the following:

EyePoint Technology and Prescriptor software. These features assess the patient's prescription, PD, frame measurements and personal lifestyle preferences to determine the best lens for the patient.

As-Worn Technology. This takes into account the patient's pantoscopic tilt, panoramic angle and vertex distance to fine tune the prescription and provide the patient with the most accurate vision for their selected frame style, Shamir says.

Freeform technology. This technology, which is lens production equipment, takes into account the information from the aforementioned technologies to produce a digitally back-surfaced lens comprised of both the prescription and the selected frame shape. It allows each Shamir Autograph II lens to be made with an optical accuracy of 0.01D, according to the company.

“The Freeform technology produces a keyhole effect, enlarging the viewing area and decreasing unwanted peripheral astigmatism,” explains Rick Bartlett, O.D., of Statesville, N.C.

Minh T. Duong, O.D., of Meridian, Miss. adds that patients have told him the lens' widened viewing area has improved their driving vision, as it can eliminate the blind spot.

“Using the Autograph II PAL lenses, I was able to successfully dispense a pair of Base-8 sunglasses to a progressive-wearing high hyperope (+6.00D) who had moderate astigmatism (-2.75 cylinder),” says Dr. Kikunaga. “The patient was thrilled she got to wear the sunglasses she wanted with distortion-free vision.”

“The Autograph II expands the amount of frame designs my patients with high and/or complex prescriptions can choose from . . . and the lens offers diminished visual distortion,” says Dr. Kikunaga.

Practice benefits

Drs. Kikunaga, Bartlett and Duong say offering the Autograph II lens has resulted in increased confidence in offering progressive lenses, patient satisfaction with regard to frame choice and vision, a growth in practice revenue, and it has helped distinguish their practices from others.

“Progressive lenses must provide consistently good vision to satisfy the patient,” Dr. Duong explains. “The Autograph II delivers on this, and, therefore, gives my opticians and I the confidence to offer these lenses to presbyopic patients.”

Dr. Kikunaga says that most of the patients in whom he's fit the lens frequently comment on the “natural” and “clear vision” they experience with “less distortion,” and the fact that they can choose the frames they like regardless of the lens.

Dr. Duong adds that the Autograph II lenses have provided a high financial return because re-makes on the lenses tend to be minimal by virtue of a strong adaptation rate, and they don't require a lot of chairtime because the fitting process is so intuitive.

Finally, all three practitioners agree that offering the lens has enhanced their practice's reputation for offering the latest technology.

“The Autograph II has definitely helped my practice stand out from others in the area,” says Dr. Kikunaga. “This separation from others also helps improve one's bottom line because it both binds current patients and attracts new ones to your practice.” OM


MS. SHORT IS A FREELANCE WRITER BASED IN OAHU, HAWAII.

Optometric Management, Issue: November 2011