Article Date: 1/1/2013

How to Implement Daily Disposables in Your Practice
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HOW TO: Implement Daily Disposables in Your Practice

Follow these tips to prepare for daily disposable patients.

Gregory W. DeNaeyer, O.D., F.A.A.O., COLUMBUS, OHIO

Daily disposable contact lenses offer your practice significant growth potential. They’re a lens modality that many patients not only find more convenient, but also can improve their comfort and prevent contact lens drop out. Thus, daily disposables offer you a way to attract new patients and improve your practice’s profitability.

This article offers you a quick how-to guide on immediately and successfully implementing daily disposable contact lenses into your practice.

Know what’s available.

The global daily disposable market is growing, and manufacturers are responding by offering expanded power availability, designs and material selection. Daily disposables are now available in extended plus and minus spherical powers, as well as increasing toric availability. Multiple manufacturers now offer multifocal designs available as daily disposables. In addition, daily disposables are also available in silicone hydrogel material for spherical patients.

One way to keep up with market changes and updates is to subscribe to a contact lens parameter guide, such as Tyler’s Quarterly.

Order diagnostic fitting sets.

It’s imperative that your office has diagnostic fitting sets. First and foremost, this allows you to immediately fit or refit a potential patient candidate into daily disposables without having to order diagnostic lenses. Readily available fitting sets reduce chairtime and potentially save the patient up to one office visit, making daily disposables a more appealing option. Dispensing a trial pack of lenses allows the patient to experience the advantages that daily disposables have to offer. Take a full-scope approach and stock sets that vary in material and design. Make sure to include plus and minus sphere sets, as well as toric and multifocal sets to meet all your patient needs.

Ask your sales representative for help.

In addition to helping obtain diagnostic fitting sets, contact lens sales representatives have access to marketing programs, such as brochures or advertisements, that practices can utilize to build awareness about their contact lens products. Also, they can help you with rebates and incentive programs that will encourage your patients to try this modality when they’re in your office for an examination.

Educate your staff.

Educating staff members is a critical step in the process of successfully prescribing daily disposable lenses. Patients typically have interactions with multiple staff members before you see them for their exams. Informed personnel are able to answer questions about daily disposables if the topic arises. Schedule staff meetings or have planned lunches with sales representatives to discuss available contact lens options.

Also, you should make your staff aware of these potential daily disposable patients:

Part-time soft lens wearers. These patients, such as those who only wear lenses for sports, often times find daily disposables more economical and convenient. They won’t want to bother with solutions or worry about when to replace a lens.

Patients who want another option for activities or travel. These patients may want to stick with their planned replacement soft lenses but have daily disposable lenses available if necessary.

Patients who are noncompliant with solutions. Daily disposables are perfect for patients who are known to use non-prescribed solutions for cleaning/disinfection or are noncompliant with wear and care instructions, such as topping solutions off.

Children who are new to contact lens wear. Daily disposables significantly simplify contact lens wear for children by eliminating cleaning and disinfection. Also, this patient population’s tendency for noncompliance to their wear and care schedule often leads to poor eye health.

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Daily disposable wearers appreciate not having to rely on a calendar to know when to change their lenses.

Patients who suffer from ocular allergies. Allergens can cumulatively bind to contact lenses, as they are worn through a course of two to four weeks. This can limit wear time or initiate wear discontinuation because this concentrated exposure to environmental allergens can lead to discomfort with lens wear. Daily disposables can alleviate these concerns.

Regular contact lens patients. It’s easy to see these patients for their annual examinations and not prescribe changes or refit them especially if they aren’t specifically complaining about lens wear. However, it takes little effort to have a patient apply daily disposable lenses for evaluation to determine whether he/she can safely trial the lenses for a week after he/she leaves your office. I’ve found that these patients are more likely to pay for a premium lens modality because the benefits that they provide are worth the cost.

The bottom line

The contact lens industry is pushing toward daily disposables as a primary lens option for our soft lens patients. How does all this affect your practice’s bottom line?

First, daily disposables are more profitable than other planned replacement modalities. Depending on upcharge, daily disposables can generate twice as much profit when compared with other planned replacement options. Secondly, your practice is more likely to retain patients who are happy in lenses that they find comfortable and more convenient to use. Satisfied patients are also more likely to recommend family and friends for appointments.

With the right education, planning and marketing, daily disposables have the potential to significantly increase your practice’s revenue. OM

images Dr. DeNaeyer is clinical director for Area Eye Surgeons in Columbus, Ohio. E-mail him at gdenaeyer@arenaeyesurgeons.com, or send comments to optometricmanagement@gmail.com.


Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: January 2013, page(s): 13 14 15