Article Date: 2/1/2013

Instrument Focus
instrument focus

Upgrade Your Refraction

Analyzer provides extensive information to shorten exam times.

images

CORRIE PELC, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

When optometrists can perform quick and accurate refractions, they can see more patients each day, which leads to greater revenue.

This is one of the primary reasons to consider purchasing the Marco OPD-Scan III refractive power/corneal analyzer for your practice, along with its ability to capture essential data and ultimately elevate patient satisfaction, say those interviewed.

Overview

The Marco OPD-Scan III collects 2,520 real data points by administering 23 diagnostic metrics — including autorefraction, keratometry, pupillometry, corneal topography and wavefront aberrometry — in 10 seconds per eye. The machine evaluates the patient’s entire visual system to determine whether the patient’s vision is “clean” or “unclean,” and auto-selects the best refraction start point (an “unclean” system has spherical aberrations that can cause distortion or glare, especially at night).

The device provides a number of topographical 3D maps of the cornea, says Suzanne Offen, O.D., F.C.O.V.D., of Westfield, N.J.

“There are so many different types of maps, it’s almost overwhelming in the beginning when you start using this,” she adds. “It’s incredible the amount of information it gives.”

John Warren, O.D. of Racine, Wisc., says his staff uses the OPDScan III on patients during pre-testing, and the results are loaded directly into his refraction system. This gives him access to all this information when his patients are in the exam chair.

images

The Marco OPD-Scan III collects 2,520 real data points by administering 23 diagnostic metrics.

“I use the autorefraction that comes from the device — it’s that accurate to start my refraction with,” he explains. “And then I use the aberrometry and topography data to identify patients who might benefit from a specific prescription for night vision, because, as the pupil gets larger in some patients, their prescription changes.”

Dr. Offen says the amount of information the OPD-Scan III provides also allows her to detect changes in patients’ lenses and even early cataracts. And since it provides refraction in both the central part of the cornea and the peripheral zone, she says she has been able to diagnose increasing myopia in young children.

Procedure

A patient is positioned in the chin rest on the OPD-Scan III and, with the push of a button, he/she is auto-aligned, according to Dr. Offen.

From there, the device begins the refraction by showing the patient a picture of a hot air balloon, which Dr. Offen says imitates the patient looking very far away and gives the refraction from that point. “It gives you both a daytime and a nighttime refraction, the patient’s pupil size and a third refraction, which is the wavefront refraction,” she says.

Lastly, the OPD-Scan III flashes blue rings, which she says is the placido disc target that collects the patient’s corneal topography. Additionally, Dr. Offen has the data uploaded directly to her office’s EHR system upon completion.

Training

After setting up the OPD-Scan III on this own, Dr. Warren says a Marco representative came to his practice for a half-day training session with his staff. This helped them to get fully operational with the new device.

Later, Dr. Warren says he needed to contact Marco customer service about an issue. “Their tech was actually able to remote in, access the OPD-Scan, change a setting, and it was taken care of,” he says.

Return on investment

To help pay for the new machine, Dr. Offen has been making the corneal topography mandatory for all her contact lens patients, and charging them an additional $30 for the office visit. By doing this, she says she will break even in about a year and a half.

Dr. Warren says the OPD-Scan III has been a “great referral generator,” as patients are impressed by the new technology and how much information it gives them about their eyes. And he says he has seen a marked increase in his prescription eyewear sales as, through the refracting system, he can show patients how the new prescription will improve their vision.

“I’ve had patients with a quarter to a half sphere change and a little cylinder change,” he explains. “I showed them their original prescription and then the new prescription, and they would say ‘Wow, that’s better.’ So they would just make the decision for themselves to update their glasses.”

Additionally, Dr. Warren says having the nighttime prescription has helped him with second pair sales. “Because of the OPD collecting night vision data, I can also demonstrate a night vision prescription vs. their day prescription in those patients,” he adds. OM

MS. PELC IS A FREELANCE WRITER BASED IN SACRAMENTO, CALIF. SHE HAS WRITTEN FOR BOTH CONSUMER AND TRADE PUBLICATIONS AND IS THE FORMER COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER FOR THE CALIFORNIA OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION. E-MAIL HER AT CORRIE.PELC@GMAIL.COM, OR SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.



Optometric Management, Issue: February 2013, page(s): 56 57