VISION CARE & WEAR
Don’t Drop the Ball
Preventing dropouts is key to your contact lens business success.
JASON R. MILLER, O. D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O.
Due to contact lens dropout, optometry may be missing large opportunities. The contact lens dropout rate is approximately 15%, with 45% of first-year wearers dropping out, according to a recent study. In addition, each dropout costs your practice $21,695 on average through the lifetime of the patient.1
Here, I discuss the patient touch-points where you can promote excellent contact lens service, and thus, prevent dropouts.
When a patient calls to schedule their contact lens appointment, have your staff say, “Ms. Jones, we have you scheduled next Monday at 2 p.m. Please bring your existing eyewear and any contact lens prescription information with you. Also, if you wear re-usable lenses, please bring your contact lens case and current contact lens solution.”
This script acts as a subtle first step to inform the patient you will be developing a treatment plan that provides them with the best opportunity for contact lens success. You may even surprise them with the level of importance you place on the type of contact lenses they wear and how they are wearing them.
Have your technician briefly discuss new lenses, such as daily disposables, and upgrades over their existing lenses, such as more oxygen transmissibility and enhanced comfort during wear. This way, the patient knows options exist, should they be unhappy with their current lenses.
During the exam
The slit lamp evaluation is a perfect time to discuss the importance of a good contact lens fit and proper compliance with their wearing regimen. Stress the importance of choosing the best lens for their eyes by explaining that a lens fitting too loose, too tight or off-center can have a negative impact on their ocular surface health.
Let your patient know you are going to minimize their risk of any contact lens complications by focusing your efforts on three primary areas:
1. Comfort. This is the most important from the patient perspective and deserves to be the focus of the contact lens evaluation.
2. Vision. Good vision is expected from the patient, but let them know it may take some fine-tuning for some prescriptions (multifocal, toric, etc.).
3. Maintaining proper ocular health. This is makes follow-up appointments a necessity.
Consider saying, “I’m going to focus on providing you the best vision. In addition, I want to make sure your lenses are the most comfortable you have ever worn. So, please provide me with feedback.”
This shows patients you’re dedicated to their satisfaction, which, makes dropouts less likely should they have vision or comfort issues.
A team effort
Through constant communication among the office staff, in which they are kept aware of the fitting process and new technologies, you can deliver a consistent message to patients. Your stellar contact lens service throughout these patient touch-points will give you an excellent chance of preventing dropouts. OM
1. Rumpakis, J. New data on contact lens dropouts: an international perspective. Rev Optom. 2010 Jan;147(1):37-42.
DR. MILLER IS A PARTNER IN A PRIVATE PRACTICE IN POWELL, OHIO, AND IS AN ADJUNCT FACULTY MEMBER FOR THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY. SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.
Optometric Management, Volume: 49 , Issue: January 2014, page(s): 54