Article Date: 1/1/2014


Dealing With a “Difficult” Patient: Part 1



Welcome to the encyclopedia of patient scripts, or “Scriptopedia,” where I’ll provide you with specific scripts that have resulted in the success of either increasing patient education or the dispensing of a product or service. This month’s column is the first in a three-part series on “Dealing With a Difficult Patient.” This month’s topic: The contact lens patient.

Because contact lenses are now a mass-produced commodity product by Internet retailers, you must recondition current wearers and condition new wearers to understand the value your practice provides when patients purchase lenses from you.

Here are three effective patient scripts delivered by team personnel:

1. Benefits of an Annual Supply: “Sandra, Dr. Clark wants you to have a fresh lens each time you ‘toss and replace,’ according to the wearing schedule he has prescribed for you. I’ll review this with you too. Don’t wear your lenses beyond the wear-schedule date. Your tears produce calcium deposits, which attach like glue to the contact lenses’ backside and then harden into little jagged points. These points can scratch and infect your eyes if you over-wear your lenses. You could be unable to wear contact lenses for a period of time or even permanently as a result. (Show images to your patient of non-compliant contact lens-related complications.) You’d want to avoid that problem, right? By purchasing an annual supply, you’ll have a fresh, sterile lens every time you need one.” (Explain additional annual supply perks, such as manufacturer mail-in savings certificate, etc.)

2. Response to “I’ll buy a partial supply”: “Dr. Clark prescribed a complete supply for you because he wants you to have a fresh, sterile lens every time you need one. Would you like to take advantage of the added savings (i.e. manufacturer rebate and/or instant rebate from the practice), which would lower your total cost? I’ll place the order now so you can see super sharp ASAP.”

3. Response to “I can’t afford it right now”: “Sandra, some people use a credit card, or post-date a check. With the credit card option, we can divvy the total cost into three monthly installments. Or, there’s a chance I can spread your total payments over six months, interest free, so you could take advantage of the rebate and savings. Would that be a good choice? I check on this option, called CareCredit, for patients every day. It takes only a few minutes. It’s a health-specific line of credit with a company we’ve partnered with that can enable you to save on all your eye health needs and sunglasses too. Sound good?”

Mr. Hinton is CEO and president of eYeFacilitate. E-mail him at, or send comments to

Optometric Management, Volume: 49 , Issue: January 2014, page(s): 72