Article Date: 9/1/2005

Wise to the World

Phone Power

NOTHING TURNS off patients like a negative telephone experience. Wouldn't you be annoyed if you called your doctor, only to get lost in a complex phone tree or greeted with a terse "Hold please"?

You can train your staff to avoid these and other common mistakes with "From 'Hello' to 'Goodbye': Telephone Success in a Wink" from Wink Productions. "Many doctors don't realize they give the most important tool in their office to under-trained employees," says Sue Connelly, F.C.L.S.A., a founding partner of Wink Productions. "This tool needs to be treated with respect to send the right message about your business. Training can help staff achieve this goal."

This training program includes:

To learn more about "Telephone Success in a Wink," or to watch a sample clip, go to

Upgrading Happy Patients

You may be tempted to keep happy contact lens patients in their current brands, but they deserve to try today's newer, safer materials and advanced designs. Even patients who resist change may be receptive to an "upgrade," especially when they learn about the health and comfort benefits offered by new contact lens materials. Upgrade options include:

Even if patients decide to stay with their current contact lenses, you'll be planting a seed that may prompt them to ask for an upgrade the next time they see you.

  Neil A. Pence, O.D., F.A.A.O., Bloomington, Ind.

Children and Contact Lenses

SOME PARENTS think their children are too young to take care of contact lenses properly. However, a report from the Adolescent and Child Health Initiative to Encourage Vision Empowerment (ACHIEVE)* Study suggests that children as young as 8 years of age can wear daily disposable contact lenses safely.

"The objective of the ACHIEVE Study is to evaluate differences in self-perception between children who wear contact lenses and those who wear eyeglasses," says Jeffrey J. Walline, O.D., Ph.D., a research scientist at The Ohio State University College of Optometry in Columbus. "We won't have final results until 2008, but our preliminary results have shown that children in the ACHIEVE contact lens group routinely wear and care for daily disposable soft lenses independent of their parents."

This is good news for O.D.s who want to expand their contact lens practice. "Most O.D.s won't prescribe contact lenses to children under 12 years of age," Dr. Walline says. "The ACHIEVE Study is raising awareness that children as young as 8 years old can wear contact lenses responsibly. We should remember this and offer contact lenses as an alternative to eyeglasses for correcting myopia."

*The ACHIEVE Study is sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Institute.


Are you worried there aren't enough private practices to go around? An informal survey among industry experts conducted by Marilee Blackwell, M.B.A., C.P.A., A.I.B.A., O.D., from Blackwell Consulting, found that 850 to 1,400 optometry practices are sold each year.


Optometric Management, Issue: September 2005