Article Date: 7/1/2006

instrumental strategies
A Leg Up On Patient Education
This software helps you inform patients and improve efficiency.
ROBERT BROOKS, O.D.

One of the most important things we do is educate patients about their ocular health as well as the benefits of the materials we prescribe. This can be a very time-consuming process, but new technology helps tremendously. Ocutouch 360 illustration software from Trevi Technology not only educates, but also allows me to delegate tasks to further improve office efficiency.

Ocutouch 360

COMPATIBILITY: Intel Pentium III (800 Mhz) Processor, Windows 2000 or XP; 64MB of RAM, 200MB of disc space; and 1 USB port
NUMBER OF PROGRAMS: Seven
IMAGES:
Animated medical illustrations
PRICE:
$1,195.

Getting the message across

The software features seven programs, including a looped waiting room presentation, educational narratives for the exam and consult rooms, a complete anatomy of the eye, an interactive, comprehensive contact lens trainer, an optical dispensary assistant and prepared seminar presentations to use in any area of the office. In the exam room, for instance, after my technicians finish the patients' work-up and review their ocular history, they ask if the patient would like to view an Ocutouch animated narrative explaining their ocular condition or a product that we may have discussed during pre-testing.

Each program uses animated medical illustrations. I run the software on a PC with a 19" flat-screen monitor in the exam room. This occupies the wait the patient has while I am with another patient.

Once I finish reviewing my findings with the patient, the technicians play illustrations again, these based on that day's exam results.

Improve profitability

This program has all the bells and whistles to assist in selling add-ons and premium lenses. When I prescribe glasses, I review my findings with both the patient and the optician. The optician can then use the software program to reinforce the features and benefits of the prescription, such as UV-protection, scratch-resistant or antireflective coatings, polarized or progressive lenses or tints. The software demonstrates the actual effects of lens coatings, for example, in nine common lifestyle situations such as outdoors, or nighttime driving — whatever is relevant to the patient. This helps eliminate sticker shock because the patient can focus on the benefits of the lens enhancements, not just the cost.

Covering all your bases

One of my favorite modules is the waiting room module, which has 23 animated narratives that explain 13 eye care subjects such as cataracts, glaucoma or refractive surgery. It also features demonstrations of 10 lens upgrades, tints and coatings. I can even include my own multimedia commercial about my practice.

These features make it a great educational tool and stimulate patients' interest while they wait for their appointments with me. I've found that Ocutouch is a great investment that has paid for itself. Not only does it enhance your image as a doctor, it tremendously benefits the patient.

DR. BROOKS PRACTICES IN GREENUP, KY. HE IS VICE PRESIDENT OF THE KENTUCKY BOARD OF OPTOMETRIC EXAMINERS AND PAST PRESIDENT OF THE KENTUCKY OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION. CONTACT HIM AT DRRBROOKS@HOTMAIL.COM.



Optometric Management, Issue: July 2006