Article

CLINICAL: Contact Lenses

Keep the Patient Front and Center

Make comfort and convenience primary endpoints

With so many new contact lenses, manufacturer sales representative messaging, manufacturer rebates and doctor alliance relationships, it’s easy to get confused about which contact lens to grab when fitting the patient sitting in your exam chair. To cut through the noise, let’s keep our patients front and center by focusing on those attributes important to them, namely comfort and convenience.

COMFORT

Obviously, vision is important and part of our inherent professional core but, from the patient perspective, comfort is equally important. Let’s focus on choosing a lens that will maximize all-day comfort.

This is something that needs to be questioned of every contact lens patient, even if they are not complaining about discomfort. We should utilize the phrase, “I want to maximize the comfort you feel in your contact lenses. Are you experiencing any level of discomfort at any time throughout your contact lens-wearing day?” I then go on to describe the new innovations with contact lens materials and enhanced moisture to improve the contact lens wearing experience. When appropriate, I refit patients to maximize their comfort.

Yakobchuk Olena/stock.adobe.com

CONVENIENCE

Let’s focus on making it easy for these patients to do business with us. We can do so by making it look easy via a practiced process that runs seamlessly. For example:

  • Being ready for new wearers. This means multiple staff members are trained for contact lens insertion and removal sessions. This session needs to be approached with a positive attitude and to celebrate success with these contact lens newbies. (For more information, see bit.ly/ContactLensTeam .)
  • Being ready for refits. This includes having the prescription in office with the specific contact lens design needed for the patient. We want to ensure our diagnostic lenses are refilled regularly, and that there is space for the newest fitting sets on the market.
  • Trying new things. This may be a new multifocal lens design or a newly designed stabilizing system for toric contact lenses. The point being most patients like an upgrade. Let’s at least make the offer and describe why the patient should consider wearing the new lens design. We may be surprised at the number of patients who will accept.

IDENTIFYING NEW PATIENTS

Whether it is part of an emerging contact lens market, such as myopia control designs or improvements in current markets, such as multifocal toric upgrades or enhanced spherical designs for dry eye patients, let’s look to grow our contact lens wearers, some of whom may not have been able to wear contact lenses in the past. They deserve this opportunity too.

CONVENIENCE AND COMFORT

Let’s focus on the core values from the patient’s perspective, which always includes convenience and comfort. Also, let’s consider ways to make the experience of wearing contact lenses positive. If we can keep our patients front and center, then growth in our contact lens business will follow. OM