Provide Innovative Solutions—Even to Happy Patients
For Chris Smiley, OD, the value of an eye exam lies in the opportunities it provides to improve the visual experience and comfort of his patients —and that includes even “happy patients.” That’s a departure from conventional optometric training. “As clinicians, we’re trained to solve problems,” he says. “But we need to spot opportunities to improve lives and then do so.”
A prime opportunity to fulfill that mission is with multifocal contact lenses, in his view. In his practice, multifocal contact lenses have replaced monovision as a leading choice for presbyopic vision correction. Technology advances and improved clinical success make it a compelling choice. And, for Dr. Smiley, the way to present the option is to communicate benefits and avoid categorizations. “When you talk to 40+ patients, you discuss their various daytime activities and underscore how multifocal contact lenses are an excellent option over eyeglasses for a physically active person,” Dr. Smiley says. “They recognize the value in that.”
Dr. Smiley says that asking patients effective questions about their lives, work, and activities helps to personalize the presentation. He couples that information with the positive perceptions about the attributes of contact lenses that the Multi-sponsor Surveys’ 2015 Gallup Study of the U.S. Multi-Focal Contact Lens Market provides (better for physical activities, youthful appearance, comfort), and he tells the technology story that patients greatly value. Together, they provide a positive, fact-based presentation. That message is reinforced by a staff member, who is in the exam room, scribing and assisting in the presentation.
“Once we assess visual needs, we talk about how the lens delivers clear vision at far, near, and intermediary,”
Dr. Smiley explains. Visual performance is critically important for patients: In the MSI’s 2015 Gallup study, “provides sharp, clear vision” is cited as a top criteria for distance (72 percent), near (70 percent), and mid-range (65 percent). Further, the MSI’s 2015 Gallup study confirms lens comfort as a prime driver for patient adoption: Some 76 percent of current multifocal contact lens wearers cite “comfortable throughout the day” as an important factor in their type/brand of contact lens. “We do not wait for lens comfort and dryness issues to become problems,” says Dr. Smiley. “We proactively talk about how new technology retains moisture and sustains lens comfort even late in the day. Then we make recommendations to help to achieve their goals with successful lens wear.”
“We’re trained to solve problems. But we need to spot opportunities to improve lives.”
Dr. Smiley believes that ECPs who harbor an “If it ain’t broke” mentality often miss opportunities to upgrade a contact lens wearer to multifocal contact lenses—and improve their visual experience.
The MSI’s 2015 Gallup data underscores that opportunity: Sixty percent of contact lens wearers aged 40+ wear single-vision contact lenses—though 74 percent of them require correction for reading, and 56 percent need correction for computer-mid-range distance. Further, among prospective wearers of multifocal contact lenses, 81 percent require correction for reading, and 55 percent need correction for computer-mid-range distance.
Dr. Smiley’s tech-forward approach has paid off. His practice is perceived as the go-to place for innovative products, and that’s a vital differentiator in a competitive business environment. “We understand the value that patients recognize with contact lenses,” he says. “And being early to adopt innovative technology makes the difference between a high-performing contact lens practice and a low-performing one,” he says.
Excerpted from “Capturing the Presbyopic Opportunity.” ZUS.0120.USA.16
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