July 6, 2016
Tommy Lim, OD, says not to forget to focus on the vision portion of the comprehensive exam, including offering solutions to computer eye fatigue syndrome, vision while driving and the need for progressive eyeglass wearers to see well both near and far. Prescribing specific lenses to patients while they are still in the exam chair, and handing them off to the optical with instructions for the optician, helps ensure patients purchase the eyewear that best suits their needs.
Ask Patients Questions Relevant to their Lives
Prescribe from Exam Chair & Handoff to Optical
ASK RELEVANT QUESTIONS. Train pre-testers to ask vision questions that relate to patients’ daily lives, such as whether their eyes start to feel tired at the end of the day, and whether they have trouble driving in the dark, it’s raining or they’re in an unfamiliar place.
ASK AGAIN IN EXAM ROOM. Doctor should confirm information discovered during pre-testing, and let patients know you’re going to try to help them with those challenges.
LET PATIENT SEE DIFFERENCE. During refraction, when the patient lets you know “better,” let them know that you can prescribe eyewear that will enable them to see that well all the time.
MENTION SPECIFIC EYEWEAR. “I’m going to make you eyeglasses that will help you see this well at night, even when it’s raining and you’re in an unfamiliar place, and I’m going to make you prescription sunglasses, so you can still see well, even when the sun is shining in your eyes in the car.”
TALK LIFESTYLE IN EXAM ROOM. “I see you’re having a hard time at the computer at the end of the day. Are you familiar with blue light? Blue light is the light we get from the sun, which is good for us because it helps us perceive color and regulate our sleep, but it can also be harmful.”
EDUCATE PATIENT. Explain the products you have, including lenses that protect against blue light, that you are prescribing for the patient, along with products like anti-glare lenses, and polarized prescription sunwear, that can make driving easier.
WEAR PRODUCTS YOURSELF. Show patients that the computer lenses you are prescribing are the very same ones you have on in the exam room.
WALK PATIENT TO OPTICAL & HANDOFF. Introduce the patient to the optician, and go over the prescriptions for the patient in front of the patient with the optician.
Tommy Lim, OD, is the senior partner of Berryessa Optometry in San Jose, Calif.