Oct. 23, 2019
Advanced Eye Care Professionals is a primary eyecare practice dedicated to providing our patients with excellent options to ensure their ocular health. We specialize in contact lenses, including specialty fits, and our mandate is to ensure that our patients benefit from excellent technology for ocular health, comfort and optical performance.
One key to achieving our goal is relying on the CooperVision clariti® 1 day family of lenses, manufactured in silicone hydrogel (SiHy) material. This allows us to fit a wide variety of patients, offering outstanding oxygen transmissibility compared to hydrogels, comfort and optical designs to meet the needs of wearers who need a spherical, toric or multifocal lens. And to do so for an affordable cost that is also a practice builder. For that reason, clariti® 1 day is my go-to lens for patients from pediatric to geriatric ages.
From a clinical point of view, we have a goal: We want 100 percent of our daily disposable contact lens wearers to be in a SiHy lens. Presently, we are at about 60 percent SiHy, but that’s up from just 30 percent two years ago. We’re getting there.
Project a Unified Message
We believe in educating our patients about ocular health and the latest technology to help ensure health, comfort and performance. To do that, we’ve worked hard to first educate our staff in the contact lenses we prescribe because our staff needs to understand it and believe in it to communicate our message. We also have fit staff in the lenses we prescribe so they can relate personally.
CooperVision has helped us in this pursuit. Our rep has put together lunch’n’learn sessions to educate our staff on ways to best communicate that common message. Our staff is trained to uncover comfort issues, for example. “Do you feel your contact lenses over the course of a day?” they ask. If that comes out in the pre-test, we have a conversation about lens comfort during the exam itself.
A challenge area is the perceived cost barrier in converting to SiHy materials. And with the clariti® 1 day family of lenses, that barrier is more perception than reality. The price increment is quite small compared to the added benefits over previous-generation hydrogel lenses. The clariti® 1 day family also has a UVA/UVB blocker across all lenses*. This is vitally important with the children we fit in contact lenses, especially as we recommend additional outdoors time as a measure against the development of myopia.
With contact lens patients in hydrogel material, I explain that silicone hydrogel provides additional benefits. I’ll say: “I can prescribe you a lens that will allow up to three times the oxygen to reach your eye compared to a hydrogel lens.1 This lens is made from a healthy soft contact lens material. And the lens can help offer you all-day comfort.2” I compare the difference to cell phones: The present one still works well, but you can upgrade your technology and enjoy more benefits.
With a monthly replacement lens wearer, I introduce the subject of a daily disposable and give the patient trial sets of clariti® 1 day lenses to “test drive” a SiHy daily disposable. Most of the time, they return saying, “I want the daily disposables.”
Doctors often have a hard time discussing cost, but cost is always in the back of the patient’s mind. Here, staff plays a big role. A lot of our staff wears the clariti® 1 day, so they easily can discuss comfort and performance in personal terms. They also discuss cost with patients by presenting the total picture: The doctor recommends this lens for comfort, vision and because the lens materials provide ocular health benefits.3
Further, our practice ensures a good fit, using trial lenses. We also offer direct delivery and quarterly payment options. ODs think they lose patients to the internet because of lower prices, but while price is a factor, convenience is a driving factor. With our approach, we check all those boxes.
We offer competitive pricing for the optimal technology, the convenience of immediate annual supplies or periodic home delivery, plus a level of personalized service and care that patients value and can’t find on their phone, tablet or desktop. We’re here to stay.
* Warning: UV-absorbing contact lenses are not substitutes for protective UV-absorbing eyewear, such as UV-absorbing goggles or sunglasses, because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area. Patients should continue to use UV-absorbing eyewear as directed.