The dispense visit is an important step in the lens fitting process. There is much more to this interaction than simply demonstrating the application and removal of new lenses. In many cases, the visit can set the patient up for failure or success in the modality that has been prescribed, so proper preparation is crucial.
To help you establish a streamlined system that will serve your patients more effectively, Visionary Optics has created a series of dispense visit tips. Consider the many different factors that contribute to a successful dispense visit – from scheduling enough time to setting up a dedicated area for meeting with patients – and use these five tips for great outcomes with every patient.
1. Verify and prepare the lenses ahead of time.
Before a patient’s appointment, assemble lenses with clear instructions about cleaning and conditioning based on the material used.
Bonus Tip: If you have ordered a THP treated lens from Visionary Optics, you will receive instructions with the lenses on recommended care and solutions.
2. Schedule enough time.
Take the patient’s wearing history into account when estimating the duration of their visit. If the patient is new to contact lenses or to a specialty modality, expect some frustration and allow for extra time. Make sure you give the patient a break if they need it. This will reduce stress and give the eye a chance to rest as well.
3. Set up a dedicated dispensing area.
Designate an area of your practice for dispense visits, and stock it with all required supplies, including lenses, inserters, remover, saline, tissues or Kimtech wipes, recommended solutions, and after-care instructions for the patient to take home.
Bonus Tip: Have a variety of tools available, such as vented and non-vented inserters, as well as ring inserters, to meet patients’ needs. A vented inserter cradles the lens, allowing it to go onto the eye without having to squeeze to release, and the hole in the inserter can be used for aim. However, some patients may need the suction on the non-vented inserter to steady the lens to the eye. A ring inserter placed on the fingertip can also feel like an extension of the finger and reduce some of the stress of touching the eye.
4. Keep Styrofoam cups around.
For patients with dexterity issues or particular difficulties inserting lenses, such as people with small, tight lids or deep-set eyes, a Styrofoam cup is a simple but effective tool. Flip the cup over, poke a hole in it with a pen, and place the inserter in the hole. This will hold the inserter and allow the patient to move their eye toward it, keeping their hands free for controlling the lid.
5. Give homework.
If application isn’t going well, put the lens in for the patient and let them work on removal. If they can get the lens out, they can take it home and practice application in a more relaxed environment.
Bonus Tip: Demonstrate the correct placement of the remover on the lens. Try wetting the end of the remover to make it suction onto the lens better, then have the patient gently rock it left and right to loosen it before removing. Use an up and away motion when removing.
Learn more about Visionary Optics’ specialized contact lenses.