Visionary Optics is dedicated to supporting your practice in providing the best possible care for your patients. That’s why we created a series of dispense visit tips to help you establish an efficient, patient-focused system in your practice.
The dispense visit is an essential part of the fitting process, covering far more than just application and removal instructions. You have expectations to set, technicians to train, and care guidelines to explain. Creating a clear process will help to streamline and improve the success of your dispense visits, whether led by a technician or the practitioner.
In our last blog post, we focused on ideal ways to set your practice up for dispense visits. In this post, we share six tips geared toward enhancing patient communication and patient care during dispense visits.
1. Set the proper expectations.
Patients feel more at ease when they know what to expect. If you warn a patient that X, Y, and Z might happen with their new lenses, they’re less likely to feel fear or stress if those things do occur. Make sure you tell them, especially if they are new to the modality, that it can take several tries to get the lenses in or out and they may be uncomfortable in the very beginning. This information helps to normalize the visit and keeps morale high.
2. Understand the goal.
The goal of the person leading the appointment is to educate the patient so they have everything they need for successful wear outside of your office. At the end of a successful dispense visit, a patient will know how to properly insert and remove their lenses and clearly understand how to use all recommended solutions. Introduce a routine for preparing, inserting, removing, and storing lenses. This will help ensure that no steps are forgotten and lenses are not mixed up.
3. Train your technicians.
Make sure that your technician can identify insertion bubbles and watch the patient’s movements to verify they aren’t jamming a lens on. Teach them several techniques of application and removal to find the right method for the patient, and have them practice on their own eyes for a better understanding of what the patient experiences.
Bonus Tip: Refer to the lens markings guides for proper placement during insertion.
4. Save care and handling instructions for last.
If the patient isn’t leaving in the lens, you don’t need to spend time on explaining care and solutions, as they will forget a lot of what you have taught them. When you are ready for this discussion, be sure to give them written instructions to take home with them. Studies show that giving a handout to the patient reminding them of the recommended solutions and where they can be purchased leads to greater compliance and healthier lens wear.
Bonus Tip: If you are dispensing Visionary Optics lenses, we can provide you with a tear-off pad that will make it easier to document the solutions you are recommending. Contact Customer Service to request yours at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Avoid making changes.
Time is a good healer. Give patients time to get used to their new lenses, and you will find that changes – while tempting – often aren’t necessary. If the lens is dispensable, dispense it. Changes can always be made at the follow-up appointment.
Bonus Tip: You can expect to see more movement in a Latitude lens at the dispense visit. This usually corrects itself by the follow-up.
6. Don’t forget the follow-up.
Schedule the follow-up visit, and make it clear to the patient how many hours you expect them to wear their lenses. Ask your staff to call and confirm the appointment the day prior, and remind the patient to abide by those instructions.
Bonus Tip: When the patient comes in for a follow-up, remove the lenses yourself so you can determine if the lens feels tight or jammed on. Then, watch the patient reinsert them to observe that they are following all instructions.
Read more about the practice set up in our last blog post: 5 Ways to Improve Your Dispense Visit: Preparing Your Practice.