Welcome to question of the day #385

Eyetools question of the day #385 

I own a community eye care practice. Do you have any tips on how I can improve the prosperity of my practice?

In community eye care practice we need to make sure that the money that comes into the practice is more than the money that goes out of the practice. The bigger the difference between money coming in and money going out the more likely that the practice will be sustainable and prosperous for the long term.

 We need to make sure that every possible way of helping each patient has been explored. By helping patients by providing a service and/or an appliance that we can charge for we are helping keep the practice prosperous.

 Patients often purchase expensive spectacle lenses from us and these lenses need care. With poor use and poor cleaning spectacle lens coatings and especially anti-reflection coatings can degrade and cause reduced vision and patient dissatisfaction. Patients expect spectacle lenses to remain in good condition until the time they need replacing because of a change in prescription.

 In my experience, eye care practitioners and other practice staff are poor at advising patients on how to clean spectacle lenses. Many patients will use their shirts, blouse, dry tissue, or washing up liquid (the type used for cutlery, plates, and saucepans). They become upset when the spectacle lens coatings degrade or they make comments such as ‘these lenses are always smeared I can never get them/keep them clean’ and often decide not to have a coated lens when they next renew their glasses.

 We can help our patients look after their coated lenses and improve the prosperity of the practice by advising patients on how to clean spectacle lenses properly and also by supplying cleaning solutions and cloths. We have no problem supplying and charging for contact lens cleaning solutions but the provision of spectacle lens cleaning solutions and cloths seems to have fallen away.

 If lenses are very dirty then a spray with a recommended lens cleaner and wiping with soft tissue paper can get most of the dirt off and then a microfibre cloth can be used with more spray to get the last few smears off the lenses. Using a microfibre cloth for a very dirty lens means the cloth gets clogged up with dirt and the cloth is rendered useless until washed.

 Advise patients on the importance of proper spectacle lens cleaning to enhance the life of their lenses, show them how to clean lenses, and supply lens cleaning solutions and cloths. Patients will be happy with their coated lenses and purchase a coated lens next time this added to the income from supplying solutions and cloths will help increase the money coming into the practice.

 Patients will be even happier with your service and you can help improve practice prosperity and sustainability.