I have been practicing for almost 20 years. Having this level of experience made me feel like a top chef. I had become a chef that would no longer consider using a recipe. Essentially, I was now writing the recipe. The cornea and specialty contact lenses have always been my favorite area of the profession and more than 60% of the patients we see at our office wear contact lenses. Our multi-doctor practice continues to thrive and grow and I have always enjoyed sharing my success with our associate doctors. A particular area of pride is embracing new and exciting developments, especially multi-focal contact lenses. Knowledge is a 2 way street and learning from my associates is an important part of my continued development. Multifocal contacts can present certain challenges that may intimidate some doctors. Many times throughout the years I would be approached by colleagues asking for advice on lens choice, or for help solving a challenge. It always seemed easy, ask the patient what they want, explain what the lenses can do, and select lenses to meet realistic goals. It was a fantastic practice builder, having 80% success rate with multi-focal contacts, resulted in patients referring family, friends and co-workers. Who wants to wear reading glasses after all! There was, as expected, more work involved, a few more follow ups, and sadly 2 of 10 patients were left unsatisfied and I was left frustrated with those cases.
One of our newer associates seemed to be asking for assistance less and less. I felt proud. I then noticed that he was not doing as many follow ups with his multifocal patients, and my conclusion was that they gave up. Part of my concern was that revenue was being lost because these patients were not returning and allowing us to solve their problems. I approached him casually and mentioned that I noticed that he wasn’t asking for help and that he had far fewer contact lens follow ups on the schedule. We looked at the data in our practice management software, and sure enough all the patients had finalized contact lens prescriptions. Surprisingly 100% of the patients we looked at had purchased contacts. It was time for the teacher to become the student.
There are times when it is difficult to determine why success is occurring. Could his success have been a fluke? A asked him if he was doing anything differently than what I had explained in the past? I wanted to learn his new approach and apply it to myself. He simply took his phone out of his pocket, showed me the OptiExpert App and said, “I use this. Its fast, and it nearly always seems to be correct.” Not a fluke! He actually said “Check this out! Its way easy ” I’ll leave it to you to figure out what generation he is from. A wave of skepticism flowed through me. “An App? How could an App be better than my years of experience?” I thought. Fitting guides from the past never seemed to work well. I reluctantly downloaded it, started using it and to my surprise I also had success. . My favorite lens rapidly became the Clariti 1-Day Multifocal. I have been using OptiExpert for months and have not had a single patient that needed more than one follow up. I learned a seasoned chef can always use a great new recipe. OptiExpert is now on every computer in the office. And guess what?! My life is now easier and happier!