Upgrading your progressive lens choice comes with a lot of anxiety and a ton of questions. Should we implement a change? How would we implement the change?” “Is this new lens really better than the one that we use the most?” “How can we be sure the lens does what the manufacturer says?”
By the end of this series, you’ll not only understand why upgrading your go-to progressive makes sense, but also feel confident about your decision to upgrade, and be armed with the tools and know-how to execute the change successfully.
In this first installment, we’ll address why it might be time for a change.
Assessing Your Current Landscape
Before investigating a change in lens recommendation, you’ll obviously want to assess your current situation, and whether a change is warranted.
This is a fairly easy determination to make when the redos start racking up or the entire staff is ready to stage a walkout if they have to spend another day trying to find workarounds to make an obviously substandard product work better. But, there are also times when the red flags aren’t flying, and a change would still benefit you, your patients, and the entire practice.
Often times we fall into a rut of dispensing by habit. If you’re not receiving a high number of redos, non-adapts, or negative feedback, there won’t be obvious signs that a switch could be due. However, good enough is far from the best possible. For example, your trusted old TV might still give you the basics: picture, sound, and basic operation. However, that new 4K flat screen you’ve been eyeing offers real-world sharpness, clarity, and color while the additional smart technology integrates with all your other devices, offering game-changing quality and convenience in one package.
Often times we fall into a rut of dispensing by habit. If you’re not receiving a high number of redos, non-adapts, or negative feedback, there won’t be obvious signs that a switch could be due."
Providing patients the best vision possible enhances their experience and connection with your practice. Taking them from good vision to the best vision possible can take your practice from good enough to the only office a patient wants to visit.
So, how do you know if your progressive is providing the best vision possible? Here are some questions to help you asses your current progressive lens landscape:
With answers to these questions in mind, let’s delve into the benefits of upgrading your preferred progressive.
Identifying the Benefits of Change
Perhaps the most important criteria by which to base a change in any lens recommendation is who will benefit from the change. Your patients are your lifeblood, so they should naturally be considered first when weighing up the benefits. And the people dispensing the lens can’t ever be overlooked.
Addressing Patient Needs
Accurately assessing individual patient needs and consistently delivering the right solutions establishes you as an authority, builds trust among your patients, and differentiates your practice.
You can tap into a wealth of support for a decision to stick or twist on your current progressive by simply asking a patient how their current progressive is performing, and what improvements they’d make if they could. In the case that you get a list of complaints or suggested improvements, you’ll need to find a lens that actually overcomes those complaints or provides those improvements. A squeaky wheel might get the greasing, but if that grease isn’t any better, those squeaks won’t remain silent for long.
Three common needs that arise with disgruntled progressive patients focus on personalization, comfort, and frame accommodation.
Accurately assessing individual patient needs and consistently delivering the right solutions establishes you as an authority, builds trust among your patients, and differentiates your practice."
Regardless of industry, exceptional customer experience is built around personalizing the experience. In the world of optometry, that means crafting a unique practice visit to each patient, and then providing a lens that’s versatile enough to meet their specific needs. Chatting with patients and/or reviewing questionnaire responses are fantastic ways to determine what those unique needs are. A progressive lens that can be personalized to a person’s optical and lifestyle requirements should be considered strongly for your go-to recommendation.
As you’re well-aware, the major advantage of a progressive over a bifocal or trifocal is the lack of the hard line between viewing zones. However, two prevailing complaints among patients are the peripheral distortion or lateral swim effect and the lengthy, uncomfortable adaptation period – this is especially true for a first-time progressive patient.
The best progressives overcome these issues and offer maximum comfort by delivering wider viewing channels, adapting to the natural path of the eye, and delivering a smooth, natural transition from near to intermediate to far and back.
While those of us in the lens business hate to admit it, patients are far more interested in the frame than what goes inside of it. Therefore, a progressive lens that accommodates more frame choices is a definite win for the practice.
Some progressives make for difficult or impossible frame accommodation because they can’t retain a large enough reading area inside smaller designs. Being able to provide a patient the frame they just fell in love with at the board, ensures a much better practice experience than making them settle for their second, third, or even fourth choice because the viewing zones of your go-to progressive lens don’t fit their style.
A progressive lens that accommodates more frame choices is a definite win for the practice."
A lens that can be personalized, delivers a smooth, natural visual experience, and accommodates a wide selection of frames should be emerge as a strong candidate in your search for a go-to progressive. One that also meets the following criteria should almost immediately rise to the top of your leaderboard.
Addressing Practice Needs
Ease of fitting and dispensing, along with the confidence that comes with reliable performance all come into play with your lens choice, since each impacts efficiency, success, and profitability.
By and large, a lens that’s not cutting the mustard will be common knowledge around the practice. But it’s always a great idea to solicit feedback from teammates. A team chat or a one-to-one by the Keurig machine can sometimes bring unknown issues to the surface. Ask how the current first-choice progressive is performing for them. Is it easy to fit? Is it easy to dispense? Have they encountered a lot of patient complaints, redos, or non-adapts? If you’re experiencing problems, it’s very unlikely that you’re alone.
When picking a lens that addresses the needs of the practice, and the eye care professional individually, three critical factors to look for are as follows: simplicity, accuracy, and consistency.
If you’re experiencing problems, it’s very unlikely that you’re alone."
Ease of fitting and dispensing improve efficiency and flow in the practice. Today’s progressives use the latest technology to do just that. The Unity Via series for example, only requires you take the PD, fitting height, and position of wear measurements. The lens technology does the rest for you.
Minimizing redos and overcoming non-adapts are the name of the game when it comes to progressives. A superior progressive lens combines precision and personalization to reduce your redo rate and make non-adapts virtually non-existent. The best progressive lenses with the latest technology can even bring previous non-adapts back to a progressive design.
The best progressive lenses with the latest technology can even bring previous non-adapts back to a progressive design."
Getting things right once or twice just isn’t good enough. Repeat business is built on delivering the same exceptional results time after time. For the same reason you frequent a restaurant that hits the mark with your favorite pasta dish every time, your patients return to an eye care professional who puts them in a lens that delivers the best vision possible on a consistent basis.
With superior technology comes improved accuracy, and progressive lenses that feature advanced fitting capabilities offer your patients the consistency they demand while providing you the confidence that every patient who walks out the door comes back happy next year.
Related Content: How Unity Via Helped this NJ Practice Overcome Change Anxiety
Recapping the Benefits of Change
Offering the latest technology and best performance in a progressive lens design offers the following benefits:
In part two of our series, we’ll cover the must-have features and technology that address the requirements listed in his article.
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