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A How-to For Using Multifocal Contacts to Build Your Practice

This Massachusetts OD built a reputation as the ‘doc who helped me ditch my readers’…

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Scituate Harbor Vision Source in Scituate, MA.
Scituate Harbor Vision Source in Scituate, MA.

THESE DAYS ECPs have more tools than ever for helping patients who have trouble with both distance and reading vision, as new refractive surgery procedures and presbyopia-correcting drops take their place alongside readers and other traditional options. For sheer flexibility and patient convenience, it’s hard to beat multifocal contacts — an option that, for a variety of reasons, many eye doctors continue to overlook. We spoke to Dr.

Jessica Crooker from Scituate Harbor Vision Source in Scituate, MA, on the excellent results fitting multifocal CLs has had both for her patients and her practice.

THE IDEA

Dr. Crooker

Dr. Crooker

Crooker purchased Scituate Harbor Vision Source from a doctor who’d been a big monovision fitter, but as she started seeing patients, she learned many were having to push their screen away or pull their chair in closer to the screen to accommodate their monovision. “I started fitting multifocal lenses and found patients were thrilled with their vision and able to perform daily activities with so much more ease. One happy patient would tell their friends and coworkers and before too long I became known in the community as the eye doctor who could help. It encouraged me to study my multifocal fit guides.”

THE EXECUTION

Crooker believes almost any presbyopic patient can benefit from multifocals. “I get patients excited to try the lenses and set up their expectations appropriately. I find that happy multifocal patients will often recommend their friends of a similar age, family members or even other moms on the soccer field.”

A How-to For Using Multifocal Contacts to Build Your Practice

The Scituate Harbor Vision Source team champions multifocal contact lenses.

Scituate Harbor Vision Source’s multifocal marketing is 100% word of mouth at this point. “Happy patients are more than happy to share their experiences,” says Crooker. It helps that one of her front desk staff, Gail, has become a walking testimonial. She was “a silent vision sufferer in her glasses,” so Crooker thought she would be a good candidate for multifocals. At first there was some pushback, but after testing them out, Gail is now a convert. “It has been really helpful for patients to hear her experience when they are checking in or out. Her enthusiasm has definitely helped to sway a patient that is on the fence.”

She cautions that some patients are skeptical when she first mentions multifocals, especially if they are new to wearing glasses and never thought CLs would be an option for them. But by the time they have tested the lenses out and see how clearly they are able to see, “they want to shout it from the rooftops,” says Crooker. Very occasionally, patients note that multifocal lenses are more expensive than other options, but once they get to “test drive” the lenses, they see the value and technology that went into their design, she adds. “It is so exciting to see.”

A How-to For Using Multifocal Contacts to Build Your Practice

PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

THE REWARDS

According to Crooker, most patients are thrilled to have the ability to see comfortably without relying on glasses. “It is so rewarding to have a patient come in thinking that over-the-counter readers are their only option but leave with a big smile on their face knowing there are other choices. When a patient refers their friends or family to me, I feel so lucky that I am able to care in that patient’s visual journey.”

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Do It Yourself: Fit More Patients in Multifocal Contacts.

  • BE BOLD. The more you fit, the easier it will become, says Crooker. “Get excited about the potential of multifocals and your patients will too.”
  • FIT A STAFF MEMBER. “They will be your greatest champions and encourage other patients on the fence to give them a try.”
  • MAKE THE FIRST MOVE. Offer multifocals to any presbyope in the parameter range. “You’ll be surprised how many patients have never heard of this option and would love to try.”
  • HIT THE BOOKS. Learn the fitting guide inside and out. “Following the specific fit guide for your favorite lens is key.”
  • SKY’S THE LIMIT. “Multifocals are the greatest practice builder. Fit one and the rest will follow,” says Crooker.

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