If you are having problems viewing this email, please use the following address:




How many times per day do you think that technology plays a role in your world? The answer is likely countless! Technology changes our world at record pace. We as eyecare providers can enhance the way we provide information, diagnose and manage our patients with technology.

Using Technology to Inform
The reception area is a great opportunity to begin informing your patients about eye health. There are educational DVDs that cover topics ranging from vision to ocular disease and surgery. Many pharmaceutical companies now provide DVDs to explain administration of glaucoma medications as well as patient-friendly explanations of glaucoma. Interactive Web sites and instructional DVDs for new contact lens wearers are typically welcomed with enthusiasm.
The Vision Care Institute of Johnson and Johnson Vision Care, Inc. (TVCI) is an innovative professional resource for new Eye Care Professionals.  A revolutionary concept in the vision care industry, TVCI provides you with access to vital information and the professional expertise that are so essential in the early stages of your career.  As new ECPs, today's graduates require a broader base of knowledge than ever before. TVCI is dedicated to providing that knowledge along with the skills and the confidence necessary to succeed.  All TVCI registrants have free access to critical information available only at The Vision Care Institute website including practice management resources, marketing materials and much more.
If you don’t provide the answers patients want they’ll seek them on their own. Unfortunately, they may get the wrong information in that process. Why not guide them to a reliable Web site to continue the education process and ensure that they get the correct information? Patients will appreciate your concern and attention to detail.

Enhancing Patient Diagnosis
As primary eyecare providers we are entrusted with both the visual and medical eye care needs of our patients. Technology can aid in this all encompassing task. One of my favorite tools has been a handheld autorefractor. It shaves time off of the examination process and also “wows” the patient. Corneal topography aids in contact lens fitting as well as diagnosis of corneal ectasia. Scanning computerized ophthalmic diagnostic imaging (SCODI) instruments such as the RTA, GDX, and HRT provide insight into diagnosis of ocular disease as well as confirmation to patients of your commitment to excellent care.
My practice has recently added a corneal endothelial cell counter. It allows us to obtain an endothelial cell count prior to cataract surgery. A low count is often consistent with persistent corneal edema after cataract surgery utilizing phacoemulsification. It is also helpful in tracking polymegathism and pleomorphism in contact lens wearers as well as monitoring Fuch’s dystrophy patients. This instrument provides information to both the contact lens and surgery components of the practice. Patients find technology like this sets you apart from other providers.

Patient Management Possibilities
Technology greatly enhances our ability to deliver excellent care. Let your patients know that you’re recommending the latest technology in contact lens care when you recommend silicone hydrogel lenses. Consider the latest generation antibiotics when treating a disease process. Track progression of corneal ectasia with topography and glaucoma with automated visual fields. Both contact lenses and spectacle lenses that correct for higher order aberrations are available! The possibilities of patient care afforded by technology will continue to emerge at record pace.

Deciding Where to Start
Two factors that will influence your decisions with regard to incorporating technology into your practice are cost and practice setting. Most technology is cost intensive. There are ways, however, to embrace technology even if a capital investment isn’t in your immediate future. You can send patient out for testing. You can lease equipment periodically and schedule patients for a return visit when it arrives. Patient education, appropriate Web recommendations, and utilizing the latest in contact lenses can be incorporated for little or no cost to the new practitioner.

As a new O.D. it can enhance your daily practice in this wonderful field!

Dr. Williams received her Doctorate of Optometry degree from the Southern College of Optometry in 2002. She practices at Southwest Medical Center, a multi-disciplinary medical practice in St. Louis, Mo.
When I started to choose equipment for my practice, I tried to base my decisions not only from my viewpoint, but also that of the patient. I believed patients would come to my practice with a certain level of expectation, and in order to exceed my patients’ expectations, cutting edge technology would be a necessity.

As Dr. Williams discusses, there is a multitude of new technologies available within optometry. As a result of the Internet, patients are more educated than ever about the technologies available to them. As practitioners, it’s important that we keep a “cutting edge” mentality for our practices. To me, nothing would be more embarrassing than to have a patient disappointed with my practice’s definition of “cutting edge technology”. Because of this, my practice adds new equipment every year. Patients appreciate this and often make comments like, “Doc, what new toys do you have this year?” I like to think that patients look forward to coming in every year knowing that some part of their experience will be even better than last year because of new technology.

Set Yourself Apart
Cutting edge technology doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune. Matter-of-fact, there are other ways to maintain a streamlined, high tech office without having to invest a bunch of money. For example, you can consider silicone hydrogel contact lenses a new technology that you can offer the patient with next to no capital investment. As I mentioned, our patients are more educated. As a result, it is important to be aggressive and recommend these new products to patients before they hear about new developments from an advertisement or a neighbor.
New technologies are an excellent way to differentiate yourself from your peers. The likelihood of seeing patients return in a compliant fashion are more likely if you have a technologically savvy practice because the patients’ perception of you as their doctor is different than that of a behind the times practice. Patients perceive doctors to be more intelligent when there are technologies to back up the doctor’s decision making. As a result, patients are more likely to follow a technologically savvy doctor’s recommendations.
I challenge you to be the practitioner who is aggressive to mention new technologies to your patients rather than wait for patients to ask you about new developments. If you make the investment in your patients through cutting edge technologies, your patients will continue to make an investment in you year after year.
Starting Strategies

One of the simplest things that you can do to effectively introduce new technology to your patients is to have experience with the instrument from the patient's perspective. When you add new equipment to your practice, it is very important that you are tested on the equipment yourself so that you understand what the patient is experiencing. For example, when we instruct patients to look at the blinking light inside of an instrument, is it colored, or is it off to the side? All of these descriptions will help to effectively communicate with the patient on your practice's technologies. - Dr. Kelly Kerksick, OD

If you prefer not to receive e-mail from us, please use the following link to remove your e-mail address from our list:

This message was transmitted by
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins VisionCare Group | 1300 Virginia Drive Suite 400, Fort Washington PA 19034 | 215-643-8000 Please take a moment to make sure your newsletters don't get marked as spam, add bci3@bci-media.com to your "approved senders" list.