How can a laboratory consultant help my contact lens practice?

“A laboratory consultant can help your practice by providing you with knowledge on multiple types of lenses and ways to get your patients happy the quickest and with fewer remakes. A consultant can simply design lenses from Ks and refraction or help with the more difficult patients by looking at maps and suggesting specialty lenses or fitting sets to try with the patient.” (Kelsey Roberts, Valley Contax)

“We can network with you. We assist in the fitting of keratoconic and post-surgical patients all day, every day. Rarely do you have to feel alone with a patient. You’ll likely find a laboratory consultant with vast experience with this type of patient.” (Keith Parker, Advanced Vision Technologies)

“Many consultants have clinical and manufacturing experience that allows them to understand designs from all aspects. This can help practitioners understand and better fit difficult-to-design lenses. It can also help with lens selection for these same patients, as they have a better understanding of the lens mechanics.” (Dede Reyes, FCLSA, ABB Optical Group)

“Contact lens consultants will reduce your chair time and increase your customer satisfaction.” (Jeff Birk, Essilor)

“I learned along the way that the relationship between ECP and consultant is crucial to get the best patient care possible. We learn to trust each other, and there is always an exchange of information and experience that the consultant can later share with other ECPs facing the same challenge. When fitting larger diameters, often ECPs need to rely on the consultant on how much to change in order to achieve a better result.” (Manoel Calhalvo, BostonSight)

“Often, specialty lens patients require parameter changes outside of those described in the fitting guide. Consultants have the knowledge to guide you through the design process for each individual specialty lens patient.” (Eric Marshall, Visionary Optics)

“The contact lens consultant’s main focus is to make fitting contact lenses simple and successful. They do this by knowing their lens designs inside and out, and staying attuned to all things contact lens-related. This allows them to assist the practitioner in making design selections, material choices, and parameter adjustments for a multitude of scenarios.” (Bethany Peebles, Art Optical)

“They have the knowledge of exactly how each lens change will affect the patient fit, a database of countless patient fits, and actual hands-on fitting experience. This not only helps with choosing the correct initial lens and guiding you through the fitting process but also reduces exchanges, which in turn reduces chair time for the practitioner.” (Derrell James, X-Cel)

“GP lens fitting can be viewed as an exercise in problem solving. As we all know, the more minds working on a problem, the better the solution. It is especially beneficial when the consultant has experience with hundreds of similar fit challenges. In other words, based on the consultant’s experience, he/she can get you to the best patient outcome in the shortest amount of time.” (John Belliveau, Visionary Contact Lens)

“With the new ISO regulations going into full effect this fall, laboratory consultants will become even more valuable. Empirical fitting of hybrid lenses will become the ‘new normal’ as practices seek to reduce chair time and limit the use of diagnostic lenses due to the potential for cross-contamination and infection.” (Bernie Ferguson, SynergEyes)

Do you offer online consultation? If not, when is the best time for me to call and receive prompt assistance with a patient?

“If by ‘online consultation’ you mean consultation via email, our entire consultation staff does this on a regular basis. If it is fairly straightforward, such as ‘lenses are riding high and fluorescein exhibits a slightly flat pattern’ or ‘please design toric multifocal lenses for patient xyz based on hvid, aperture, Ks and Rx’ or if you want to send topography, OCT shots, or fluorescein pictures, this method works well. If the case is more complex and you only provide bare-bones information, it could entail multiple emails, as the information you provide may lead to a question or a request for more detail from our staff as we go through our decision process.” (Alika Mackley, NCLE-AC, ABB Optical Group)

“Most consultants are available by email as well as during normal office hours. Email can be invaluable in helping troubleshoot a fit, and a smartphone photo can be worth more than a thousand words.” (George Mera, TruForm Optics)

“We are learning how to use every tool possible to help with consultation. One of the newer tools we have used is a Zoom or Microsoft Teams meeting with ECPs. We share screens and review photos and OCT images together to determine the best fit. We have also been able to teach them how to place the order online. From the feedback, we consider this initiative a success.” (Manoel Calvalho, BostonSight)

“We have an online ordering and consulting portal that is HIPAA-compliant, with quick access to sending patient information including topography, photos, and video clips. Our consultants will reply quickly and can place a lens order directly from the information you provide.” (Mike Johnson, Art Optical)

“Yes, online consultation is available and utilized daily. Today’s technology of cell phone pictures and video as well as uploaded topography enhances the ability to successfully consult and fit.” (Robert Powell, Advanced Vision Technologies)

“Consultants are readily available via email, phone, online chat, and online scheduling to meet the needs of any practitioner schedule.” (Eric Marshall, Visionary Optics)

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