Over the past couple of years, multiple colleagues have suggested I read a book called Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition by Jack Trout. While the book is still on my reading list, the theme was brought to mind again as I pondered the current threats to our contact lens practice.
With 1-800 Contacts forging ahead with its acquisitions and privileges, what will keep patients returning to us? What are we doing to ensure their loyalty in the face of convenient online refractions and relaxed prescription laws? And from their perspective, where does the value lie?
We would like to think that our contact lens exam is completely different from our glasses exam, but is it?
Even more so, we would like to think the patient understands and appreciates that difference. But in order for that to happen, we must draw attention to what sets it apart, and demonstrate its value as we go.
Talk through your exam
A thorough contact lens evaluation requires many layers of assessment. While we may already be doing many of these things, the key is to talk about it with patients. Tell them what you’re looking for, and whether it’s there or not.
As always, start with the lids. Lid disease can cause a significant threat to tear film stability and subsequently the comfort of wear. One obvious example is the exotoxins released into the tear film in a patient with blepharitis.