|The Phoroptor VRx Digital Refraction System from Reichert features pre-programmed tests, including astigmatism, phoria, binocular balance and near vision.|
|Marco’s OPD-Scan III with its TRS-5100
digital refraction system allows for seamless
integration of data input from the pre-test room.
Today’s refracting processes liberate ODs to see more patients every day.
To be efficient we need to constantly manage how we spend our own time with our patients. Fortunately, there are advanced technologies available that allow us to expand our ability to gather data, interpret it and make recommendations. Refraction is one area of tremendous opportunity, and as much as we have our own “art” of doing this on our own, this can be delegated with the appropriate instrumentation.
Take, for instance, the following scenario: A patient is new to the office, arriving for a comprehensive exam. After initial history inquiries, a technician sits this patient down in one chair, where the patient’s visual acuity is determined, autorefraction performed and manifest refraction completed”¦.all while sitting in one seat, in front of one instrument. The doctor then serves to confirm the refractive outcome in the exam lane and makes the appropriate prescription recommendations and eyewear enhancements. Then the external/internal ocular exam can proceed
Or, perhaps, you prefer to have the patient’s topography, point spread function and day/night autorefraction measured on advanced technology, which is then loaded into digital refracting equipment in the exam lane. The doctor pre-programs the refracting instrumentation to move through a logical and preferred sequence of steps, so a technician is able to refract a patient in the same style and manner as the doctor would. The technician can even compare the patient’s current spectacle prescription to that day’s manifest refraction with a touch of a button. This process allows for consistency, but also efficiency, so once again the doctor can see more patients per day without sacrificing quality time with the patient.
The amazing truth is that both of these scenarios are completely possible with today’s technology. Many doctors utilize variations of these techniques with fantastic success and refractive outcomes that are as statistically successful as their own refractions. The beauty is that the doctor still has the final say in the prescription but does not have to go through all the steps to get there. What’s more, these techniques also allow the doctor to see one to three more patients per day, all while maintaining the same excellent quality of care patients are accustomed to.
Conveniently, advanced refractive technology can be purchased piece by piece or all at once for ease of transition. Additionally, it’s often beneficial for doctors to utilize the instrumentation themselves for a period of time before delegating to ensure that they understand the ideal flow of the process. However utilized, delegating refractive processes is a way to compete in a prominent facet of your practice, and today’s technologies make this opportunity attainable.
Gina M. Wesley OD, MS, FAAO, is in private practice in Medina, MN.