DEALING WITH CONTACT LENS COMPLIANCE

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EyeFile by Alcon allows patients to set up email reminders such as when to refill prescriptions and when to use eyedrops. 

Patient reminder tools and education from ECPs help foster healthy habits.

Compliance has been a buzz word in the contact lens industry for decades. Eyecare professionals (ECPs) are always trying to find ways to make patients more compliant, and make their contact lens experience more enjoyable. There are many tools that we can use both in and out of the exam room to educate our patients and make this easier.

TIMELY TOOLS
One tool that simplifies lens and eyecare is Accuminder, from VISTAKON, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., which allows patients to register to receive reminders about when to change their contacts, reorder lenses, schedule eye exams, and submit rebates. This system works with any contact lens brand and modality, and patients can receive these reminders by text, email, or both.

Alcon Laboratories has its own patient education and reminder tool, called EyeFileâ„¢. After registering, a patient can set email reminders for various events, such as appointments with an ECP, cataract surgery reminders (preparation, day of surgery, and post-surgery care), contact lens reminders (when to change to a fresh pair, when to reorder lenses, and when to change the lens case), when to refill prescription eyedrops, and when to use eyedrops. Patients can also search for an ECP using EyeFile.

There have been many studies done to see which lens modality is best for compliance. I have found my single use lens patients to be my most compliant. We dispense a year’s supply to each patient, and pre-appoint them for their annual eye exam in exactly a year. We have found this greatly increases both compliance and reduces no-shows, as they are about out of their contact lenses when they are due for their appointment.

EDUCATION MATTERS
In the exam room, we have found the most important path to compliance is education. We all take the time to teach new wearers how to insert and remove lenses, how to take care of them, how to use solution properly, and when to dispose of lenses and cases. But, do we take even a few minutes with our existing wearers, whether they are new patients or our own, and make sure they are still at the same level of compliance? How many patients do not know there is a very big difference between the lens care product you are prescribing and the generic in the same color bottle? How many patients know they are supposed to change their lens case, and know how often? I have this conversation with every contact lens patient, whether they are a new wearer or have been wearing contact lenses for decades. I never assume they are as good with their compliance as they were the first day they began wearing contact lenses.

There are a few steps we can take with each patient to assure they are wearing their contact lenses in the healthiest manner. This can range from new, high-tech tools to remind them about their contact lens schedules, to remembering to educate each patient on the proper contact lens habits.

Jennifer L. Stewart is in private practice at Norwalk Eye Care in Norwalk, CT.

WHERE TO FIND IT:

Alcon Laboratories •800-451-3937 •alcon.com

VISTAKON Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. “¢ 800-843-2020 •ACUVUEProfessional.com

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