Peer-to-Peer on Introducing New Lenses

David Holler, O.D., has had plenty of experience adding new technologies during his 24 years in practice. He is a founding partner in Clarity Vision, headquartered in Apex, NC, with six locations in North Carolina and Virginia. Here, Dr. Holler answers questions about introducing new lenses at those locations.


Q. When you are introducing a new spectacle lens, what role do vendor reps play? 

A. With optical lenses, we look to the reps for support. Normally they discuss how to position the product—based on target demographic, insurance coverage/pricing (tier one, two, or three), occupational benefits, etcetera. We like to have the doctors, manager, and team members all together.


Q. When should this take place?

A. We need to understand the product’s availability before [scheduling] this. Learning and talking about something that comes out a month or so later loses its momentum.  


Q. Do you have some staff try the product before they present it to patients? 

A. Most of the new products are multifocals. With a team that ranges in age from 21 to 38, this has little impact. Team members have tried a new non-glare lens or photochromic lens. This can be useful if the team member has previous experience with other competing products. They can compare and contrast.  


Q. How do you help staff to understand the best way to present it? 

A. I believe the best way is to help them see how the product is filling a void, improving on something existing, and who the target demographic should be.  Without these specifics, a product will fall to the side and [staff] will continue working in their comfort zone with the same, already existing products. 


Q. Do you recommend and discuss products from the chair and at the handoff?

A.  I always talk about the patient’s occupation and lifestyle. Normally, it’s worked into elaborating on their chief complaint or during small talk while I am entering data into the EMR. I make notes on their superbill, then try to tie everything together when discussing recommendations and handing off the patient to our opticians.

Erinn Morgan

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