By Brian Chou, OD, FAAO
Dec. 19, 2018
I recently completed major renovations to an optometric practice that I acquired in central San Diego, turning it into a keratoconus and scleral lens referral center.
Despite the astronomical cost of my tenant improvements, my new practice includes three low-cost, but high-impact, items from Amazon.com. I believe they can benefit other optometric practices, too.
Wireless Doorbell Chime Alert System, $29.99
The hand-off of the patient from the doctor to the optician is undeniably important to maximize the likelihood that the patient receives the right product to fulfill the doctor’s optical plan. Ideally, this hand-off should take place in the medical environment of the exam room, where the patient and optician alike can become aligned on the doctor’s prescribed product, such as high index, digital surfacing, antireflective and photochromic treatments.
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The efficacy of the hand-off diminishes when it is performed in the optical amid retail distractions and lack of patient privacy, and even worse, when there is no passing of the baton at all. Whereas my two previous practices had hard-wired paging systems, which cost over $3,000 excluding cabling costs, the same function can be achieved with a wireless doorbell.
The doctor calls the optician into the exam room by pressing the doorbell’s remote transmitter upon completion of the exam. The optician can hear the chime and see the flashing light of the plugin receiver from another part of the office. The chime volume and ringtone can be adjusted to discreetly notify the optician.
Nikon Lens Pen Cleaning System, $10.50
Many optometric practices now have OCT and retinal imaging. Their external optical surfaces can gather dust and smudges, compromising image quality. Compressed air can blow off dust particles, while Kimtech Kimwipes and denatured alcohol can remove smudges. Yet I have found that these don’t always work well. That’s where the Nikon Lens Pen Cleaning System can help. One side has a soft brush, which retracts when not in use to stay clean, and is great for dusting. The other side has a chamois tip, which is helpful with those pesky smudges.
8” Round Mirror, ¼” Thick, with Flat Polish Edge, 10-pack, $29.95
Having flat mirrors, to lay flat on a table or counter, is essential for my hybrid and scleral contact lens practice. Applying these contact lenses requires that the patients look downward so that the contact lens traps non-preserved saline against the eye. This 10-pack offers you the ability to give mirrors to patients who need them, and to have them throughout the office in your exam lanes and contact lens training area.
If water seeps beneath the mirror and causes de-silvering, the low cost allows for easy replacement. I suspect many buyers of this product use them for wedding-table centerpieces, but they are handy for hybrid and scleral lens wearers too.
Author disclosure: I don’t have any direct financial interest in Amazon.
Brian Chou, OD, FAAO, owns ReVision Optometry in San Diego, Calif.