By Margery Weinstein
Review of Optometric Business
April 27, 2022
Contact-lens ordering and delivery to patients can be time-consuming for staff and less-than-pleasing for patients. A new contact-lens ordering platform, Abby, from ABB Optical Group, has launched that automates this process, facilitating communication with patients. It’s almost like having an extra employee in your office focused on ensuring a smooth and efficient process for patients to order and receive their contacts.
Convenience for Both Practices & Patients
“Abby is the premier platform in the industry that allows the convenience to both patients and doctors of ordering from ALL manufacturers. Abby is an extension of the IECP practice serving as a virtual staff member,” says ABB Optical Group Senior Field Sales Trainer/Account Manager Stephanie Hammond. “Patients will find their valid prescription from their doctor pre-loaded in Abby as they log in. The platform is visually pleasing and simple. Abby is available 24/7 for ordering with free shipping. The patient only decides how many boxes they need to order at the time. Powers, e-mail, physical address, etc., are already in the system, ready to go.”
Hammond describes Abby as a virtual staff member who is able to learn new information as each patient interacts with the technology. For example, if the patient has a delivery address preference, or a preference for how frequently they want to reorder new lenses, the system will save that information and use it to facilitate future orders by that patient. In other words, it remembers each patient’s unique preferences.
There is always a learning curve for patients when using a new technology to order and receive contact lenses, but ABB Optical Group makes it easy for practices to teach patients about Abby, says Hammond. “ABB offers online training via video and utilizes ABB Account Managers to train doctors and staff in-person. Abby also has a dedicated team available to answer questions about Abby via e-mail and phone.”
Abby makes it easier for patients to reach their eye doctor, and to stay in touch with the practice throughout the year. “Abby nurtures the patient-doctor relationship, and keeps patient information protected,” says Hammond.
Implementing a Practice-Differentiator
Patients have many practices to choose from. If one makes it much easier to communicate with, and to order and receive contact lenses, that’s the one many people will choose. For Marc Nelson, OD, Abby offers a chance to show patients the practice is at the cutting-edge of technology solutions that take the patient experience to the next level. “We are at the forefront of technology, giving patients what they ask for in their daily lives by making online ordering easy, convenient and accessible 24/7. We are attempting to make patient lives easier as we stay up to date with modern technology,” he says.
Dr. Nelson, who began piloting the technology in his office at the beginning of March 2022, says Abby gives him a chance to wow patients while helping his office run more efficiently. “I wanted to stay up to date in the competitive world of online contact lens sales. “Free direct-to-consumer shipping on all orders, regardless of size, is a game-changing offer for my patients, and will help me stay competitive in the online retail space,” says Dr. Nelson.
In addition to enhancing efficiency and smoothing practice operations, Dr. Nelson says Abby adds touch points to the patient. “I like the way Abby keeps the patient connected to our office, and that we now have a virtual staff member available at all times,” he says.
Patient communication with Abby is far easier and more effective, he says, pointing out how easily the system is able to reach out to patients at the exact time they are running low on contacts. He says the system offers clear advantages from the perspective of both patients and practice.
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“Pricing and convenience have always been our top challenges, and Abby offers the convenience of free direct shipping at no additional charge,” says Dr. Nelson. “The fact that we no longer have to receive contacts, notify patients and dispense direct to a patient will free up valuable staff time.”
Though it’s only been about a little over a month since Dr. Nelson implemented Abby in his practice, he says his staff is enthusiastic about it. They already see how much better the technology makes contact-lens ordering and delivery for both patients and themselves, says Dr. Nelson: “They can definitely see the potential future benefit.”
Interested in learning more about Abby?
Visit helloabby.com/doctors and submit the interest form.