By Jordan Jones, OD
July 13, 2022
Dry eye disease causes great discomfort and adversely impacts vision. Nearly 16 million Americans now have dry eye, according to the National Eye Institute.
Fortunately, the technology and treatments for this condition are rapidly advancing. In my practice, I have the VX 120 + Dry Eye from Visionix,which makes all the difference in how well I can diagnose and treat my dry eye patients.
Show Patients You Invest In the Best Technologies
We implemented the multi-modal VX 120+ with Dry Eye screening in our practice in July 2019. We had been working with Visionix since 2015 and found that their technology options allowed us to stay on the leading edge of optometric care. Our patients expect us to have the “latest and greatest,” and are extremely loyal after seeing the level of care we can provide with these technological advancements.
I can’t begin to tell you how often we hear comments like, “Wow, this isn’t like my last optometry visit at all.” As we are a heavy contact lens office, we see our fair share of anterior segment issues and dry eye complaints. Being able to quickly quantify data as it relates to tear break-up time, tear meniscus, pachymetry and corneal topography has been invaluable to our practitioners as we manage cases and implement treatment plans and patient education.
Technology that Strengthens Practice Growth
In an extremely trying couple of years for everyone, we grew our exams by 30 percent year-over-year. We do not spend significant money on outside marketing, so this growth mainly happens organically via word-of-mouth referrals. I attribute most of this growth to our overall patient experience, which ties directly back to what we can achieve and the quality of care we can provide with our technology.
Access to data you can quickly obtain and subsequently share with patients helps validate that the status quo needs to change. Patients want to be heard and validated. Simply telling someone to grab a bottle of artificial tears and blink more doesn’t do that. Utilizing technology like the VX 120 + Dry Eye, which allows you to show them what’s going on, and have the time to explain why we need to change the current paradigm, does.
The conversations facilitated by this technology often enable us to move patients into a higher-quality contact lens that is better for them and more profitable for our practice. It allows us to get a treatment plan in place that will lead to another touch-point to show trends and proof of concept. Primarily, it creates loyalty to our practice.
In addition to dry eye, the VX 120 + Dry Eye helps with a huge range of conditions our patients present with, including corneal abnormalities such as Fuch’s, keratoconus, contact lens-related edema, pressure-related issues such as primary open angle glaucoma/ocular hypertension, angle closures and cataracts. Most importantly, being able to educate the patient by reviewing this information with them creates the patient loyalty we all strive for.
Our dry eye patient population continues to grow as we successfully help people with their problems. A patient who has been battling irritation and dryness for years, who finally sees an improvement, is the best advertising you can get. These patients are more than willing to do the marketing for your practice as they are ambassadors in their daily lives, singing your praises.
The patient who has been wearing glasses at the office for years and suddenly appears wearing contacts again is a conversation starter. That conversation will lead to a few new patients heading your way for their next exam.
Easy Workflow Integration & Digital Transformation
The VX 120 + Dry Eye connects to the VX 55 digital phoropter and VX 22 visual acuity chart. With our Visionix integrated setup, these devices communicate with each other so we can capture and share all the data seamlessly between the AR/K, pachymetry and topography, to the tablet-driven phoropter, and finally into our EHR. The real-time information we collect and review gives us more time to listen to the patient and address complaints.
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We use this multi-modal Visionix screener on every patient—new or established—for comprehensive exams. It has all the essential early detection tests to help us stay on top of our patients’ eye health. We receive a wavefront refractive result, topography, pachymetry, anterior chamber depth and angle measurement, tonometry, anterior segment image and retro illuminated view of the lens all within two minutes. So, why not do it on everyone? The dry eye module is typically used when a more significant complaint of dryness/irritation is elicited via conversation or seen clinically.
Because we have been with Visionix for seven years, we were already using a previous iteration of this instrument, albeit with far fewer features. Therefore, our transition was seamless. I was able to gather even more information in hardly any more time. In fact, I was able to save time by incorporating the NCT portion, which I previously had always performed by Goldmann tonometry.
If you currently have a topographer, an autorefractor and an NCT in a pre-testing room, you will save both space and time with the VX 120 + Dry Eye. As the patient is not forced to move from machine to machine, the overall feel for the patient is also more streamlined.
This technology does as much for patients as it does for our practice. It empowers you to create a more efficient patient flow, provide greater care and significantly boost profitability.