Practitioners at a Contact Lens Leaders’ Summit, entitled ‘Healthy Eyes, Healthy Practice’ have debated industry challenges, workshopped strategies to better serve customers and heard about new developments in contact lenses.
The inaugural conference, organised by Johnson and Johnson Vision Care (J&JVC), took place in Sydney in late October and included educational sessions as well as presentations on scientific research and contact lens practice development topics from leading members of the profession including researcher Noel Brennan, optometrist Alan Saks and ophthalmologist Minas Coroneo. Forty-eight delegates from Australia and New Zealand attended.
Andrew Gospos from MediSpecs on the Gold Coast, said, “the best thing about the conference was being able to hear the experiences of successful contact lens practitioners”.
He said the opportunity to talk about how to get ‘drop out’ contact lens patients back “struck a chord with him – whether they have dropped out because of comfort (the main reason) or because they get their contact
lenses from somewhere else”.
the best thing about the conference was being able to hear the experiences of successful contact lens practitioners
Spiros Magdalinos, Practice Manager at OPSM’s Eye Hub in Melbourne also found the opportunity to talk about patient drop off valuable. “Highlighting the main reasons why customers do not purchase contact lenses from our stores was a useful exercise. This illustrated the need to communicate thoroughly and provide an exceptional customer experience, during our first consultation to help create a long-term relationship,” he said.
Margaret Lam from The Eyecare Company in Sydney said the summit provided the opportunity to brainstorm and collectively think about what leading practices in Australia are doing to drive best practice management – in both contact lens sales and business growth.
“What I took out of it was some know-how in terms of making some of these patient management and business strategies work, not just some of the time for some patients, but how we can make them work in our practice all the time and make it part of our standard business processes,” she said.
The importance of providing personalised advice on eye care was a stand out message for Ms. Lam. “To me, the presentations had so much information that I could take away and emphasised the importance of personalised advice about protecting our patients’ vision.
“We discussed the importance of encouraging people who are shortsighted to spend time outdoors to reduce their myopic development, and then the importance of protecting patient’s eyes from UV light, which we know is also directly related to cataracts and age related macular degeneration.”
Mr. Gospos said hearing about the future of contact lenses was fascinating – “like the contact lens with a small chip that measures IOP all day and night while the contact lens is worn”.
J&JVC’s Professional Affairs Director, Luke Cahill said a presentation by communications expert Malcolm Dawes explored the notion of beliefs and how they influence behaviours and action. “Malcolm quoted a line from Henry Ford which was enormously pertinent: “whether you believe you can, whether you believe you can’t, you’re right”.
He said the presentation was inspiring and encouraging. “His key message was, if you choose to say ‘I need to make sure my attitude is positive, we’ve got a great future… I can see the light at the end of the tunnel or the brightness on the horizon’, then that’s the end result you’ll get.”