By Richard Zhang, MD, OD, PhD, FIAO
A natural eye drop created especially for Ortho-K patients makes the process of reshaping the cornea more comfortable and safe for patients, enabling more patients to stick with the regimen, and stay in your practice.
Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, represents a great opportunity for patients, and a practice builder for your practice. But only if you are able to keep your patients satisfied during the process, and able to easily stick to the regimen. My practice increases the likelihood of Ortho-K success by prescribing and selling Natural Opththalmics Ortho-K eye drops.
Ortho-K is an important part of my practice, as 30 percent of my patients are Ortho-K patients. Altogether I have 1,000 Ortho-K patients. My solo, one-location practice devotes one whole working day per week to exclusively seeing Ortho-K patients for consultation and training.
Click HERE or the image above to learn more about Natural Ophthalmics Ortho-K eye drops.
Prescribe Ortho-K Targeted Drops
Ortho-K patients need to use eye drops to insert the lens into their eyes, and the doctor has the option of just telling patients to go to the drug store and buy whatever eye drops they happen to find. However, I now prefer to direct these patients to the only eye drop on the market designed especially for the Ortho-K experience, Natural Ophthalmics Ortho-K.
Natural Ophthalmics Ortho-K drops contain powerful ingredients to stimulate tear film production, counteract irritation, halt allergies and reduce foreign body sensation. Homeopathic Calendula, the key natural ingredient in the drops, is known to support corneal health and is indicated for corneal abrasions and erosions. The drops come in two formulations: Thick and Thin. The Thick formula reduces mechanical irritation. The clarifying Thin formula Drop is preservative-free, and used as often as needed to alleviate dry, red, itchy, irritated eyes, and is also OK with soft contacts. The drops are so gentle, they are safe for children, the most common Ortho-K patients, and can even be used by nursing and pregnant women.
In the past, I would direct patients to simply buy eye drops, without specifying which type. Then, I found that many patients were buying whatever was on sale–often a low-quality, generic brand–rather than an optimal eye drop. The natural formulation from Natural Ophthalmics assures me that there is little-to-no chance the patient will experience an allergic reaction, or eye irritation, from the drops.
Create One-Stop-Shopping Experience
Once you decide that there is a best eye drop to prescribe to patients, the next step is making it as easy as possible for patients to obtain the drops. My practice does that by selling Natural Ophthalmics Ortho-K right in the office. About 80 percent of my Ortho-K patients purchase the drops directly from me.
I dispense a starter package to all Ortho-K patients that includes a complimentary bottle of Natural Ophthalmics Ortho-K. I do this to get patients off to a good start, and because I know once they try it, they will be happy with the wearing experience the drops facilitate, and will return to our office to make their first purchase of the drops.
Offering the patients the convenience of buying their Ortho-K drops directly from you is made easy by Natural Ophthalmics. There is no minimum order of inventory required by the company to purchase its products to sell. This minimal investment, coupled with the near-universality of purchase by my Ortho-K patients, enables me to make a 40 percent profit annually on sales of Natural Ophthalmics Ortho-K.
The bottom line: You can best control the type, and quality, of drops Ortho-K patients use when you not only prescribe, but sell, the products yourself.
Have the Conversation with Patients
The conversation about the importance of using the specific eye drops I am prescribing, Natural Ophthalmics Ortho-K, begins with me prescribing these specific drops, and only these drops. I don’t tell patients that there is any other drop that could work equally well, because I honestly don’t believe there is. “Use these drops, and if you need more, you can come to my office to buy more,” I tell patients.
Emphasizing the importance of keeping ahead with supplies of the drops is essential. Most of my Ortho-K patients are children who sometimes don’t tell their parents they need more drops until after they have already run out. If that occurs on the weekend, when our office, like many doctors’ offices, is closed, the parent then has no choice but to go to a drug store and get a lower-quality eye drop to use temporarily. When educating parents and children about the Ortho-K regimen, it helps to explain the significant role the drops play in the wearing process, and the ability of the patient to stick to the regimen that needs to be adhered to for success.
“Mrs. Smith,” I might tell a parent, “you may want to get Johnny an extra bottle while you’re here for a check-up, so that way there’s less chance you’ll run out unexpectedly at a time our office is closed. This is the only drop I prescribe for Ortho-K patients, so it is important to keep it in supply at home at all times.”
Market Your First-Choice Ortho-K Drops to Patients
In addition to carefully explaining to Ortho-K patients and parents the importance of using Natural Ophthalmics Ortho-K, I have fliers provided by Natural Ophthalmics in my reception area, and my staff has been trained to ask all Ortho-K patients if they need more supplies, including Natural Ophthalmics Ortho-K, whenever Ortho-K patients visit the office for a check-up.
I rest assured that I am giving my patients the best drops for their eyes, and that I am enabling the most convenient experience for the patient by selling them the drops myself, before they ever leave my office.