Failed Eyeglass Inspections Equal New Patients, How?

It's common knowledge within the Optical and Optometric Industry that once an order has been received from their lab of choice, few practices actually verify the prescriptions.


This is a common thought process from many Optometrist and Optical Managers. Are you right? Yes. Does that waive your responsibility to your patients to ensure that your staff provides a second prescription verification? No. In a perfect world, there is no need for Quality Inspections. In our world, inspections are absolutely necessary.


Yes they exist. Let me provide some perspective. When I worked at the **, the vendor they use had the highest lab redo, optician errors, dr redos, warranty redos, etc. I have ever seen in my experience. When it was brought to upper management's attention, they did not see this as an issue because based on their overall numbers, it was such a small percentage, they did not see this as an issue. It's a HUGE issue when these orders are mailed to patients, and even WORSE, when they have "Opticians" (" " because they aren't licensed, so technically they're not Opticians) at the floor level who choose NOT to verify the prescriptions.

On an average day, I saw 40-50 patients. Let's be conservative, and say I processed 50 orders per day. 50 orders/day X 5 days/week X 52 weeks/yr = 13,000 orders/year. If the redo rate is less than 3% (390 patient orders/yr), it's not a big issue in their eyes. At the floor level, I do not like to see more than 1 patient redo per week, but I understand errors happen. Think about this math, 390 patients/yr = 390 orders / 261 business days = 1.5 patient orders/day in errors. This is a company that provides eyeglasses to 1.81 million patients. A 3% redo rate means 54,300 patient orders are made incorrectly in a given year.

Now, throw the Online Eyeglass world into the mix, and right now the inaccurate prescription rate sits at approximately 45% for online orders. Let that percentage sink in. If I am frustrated at a 3% redo rate, imagine where my mind is when I hear 45% error rate for online eyeglass orders.


If you want me to cringe, say no more. This is the biggest reason why I am concerned about online ordering. If I receive orders that are made incorrectly, and didn't do my part to conduct a final inspection, I would understand why so much customers are going online. BUT, I inspect EVERY single order prior to having it dispensed to patients. This ensures my patients safety is put at the forefront. I understand convenience, but my patients safety comes first, always.


I have patients who order eyeglasses online come in and ask me to verify the prescriptions, and more often than not, they fail inspection. Whether it's due to a prescription that is off and does not fall within ANSI tolerance, or a defective coating, or missing coating, I've seen it all.

Be the person who educates the patient by helping them to understand why your expertise has value. Your chances of converting that customer into a patient is high if you take the time to earn their trust. Remember, they went online because it's cheap and they don't see the value in your knowledge. Explain the different lens technology, let them feel the difference between the different metals and acetates, and why some frames cost $30 vs $500. Remember why frame adjustments and proper optician measurements are so important. Not every patient fits inside this "mold" that's been created for them.

This is the perfect time to earn their business for years to come. Every single person who walks through your door is worth your time, I promise.

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