A Little Off Axis

There are times when a patient can mention a few words and it makes us cringe. In this installment we are going to deal with some hated phrases that question our abilities. We call these the ability complaints, which specifically address our ability to accurately make glasses.

  1. “You made my glasses ” Notice they always say it loud enough for the whole office to hear.

When the patient makes this statement, not only are they upset about their vision, they are also concerned as to whether they’re going to have to pay for new glasses or not. The best way to handle this patient is make sure they understand that you have their complete attention.

Reassure the patient they we are going to find out what the problem is and actually resolve the problem. I like the medical acronym of SOAP (like me) to resolve patient vision issues with eyewear.

  • S – Listen to subjective symptoms
  • O – Observe objective symptoms
  • A – Assess the problem
  • P – Devise a plan of correction

When you find what’s wrong, it is important to convince them of your findings and recommended changes that will resolve the problem to their satisfaction. It doesn’t make any difference how good a person looks in their glasses. If they are unable to see clearly, they are worthless.

  1. “The last place that made my glasses had to remake them four ”

These patients are more than willing to pay a premium for their glasses to be done correctly. Spend lots of time with them and explain every step you are taking to insure they are produced accurately. Measure mono pupillary distance, panoscopic tilt and vertex distance. They want attention to detail and will pay a premium for it. If you can satisfy this patient they will tell everyone they know, “You are the ONLY person who can make my glasses correctly.”

  1. On delivery the patient says, “These are not the glasses I picked ”

There are three possible reasons a patient would say this:

  • The glasses are actually the wrong
  • They are confused as to the glasses they
  • They do not like the way they look in the

Take extra time with the patient to reassure them we are going to resolve the issue. Be willing to put them into another frame that the lenses will fit into or cut them down. When exchanging frames, take special care to insure the lenses remain at the same pupillary distance and that segment heights are not increased or lowered.

Whenever we deal with these patients who question our abilities it is critical to keep a positive attitude, be reassuring that the problem will be resolved and do not hurry them out the door.

Next time we tackle product quality problems, until then; maybe a little off axis is OK.