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Optometrical Practice Management Newsletter - Tips & Reviews. Volume 11. December 2006

We Wish you a Merry Xmas & a Great 2007!

Business Tip: Delegate to create more optical sales.

Many of us are quite comfortable with delegating some or all of the optical dispensing process. If you currently employ an optical dispenser, they probably:

  • measure PD's
  • advise patients on frame choice
  • advise patients on lens choice
  • cut & edge lenses into frames
  • do some reception work
  • do some book work

Over the years I have become more and more comfortable with my staff conducting diagnostic testing. This has become possible due to the incredible technological advancements in computerised instrumentation. These instruments are now so user friendly, I could teach my 11 year old to run most of them. So training a reception staff or ideally an optical dispenser to conduct these tests will allow you to have more information and more time to design a vision and health solution for your patient's eyes.

Currently we delegate the following:

Preliminary testing

This involves tonometry, computerised visual field screening, autorefractor, neutralising habitual specs and most importantly digital retinal imaging.

Contact Lens Insertion, Removal & Cleaning Instructions

This is one of the most frustrating and time consuming activities in my practice. By delegating this task I find that I stay fresh and enthusiastic. This is important if I am to stay focused all day and continue to think of and recommend the best visual solutions.

Advanced Diagnostic Testing

Once I have seen and refracted the patient, completed the symptom and history discussion, slit lamp exam, binocular vision assessment etc, I often need further diagnostic tests. These include threshold visual field analysis, corneal topography, pachymetry, posterior and anterior optical coherence tomography. All of these tasks I delegate to my optical dispensers; preferably the same dispenser that took them through with the preliminary testing. What this does is create a rapport and confidence in the clinical abilities and opinions from the patients perspective. When the time comes to recommend custom made multifocals and high end frames the patient is far more likely to take the recommendation of the technician.

If your practice has not yet evolved into using high tech diagnostic equipment, it is still time to delegate what you can. The obvious first step is contact lenses. Once you are comfortable with this, go ahead and purchase a non contact tonometer and have your staff perform the test outside of the consultation room before they see you. Now that we have an item number for threshold visual fields many of us have a field analyser, but again the key is to have it outside the consultation room. Your staff should be performing this time consuming test - you just have to concentrate on directing people to the best visual solution and not get bogged down with data collection.

Remember this: Dr's have been delegating all sorts of data collection to their nurses for years and years. Now that optometry is moving into more complicated patient management it is very important to use our staff more effectively. Not only will you become more profitable, but your staff and patients will love it.


Therapeutic Tip: Eyelid Aesthetics

                            ... can you advise your patients about their options?

  • More and more I am noticing that patients are enquiring about the cosmetics of their eyes and eyelids.
  • This month I have asked Dr Anthony Maloof to discuss the relevant issues in eyelid enhancement.
  • This will be the first of a series of articles that will put "Fillers & Softeners" in perspective.
  • In today's competitive eye market it is important for our patients to feel comfortable in asking us about anything that might be eye related.
  • Just like laser refractive surgery, patients are quite likely to be thinking about eyelid enhancement but would never think of asking you.
  • Why not bring it up with the patient and demonstrate to them that if they think eyes, they think optometry.
  • Don't let them seek aesthetic eyelid correction through magazines and advertisements.

DOWNLOAD the Eyelid Aesthetics discussion here


Read this for Dr Anthony Maloof's biography

Anthony would welcome your enquiries at:


Phone: 1300 303 669

Rooms (Sydney city):

Suite 13, Level 9, William Bland Building, 229-231 Macquarie St Sydney 2000

Rooms (Westmead):

Suite 7, The Ashley Centre, 1a Ashley Lane, Westmead 2145



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To date hundreds of copies of my e-book have been downloaded. I assume many of the downloads have been read. If you haven't read it yet here it is again:

The 7 Critical Mistakes that Most Optometrists Make in Their Practices

And how to avoid them By Jim Kokkinakis




Information Technology & Optometry

If you want to invest in new technology you must have a solid computer system to make sure that the use of the technology is efficient. Having a solid computer network for an optometry practice is way beyond the average optometrist's skill set. That's where Richard Rees comes in.


Richard Rees works for They are specialists in Information Technology solutions. Phone Richard on

1 300 553 559

Visit Lookup for all your IT needs



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