Points de Vue: Could you provide our readers with a little background on the current scope of your activity and vision that drives your practice towards effective patient care?
Our ethos is simply to offer the best visual solutions to each and every patient to suit their lifestyle needs.
Jean Oldbury: Oldbury and Cruickshank is an independent optometrist practice that was established over 25 years ago. We have an active patient base of over 15 000, we run 4 to 5 clinics at any one time anvd have over 20 staff. The benefit of the expansion of our practice and the extra space it provided for meeting and training rooms has given us the edge in terms of training for our entire staff. I have invested a lot of time in the training and development of the team because I know that confidence and passion from a team contribute to developing a business. Over the years we have developed our niche of offering top quality service and products and have been at the forefront of using the latest innovative technology to support our brand. Our ethos is simply to offer the best visual solutions to each and every patient to suit their lifestyle needs.
As a business partner, which kind of support can you expect from your main supplier and how does it translate into results?
We have been supporting and supported by Essilor UK for most of our 25 years in business. In 2009 we were part of the Needs Based Solution project (NBS) from Essilor UK. This was a fast and furious learning curve for our team. However the techniques we learnt then have paid dividends over the past 7 years. Our business grew by 25% in the year we implemented NBS. Since then we have been part of Optometrist Led Recommendations (OLR), Reception Perfection and multiple lens dispensing projects, more widely known as the Optical Dispensing Program (ODP). All of which have played a tremendous part in the growth of our business. We have found that skills learnt from ODP can be applied to other aspects of our business.
Positioning your product offer at the forefront of the latest technology, how did you implement an innovation such as Crizal® Prevencia®?
The launch of Crizal® Prevencia® is a great asset to Essilor`s portfolio. We were excited to learn about the new features this lens will deliver to our patients, and we felt that the health benefit, in combination with our best recommendations, could be communicated in the handover process.
On its initial launch, we researched information about “bad” blue light and discussed the benefits in depth with the lens experts along with the optometrists, and ensured all were comfortable and understood why Crizal® Prevencia® was a new benefit to the patient. Thanks to ODP we applied our terminology of “new protective no-glare” lens to Crizal® Prevencia® which is now used consistently by all the team.
Who is the primary target for Crizal® Prevencia®?
We recognise the measures we need to put into place with children, and as a consequence we make talking about Crizal® Prevencia® an integral part of our conversations with parents and children.
We are aware that many patients are concerned about the effects of digital devices on their eyes, such as headaches, visual fatigue and dryness. We also have patients who may initially fail to make the connection between their symptoms and their use of digital devices, and so we educate them on these effects if need be. The launch of Crizal® Prevencia® was an ideal product for us to recommend to support and reassure the many concerned patients. We are increasingly finding that parents in particular are preoccupied about their children`s frequent daily use of digital devices both at home and at school, and the benefits of Crizal® Prevencia® go some way to giving parents peace of mind. We recognise the measures we need to put into place with children, and as a consequence we make talking about Crizal® Prevencia® an integral part of our conversations with parents and children.
We feel it’s very important to educate the public on points like the fact that children’s eyes are more sensitive than adults’ eyes due to the crystalline lens. In a young eye, the lens is more transparent, allowing more harmful rays to pass through and reach the retina. As the lens ages, it becomes less transparent, making it a little more difficult for shorter, more energetic rays to pass through. Children have exposure to an increasing amount of blue-violet light through the introduction of more and more LED internal lighting. Given that the damage is cumulative and that we can hope our children will live longer, over time these wavelengths are likely to be harmful to the eye.
People with a family history of AMD are generally at greater risk, making this an important area to explore. From our older patients, we often hear comments such as “I wish I had known that when I was younger” or, “I wish I had looked after my eyes when I was younger”. For some people it is too late to put measures into place, however they listen all the more attentively when we talk about their children and grandchildren. We want to ensure that they are aware that the world around us is becoming increasingly digital, yet their eye care choices may not reflect by the same ratio. Sometimes we need to simply reassure parents that it is okay for their children to be on the devices and this usually helps them to be more open to preventative measures. We are not here to judge what their children are doing, just to ensure that we are doing our job by recommending the best visual solution for them.
What are the drivers for successful selling process of Crizal® Prevencia®?
All our team wear Crizal® Prevencia®, reinforcing professional belief in the product.
It helps at the dispensary to have samples to show patients along with a helpful leaflet provided by Essilor to endorse the patient`s decision. All our team wear Crizal® Prevencia®, reinforcing professional belief in the product. The optometrists, dispensing opticians and lens experts are confident about the product and believe it is their duty of care to inform and advise their patients of the latest innovations in protective lenses in this digital age.
Protection when outdoors is essential for long-term eye health, and we thus strongly advocate for it. Sunlight is the most critical source of harmful blue-violet light. We thus focus our attention on understanding our patients’ lifestyles - not just what they do on a day-to-day basis but also how they live in general. We have invested significant time to re-visit the questions we ask our patients to achieve this. The handover from the optometrist to the lens expert consistently involves a recommendation of “new protective no-glare” from the optometrist. All of our optometrists are very comfortable in recommending this product, which really helps the lens experts expand their use of Crizal® Prevencia®. Our team have connected with Crizal® Prevencia® themselves and have taken the time to understand – and hence believe in - the key benefits to our patients. Crizal® Prevencia® is a lens which is up-to-date and in line with current living. Our team understands that Crizal® Prevencia®a works by blocking 20% of the harmful blue violet light which in turn reduces retinal cell death rate by 25% without reflecting the blue-turquoise part of blue light. It is particularly innovative that this level of protection is available without completely undermining the cosmetic appearance of the lenses.
We are very aware that patients can become overwhelmed if we give them too much information. Careful thought has been given to the key words and phrases that are used, notably “protection, possible prevention” and “filtering out the dangerous blue light which can damage your macula”. Mentioning the sources of the harmful blue-violet light includes “sunlight and low-energy bulbs such as LED” (which peak in blue part of the spectrum). As we work hard to build a relationship of trust with all our patients, lens experts report that most people are happy to go ahead without knowing the more complicated details. Our patients often say “Yes!! Because you say so!!”. Understanding the product and benefits ourselves and then adapting the conversation to suit patients has been a key part of the process. The team are confident that we can elaborate on facts about Crizal® Prevencia® and the harmful blue-violet light for those patients who want to know more.
Many patients comment on the visual improvement when driving at night.
We have been dispensing Crizal® Prevencia® within our Premium Lens package for the last couple of years and are now in a position to ask our patients for their feedback when they return for their next prescription. There has been very little decrease in uptake on future dispense of Crizal® Prevencia®, moreover many patients comment on their visual improvement when driving at night and that they like the blue hue to the lens. That said, there has been some less positive feedback, with the most common complaint being comments from friends or family about the blue hue.
Recently, one patient reported that while she initially felt that she didn’t like that a friend had negatively commented on the blue hue, she knew she could see better, especially with night driving so she ignored her friend’s comment, and admitted to enjoying wearing them especially in lower lighting, with confidence that they are protecting her eyes.
We now offer Crizal® Prevencia® to all our patients and it is applied to approximately 60 to 70% of all our coated lenses
I am confident that the product is essential for everyone involved with Crizal® Prevencia®. The passion from optometrists and lens experts over the benefits of this lens, is a driver for selling this product. When we began the launch a couple of years ago within our practice, we thus worked on giving as much support and information to our entire team about the advantages to the wearer. While this initially took some time, following regular practice sessions, 121 training sessions and support from Essilor, we now offer Crizal® Prevencia® to all our patients and it is applied to approximately 60 to 70% of all our coated lenses. This figure continues to grow as we increase the number of patients using Crizal® Prevencia® - as does our confidence in the Crizal® Prevencia® lens. A great lens innovation! •