Over the last two decades, there have been significant advancements in the technology used by eye doctors to examine and diagnose their patients.
In particular, the development of the digital refractor (also called a digital phoropter) greatly accelerates exam time by automating the refraction process. For example, comparing a patient’s old prescription to their new one is streamlined to make the process quick and easy, saving doctors time and money and allowing them to see even more patients in a typical day.
Not only is digital technology more accurate and efficient, but it can also reduce much of the pain and discomfort of repetitive motion disorders, which are common among eye care professionals. Plus, faster exams mean happier patients, which leads to more positive reviews and referrals.
If you have been considering replacing your manual phoropter with a more advanced digital refraction system, choosing the right piece of equipment for your practice can seem like a daunting task. The following considerations will help you make an informed decision.
How well does it integrate with your current EMR system?
Like any piece of advanced technology, it is often the software within the instrument that has the largest impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the product.
When purchasing a digital refractor for your practice, make sure it is capable of integrating with your current electronic medical record (EMR) system; this will go a long way toward improving efficiency. Check that the system includes a screen that allows you to review the data collected, and ask your EMR company which digital refractor brands offer the best compatibility.
Finally, ask how frequently the software updates and how it will manage the latest eye care requirements.
How easy is it for you and your staff to learn and operate?
Regardless of whether or not the digital refractor that you choose runs on the latest updated technology, it is important to know how your experts will adapt to the new equipment.
We all know that technology is capable of increasing business efficiency, but this is only true if you and your staff can embrace that technology effectively. Before buying a new digital refractor, ask about ease of use and the steps required to help you and your technicians learn and operate the system.
Often, how much time your office could save from a productivity and efficiency standpoint depends on the particular brand or model of the equipment you choose. If the system appears complicated, question whether there is company support available in the form of staff training. Some businesses offer free online training for doctors and staff, which is an incredibly valuable benefit that should not be overlooked.
Is it capable of performing any special or advanced tests?
Digital refractors measure refractive error by examining how the eye processes light, which in turn allows doctors to determine the appropriate prescription for each patient. When purchasing a new digital refractor, you may wish to consider the kinds of special or advanced tests it is capable of performing, as these tests can enhance diagnosis and improve patient outcomes.
More often than not, instruments capable of multitasking are ideal for increasing efficiency, and many doctors say that they perform more accurate refractive exams using advanced digital refraction systems. Still, efficiency can suffer when special testing features are too complex, so take the time to consider how easy it will be to use and document the findings of your advanced testing capabilities.
Does the manufacturer offer a service warranty and/or technical support?
Even the best equipment can have problems, which is why you need a manufacturer that offers ongoing service and support you can rely on. Ask about the warranty that comes with your digital refractor—including how long it lasts and what it covers—and make sure you'll have the support you need if you require repairs.
Need a little more guidance? Talk to the experts at Veatch.
Choosing the right digital refractor for your needs and budget requires diligent research, but having a seasoned partner on your side can help. In business for more than 30 years, the experts at Veatch Ophthalmic Instruments can help you determine which features are most important for your practice so you can select the right digital refraction system.
Remember, adapting to a new system will take some time, but the benefits of an upgrade can result in improved accuracy, better efficiency, and enhanced productivity. Contact Veatch today to learn more.
Curious how much can you save by switching to a digital refractor? Calculate your savings now.