Factors to Consider When Buying Digital Refractors

by | Tuesday, July 21, 2015 | 0 comment(s)

Eye care professionals such as ophthalmologists and optometrists use various devices in detecting and diagnosing eye-related issues. Over the last two decades, there has been a significant advancement in the technology used for every aspect of eye care. Particularly, the development of more advanced imaging devices and retinal digital cameras has improved our detection of:

  • Naevi (moles on the retina)
  • Age-related Macular Degeneration
  • Early Glaucoma
  • Diabetic Eye Disease

What Does A Digital Refractor Do?

Before we can begin assessing the different things required in an ophthalmic equipment wish list, it's important to cover the basics of what a digital refractor does. The refractor - also known as the phoropter - is an item which looks like a huge pair of glasses containing various lenses capable of reproducing almost any possible optical correction. The patient sits in a chair and looks into the digital refractor, usually while viewing an eye chart.. The examiner then uses different lenses to assess the vision of that patient.

An effective digital refractor is an important tool in the management of high-quality eye-care, and any reputable ophthalmologist or optometrist could not function without one. So how do you know you're buying the right option for your business? The following considerations should help you make an informed decision.

The Operating System and EMR Integration

Like any advanced piece of technology, it's often the software within that has the largest impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the product. When purchasing a refractor for your clinic or office, you will need to ask about the operating system: how frequently the software updates, and how it will manage the latest eye care requirements.

When considering software, it's important to ask whether the digital refractor in question is capable of integrating with your current EMR system. This is becoming an important aspect in ophthalmic efficiency, as the process can save up to five minutes per exam. 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.

Learning the System

Whether the digital refractor that you choose runs on the latest updated technology or manages a more traditional system, it's important to know how your experts will adapt to the new equipment. We all know that technology is capable of increasing business efficiency, however this is only true if your staff can embrace that technology effectively. Before buying a new digital refractor, ask how easy the system is to learn, and how much time your office could save in updating to this particular brand or model. Replacing your digital refractor means considering the benefits from productivity and efficiency standpoints, so look at the bigger picture and consider things like accuracy, ease-of-use, and the various instruments available.

If the system appears complicated, question whether there is company support available in the form of staff training. Some businesses offer online training to help your professionals get up to speed with the latest technology, and you shouldn't underestimate the value of this.

What about Advanced Tests?

Digital refractors are instruments used to measure the refractive error within an eye, thereby determining appropriate prescriptions. These systems use convex lenses to examine how the eye works when processing light. When purchasing a new digital refractor, you may want to consider the kinds of special or advanced tests the product is capable of.

More often than not, instruments capable of multi-tasking are ideal for increasing efficiency, and many doctors say that they perform more accurate refractions using advanced digital refractors. Take the time to consider how easy it will be to use and document the findings of your advanced tests, as efficiency can fall when the processes of using "special" systems become too complex.

Making the Right Choice

Finding the ideal digital refractor solution for your particular needs will be a matter of research and personal preference. Usually, it's a good idea to consider the above factors, as well as looking into service warranties and technicalsupport. 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 throughout.

What do you think is the most important feature of your digital refractor? Which factors would influence your decision in purchasing new ophthalmic equipment?

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