Optometric practitioners are overwhelmed by an array of practice modalities and methods. Technologic expansion is subject to the law of diminishing returns, especially as insurance reimbursements are increasingly challenged. Our knowledge base and techniques are expanding so rapidly that it causes us to pause and consider what really matters. This led me to the concept of the “1% Rule.”

Examples of the 1% Rule
If a clinical technique can add 1% to the growth of my practice with no investment in technology or personnel, then it is worth considering and pursuing. For example, I am personally interested in systemic and ocular inflammatory disease. Developing this specialty focus would involve attending top CE lectures, scouring the literature and eventually, lecturing on the topic myself. In return, patients recognize my expertise on this topic as a distinguishing feature of my practice.

Use the 1% rule for contact lens care and solutions. As eye care practitioners, we believe that proper use of lens care solutions is tremendously important and linked to our broader mission of promoting contact lens compliance. We therefore take the time to review techniques and procedures at each appointment. Patients are appreciative of the practitioner’s extra time and attention, and will often remark on our positive approach at a subsequent visit.

The practice-building effect is quite apparent. We miss an important teaching moment if we take the stance that “solutions don’t matter.” Science indicates otherwise, and the lackadaisical dispensing of solution samples does not inspire compliance.1-4 Keep in mind that the teaching itself shouldn’t involve a scare tactic. Most patients don’t respond well to a recitation of grave consequences.

Instead, at my practice, we have adopted the practice suggestion of Mile Brujic, O.D., of Bowling Green, Ohio, who emphasizes comfort as the benefit of compliance. OPTI-FREE® PureMoist® MPDS with HydraGlyde® Moisture Matrix fits perfectly with this approach. Its advanced features yield comfort and safety, while enabling us to present a new, forward-looking technology.

Aren’t you on the edge of your seat when you hear about a new product that may enhance your health, safety or convenience? Isn’t that what our patients look for at their annual exam? For contact lens practitioners, the direction here might be obvious: Technologic investment, loan servicing and equipment failure are zero when the stake is a targeted, one-minute discussion with the patient, followed by instruction and dispensing by our contact lens staff.

It isn’t the sale of solution that gives the 1% effect—it’s the caring and empathy that can set a practice apart from its competitors. Increased wettability and excellent disinfection are the reasons we recommend OPTI-FREE® PureMoist® MPDS and better contact lens comfort is our motivation. This approach has surely contributed 1% (or more!) to our bottom line, and it can do the same for yours as well.

1. Andrasko G. Andrasko Corneal Staining Grid. The Staining Grid Center. 2006-2009. Available at: www.staininggrid.com (accessed May 2012).
2. Corbin G, Kading D, Powell S, et al. Clinical evaluation of a new multi-purpose disinfectinog solution in symptomatic wearers of silicone hydrogel contact lenses. Clinical Optom. 2012 Jul 25;2012(4):13-24.
3. Kern J, Kappell G, Trinh H, et al. Antimicrobial properties of anovel contact lens disinfecting solution, OPTI-FREE® EverMoist®.  Presented at the British Contact Lens Association annual meeting, 2011.
4. Garofalo R, Lemp J. Clinical trial experience with Opti-Free PureMoise MPDS. CL Spectrum. 2011 Sep.