Eyeworld Supplements

EW MAR 2016 - Supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Abbott Medical Optics

This is a supplement to EyeWorld Magazine.

Issue link: https://supplements.eyeworld.org/i/645003

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8 Achieving premium outcomes and practice success with next-generation laser vision correction ablations by Steven Dell, MD Leveraging laser vision correction in your practice LASIK, polling 1,200 recent patients (considerers and non-considerers). Patients tend to be more driven by functional needs than aesthetics. Fear was the top barrier to LASIK. In addressing this, we need to better under- stand patients' fears (fear of vision loss vs. dry eye or halos). Cost was a second concern. Through patient education, we can correct misconceptions such as the myth that LASIK "wears off." Patients need to realize that when a 58-year-old who had LASIK at age 39 cannot read close up, it is because of lenticular function rather than a change in the cornea. Patient-to-patient referrals were most likely to influence decisions. Satisfied patients tend to refer approximately 7 friends or family members. Patients also were motivated by their optometrists' recommendations. Respondents were not aware of new advances in technology. When we talk about the iDesign system (Abbott Medical Optics) with our patients, we can explain that this is a true improve- ment over previous technology. Conclusion Millennials are a sweet spot for LVC, but it is a bit too early for them to meaning- fully impact our numbers. We need to appeal to both ends of the age spectrum. When surgeons reach out to millennials, they should consider nontraditional, very transparent approaches to increase their interest. Dr. Dell practices with Dell Laser Consultants in Austin, Texas. He can be contacted at steven@dellmd.com. be underemployed. However, they are likely to be optimistic. They also demand transparency and research potential pro- cedures on the Internet. In addition, because they prefer not to wait to make appointments, it may be helpful to provide online scheduling and Saturday and evening appointments. To minimize inconveniences associated with LVC, we have eliminated 1-week postoperative appointments after LASIK. We see patients 1 day and 1 month after surgery. Engaging potential patients Although baby boomers may have re- sponded to television, radio, newspaper, and billboard advertising, these strategies are unlikely to attract millennials. I practice in Austin, Texas, which is a very competitive market. Last year Abbott Medical Optics (Abbott Park, Ill.) conducted a 7.5-month pilot marketing campaign in Austin, which was 1 of 3 markets, using banner ads, paid search, Facebook, and Pandora to drive people to practices that used Abbott Medical Optics technology. During this period, we saw a 24% increase in LVC compared with 2013, in contrast with the national trend where LVC declined by approximately 6.6%. We did not change our price structure or any other significant variable (Figure 1). The cost to acquire a patient was very low—approximately $80 per eye. Therefore, we continued this marketing approach. Consumer research Abbott Medical Optics conducted a consumer research study in 2014 to determine why people chose not to have In growing their practices, surgeons need to target patients at both ends of the age range A s we build our laser vision correction (LVC) practices, we need to look ahead to how we will target millennials but recognize that we cannot live by this generation alone. Because it will be some time before this massive population accounts for the meat of the LVC age zone, we need to appeal to patient populations at both ends of the age spectrum. Understanding the market LASIK volumes are at historic lows, pos- sibly at one-third of the 1.2 million cases performed at peak. In looking ahead, we need to think differently about many of our patients' visual tasks. There is now greater em- phasis on near vision with cell phones and laptop computers. As near vision requirements increase, they are influenc- ing premium intraocular lens choices as well as LVC decisions. For surgeons who perform refractive and cataract surgery, it can be challeng- ing to appeal to both 25-year-olds and 65-year-olds because they have different concepts of luxury, professional compe- tence, authority, and technology. Although we understand the needs of baby boomers, we may not be as familiar with millennials. Having en- tered the workforce during a recession, members of this generation tend to Figure 1. Results of pilot marketing campaign in Austin, Texas Marketing pilot: results • 24% increase in LVC compared with 2013 • No change in price structure or any other significant variables • Cost per acquisition: $80 per eye Copyright 2016 ASCRS Ophthalmic Corporation. All rights reserved. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the editor, editorial board, or the publisher, and in no way imply endorsement by EyeWorld or ASCRS.

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