Do Your Homework
There are many things that one can use to justify not doing the homework on a patient. The other guests waiting for assistance, the stack of doctor files that need to be verified & put away, that mountain of trays by the lensometer that need to be checked & called, the list could go on and on. There will always be something to do, but by taking a few extra minutes on the front side can save yourself (and your co-workers) a lot of headaches & added work down the road.
There are 4 things that I try to take the time to get with every patient. While not a complete list of useful information, I find making notes on these things helps the majority of time.
Reading the guest's current pair & noting down the RX can save you a number of ways. Maybe the Doctor's 7's look like 2's or you accidently typed 2.5 instead of .25. A quick glance between the new RX & what they are wearing can save you from making the wrong power or alert you to a dramatic change in their prescription which should be discussed with the patient up front so they are aware of the adjustment. Letting someone know that the new lenses may take a bit getting used to is a whole lot easier at the time of sale than it is at dispense.
Checking a guest's old PD can give you a heads up to some potential issues and allow you to avoid some of them. If someone has been wearing a pair made with an incorrect measurement they may have adapted to the induced prism and not see as well from the new pair made to the correct PD. Discovering this before the job is started gives you the opportunity to discuss it with the patient to see if you need to adjust your measurements to give them the best vision.
Noting down seg type is becoming more and more important. With over 600 different types of progressives on the market simply noting that it was a no-line bifocal is no longer enough. Knowing the brand, corridor length and fitting height is crucial to making the transition to the new pair seamless. Since we began digitally surfacing progressives in house, getting those pieces of information have made a vast difference on tailoring the lenses to the patient's specific needs and the resulting overall satisfaction because of it.
Making note of the type of frame a person will be coming out of can be useful, especially if they are changing types. If they have been wearing a zyl frame and are now going into a drilled rimless frame which sits much further away you may need to adjust vertex distance to compensate. Making notes on the order passes this information on to the lab who can make the adjustments necessary so that the patient notices little difference switching between pairs.
I find that by doing my homework in these 4 areas I spend less time troubleshooting and have more time to do the things that I like to do. Follow Charlie on twiiter: @LabArtisan