December 15, 2021
By Kristen Dalli, Managing Editor, Review of Myopia Management
Based on feedback from ECPs who X-Cel had visited, the training session helped them feel more confident in their overall design knowledge, translating to less chair time with each patient.
For practitioners prescribing specialty contact lenses, finding the right design and learning the ins and outs of fitting can be a complex process. Experts at X-Cel Specialty Contacts have been working to simplify the process while building closer relationships with practitioners worldwide.
The company offers its customers two primary fitting and educational opportunities: a live, in-office fitting consultation and the Feed Your Mind educational series. Both offerings aim to create stronger connections between the company and practitioners while providing in-depth education on specific lenses to improve overall fitting outcomes.
Improving the Fitting Process
X-Cel has been making trips to practitioners’ offices worldwide for the last decade, and the company has completed over 300 in-office consultations. After tracking the outcomes from these visits over the years, experts at X-Cel learned that practitioners were more likely to expand the scope of their offerings, as they began ordering more than just the lenses about which they initially had questions. It was clear that these in-office trips were successful because practitioners were also exchanging their lenses far less frequently after consultants had gone through the fitting process with them, compared with practitioners who were ordering lenses but had not received a consultation. Based on feedback from ECPs who X-Cel had visited, the training session helped them feel more confident in their overall design knowledge, translating to less chair time with each patient.
The in-office consultation covers the fitting process from start to finish. Practitioners who often have difficult fits or struggle with a particular design are encouraged to utilize this service. Consultants will come to the office in person and bring any fitting lenses or sets that practitioners request. The training covers: a hands-on lesson on fitting the lens, time for educating staff about their role in the process, and insertion and removal training for patients. Throughout the entire session, practitioners have the opportunity to ask questions to clarify any part of the lens fitting and design process they find unclear.
Traveling Consultants Expand Practitioners’ Skill Sets
X-Cel consultants are willing to travel — even internationally — to provide in-office training for practitioners to ensure they have access to high quality education. Dr. Ebbie Jackson practices at Palmdale Vision Centre in The Bahamas, and after attending a CE event in Fort Lauderdale in 2019, she knew she wanted to expand her skill set to provide her patients with the care they needed.
Dr. Jackson explained that she spoke with several different companies to learn more about the fitting process for scleral lenses. After connecting with Tony Caporali, NCLE, X-Cel’s Director of Product Management and Lead Educator, she set up an in-office training session with X-Cel at her practice in Nassau, Bahamas.
“I was seeing a lot of keratoconus patients in my office, along with high myopes,” Dr. Jackson said. “However, I needed to pursue training in scleral lenses to really meet their needs. I wanted to fit the patients with the proper lenses and get the appropriate training.
“It was a pleasure to have Tony visit me in The Bahamas,” she continued. “I scheduled ten patients and used that day for training. The goal was to provide these patients with a better option to see and be comfortable. Bahamian patients had to travel to the U.S. to be fitted with scleral lenses, so my goal was to learn how to fit the lenses so I could provide the service here. I finally had a fitting that I could use for all of the patients who needed scleral lenses.”
Tony Caporali visited Dr. Jackson (l) in The Bahamas and Dr. Nasr (r) in California to guide them through fitting patients.
Dr. Jackson now feels better equipped to meet her patients’ needs, and she credits her training session with X-Cel for helping her expand her offerings. She noted that consultants at X-Cel are “always willing and ready to assist,” which allows her to provide the best possible care for her patients.
Dr. Roshanak Nasr from All About Eyez Optometry in Downey, Calif., shared a similar story about her experience working with X-Cel. As a long-time customer, she wanted to offer her patients scleral lenses, as it was an area she had not focused on much while in optometry school. She set up a call with Caporali and scheduled a time for him to come to her practice in California for an all-day scleral lens training session.
“I lined up three patients with keratoconus that day, and Tony explained to me step by step how to insert the lenses, remove them, train patients on insertion and removal, what to look for when fitting with the fitting set, and how to successfully troubleshoot,” Dr. Nasr said. “He made it so simple and understandable that I picked it up and went from there, and I’ve fitted scleral lenses with success and ease since that day. I 100% recommend X-Cel to anyone looking for a company that values customer service.”
Getting Specific with the REMLens
In conjunction with the release of X-Cel’s latest orthokeratology design, the REMLens, the company also offers the Feed Your Mind educational series. Practitioners have the opportunity to have leaders from X-Cel visit their offices, or they can complete the training virtually.
Four 45-minute courses are part of the Feed Your Mind Series. In the Training and Certification session, attendees learn about designing a lens and the fitting and evaluation processes. By the end of the course, they will be certified in fitting the REMLens. The Basic Fitting course covers how practitioners can utilize keratometry, the online calculator, corneal topography, and the patient’s prescription to design the REMLens. The Practice Management session goes in-depth on how ECPs can market the innovative design to patients and how they can have these conversations with parents. Lastly, in the Training and Patient Fitting class, practitioners learn about insertion and removal training for the REMLens. Staff receive training on practice management tips, and X-Cel’s consultants go through the entire fitting process from start to finish.
“The Feed Your Mind events have provided the one-on-one training that has also built that relationship with an account, and it can reduce how often practitioners are exchanging lenses and create the infrastructure of knowledge for a novice practitioner to enhance their bottom line with a new offering,” Caporali said. “These events have been virtual, which makes it easy for practitioners to fit them into a busy schedule. Also, most of these events have involved the staff at practices, which creates a uniform learning experience. This has been a tremendous advantage to many practices that are starting the process of implementing myopia management.”