Optometry Podcast: Varilux Challenge

This episode is brought to you in partnership with Essilor

Do you prescribe specific brands when you write your patients’ glasses prescriptions? In a recent poll on our Instagram account, 85% of you said that you do not. 

Dr. Jerrold Fruchtman of Ridgedale Family Eye Care is our expert guest on this podcast, sharing his successful practice philosophy behind prescribing brand specifics from progressive design to AR coatings. His office recently participated in the Varilux Challenge – a 30-day challenge prompting eye care providers to lead with Varilux with every presbyopic patient. He shares the impact this challenge had on his practice and how he educated patients about the differences in product options at his office versus at wholesalers or online retailers who would not be able to fill the glasses prescription as he has written. 

When Dr. Fruchtman prescribes progressive lenses, his philosophy is to prescribe to every patient as he would to a family member. “I tell patients, you don’t just need a progressive, you need a Varilux X,” he explains. “Patients come to my practice because we have the latest technology and the best in lens development. I don’t want to say, ‘here’s your prescription; go get a progressive,’ because I don’t believe that serves the patient.”  

Dr. Fruchtman is also a strong believer in the importance of the doctor-optical handoff where he walks with the patient to the optical and reiterates what he’s prescribed to the patient directly to the optician. This gives him another touch point to emphasize what he’s prescribed and why it’s a vital technology to solve the patients’ specific concerns. 

By participating in the Varilux Challenge over the course of 30 days, Dr. Fruchtman noticed an improvement in the way his opticians were able to confidently educate and discuss specific lens technology. It empowered his opticians to know that the Varilux technology was what patients were going to be getting and there was no discussion of trying to find a lower-grade technology if a patient pushed back. The backbone to say, ‘this is the technology we believe in because we want our patients to see the very best,’ was very powerful for his opticians and staff to embrace. 

The overall capture rate at Ridgedale Family Eye Care is very successful: 49-50% in optical. Their remake rate in progressives has also greatly improved. Prior to using the Varilux X series progressive, Dr. Fruchtman was very unhappy with his 4-5% remake rate. That’s had significant improvement since making the change. 

Dr. Fruchtman discusses that he intentionally writes “Varilux Progressive” on his actual physical prescriptions that his patients take home. If a patient does take the written prescription to a wholesale retailer or online optical, he does receive calls back sometimes from patients that can be uncomfortable when the retailer they are at doesn’t carry that specific product. “I believe in the technology,” Dr. Fruchtman explains, and he tells patients if they call back asking him to change what he’s prescribed that he wrote the prescription as-is because that’s what’s going to give them the best results. If they choose something that won’t be as good in performance, then that is not the quality or vision performance that he had prescribed for them.

Mr. Jeff Harrell is the Vice President of Product Marketing for Essilor, and brings to this podcast insight into what makes Varilux technology especially versatile. “When it comes to any of the Varilux lenses, it’s really the research and development that sets the technology apart,” he explains. Five years of research into unmet patient needs and new patent development went into the Varilux X series. The power of the prescription is very important in helping patients understand what’s happening to their vision. “Presbyopia is a medical condition that patients come to see you as the doctor to help them solve,” he states. “Varilux is the solution.” 

Essilor is helping eyecare providers make these in-office conversations easier by increasing their direct-to-consumer marketing and social campaigns, so that patients are more likely to come into your office already familiar with the technology and asking for it as the best solution! Support from Essilor reps is also readily available to help train staff and resolve any issues that might arise in the practice with lab orders.

Take the challenge today at VariluxChallenge.com!

Drs. Glover & Lyerlyhttps://www.defocusmedia.com
Defocus Media is run by two successful Millennial optometrists and social media entrepreneurs, Dr. Jennifer Lyerly and Dr. Darryl Glover. They have proven track records of successfully engaging online readers and followers. They reside and practice in North Carolina.

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