CAN YOU REALLY AVOID GETTING AN AUTOREFRACTOR?

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The HRS-7000 Sirius from Veatch is fully networkable for use in multiple exam rooms.

With all the benefits associated with automated refractors, you might not be able to afford being without one.

Just as it has in so many other professions and workplaces, technology is present in almost all aspects of your practice today. Most ophthalmic offices no longer book appointments using a paper book and pencil—with a click of a few buttons, you can schedule, change appointments, and review your day, week, and month with electronic scheduling software. Most offices are beginning to embrace electronic medical records (EMRs) and are replacing paper charts. This saves time during exams, makes you and your staff more efficient, saves valuable office space, and allows you to interact quicker with other health professionals.

Many offices also use more technology in the examination room, including digital photography of the anterior or posterior segment, enhanced glaucoma screening, autolensometers, autorefractors, keratometers, macular pigment density testing, and any of the newest products in imaging systems. With all of this available, why are so many offices still using a manual refracting system?

WHY GO AUTOMATED?
Since there are so many good automated refractors on the market, ask yourself if you really can avoid getting one. With the touch of a button or use of a remote control, these systems allow you to remain comfortably seated during the exam, eliminating standing, stretching, and reaching, and reducing the likelihood of repetitive stress injuries and back stress that are common with use of traditional phoropters.

Automated refractors are fully programmable, making it possible for technicians or ancillary staff to use, improving efficiency, and allowing more patients to be seen. Most units interact with other

Topcon’s EXAM-5000 features a small optical head to enhance patient comfort and communication.

automated equipment, EMRs, and have wireless capabilities. Computerized data eliminates mistakes and is also accessible from offsite if needed. This gives practitioners more time to spend with their patients, diagnosing conditions, consulting, and educating. Auto-refractor systems, like the ones mentioned below, increase your efficiency exponentially, improving your bottom line.

AIT
The Synergy Automated Refraction System from AIT Industries is compromised of the eDR-10 Phoropter, eRK-10 Autorefractor, and the eCP-10 Synergy Chart Projector. The eDr-10 phoropter has automatic PD control, which automatically adjusts to proper PD measurement based on information transmitted from eRK-10 Autorefractor, although manual adjustment is also available.

There are automatic convergence tests for presbyopia and near vision tests, an ergonomic tilting display, conveniently placed keys to ensure highly efficient refractions and quick chart selection, and 6.4-in. high-contrast color screen. The eRK-10 Synergy autorefractor provides a paperless solution.

TOPCON
EXAM-5000 digital refraction system from Topcon Medical Systems, Inc. includes the CV-5000 Vision Tester, IDS-300 table, chart projector, and autorefractor. It’s a solution for those offices going paperless, and is extremely compact to save and maximize valuable office space. The system’s worktable is motorized and wheelchair accessible. A small optical head enhances patient comfort and communication, and onsite training and installation make setup and training easy. There are even customizable refraction sequences and on-screen technician scripts to make this system even more reliable and efficient.

BENEFITS VS. CHALLENGES OF AUTOREFRACTORS

Benefits

• Increase patient volume: see more patients in same time with enhanced efficiency
• Improve patient satisfaction: patients will notice your high-tech, up-to-date office and will tell their friends
• Boost patient contact time: spend less time refracting, spend more time educating
• Enjoy practicing more: decrease repetitive motions associated with manual refraction, be more comfortable during exams, and become re-energized in this new way of seeing patients
Challenges
• Cost: new technology is always expensive, but your office will become more efficient and you’ll see more patients in less time, thus increasing your bottom line
• Training: most companies provide setup, training, and tech support as part of your purchase
• Resistance to change: this will become less of an issue as staff gain knowledge of new system and take on new tasks delegated by the practitioner


With the CV-5000 Vision Tester’s large color LCD screen and one-dial controller, the eyecare practitioner is able to record a full 21-point refraction effortlessly and with increased speed. The CV-5000 also has the ability to store up to five personalized refraction programs, customizable to each doctor’s particular style. Interactive patient education software makes it simpler to address any concerns or findings in an exam. The high-speed lens chamber and color-coded cross cylinder help increase the speed of the exam; automated data input from pre-test instruments, such as autorefractors and keratometers, further streamline the process.

MARCO
The user- and patient-friendly EPIC 5100 by Marco is an electronic refractor, autorefractor/keratometer, space-saving chart projector, autolensometer, and a motorized table. A reversible color touch screen allows for easy control and selection, while built-in near reading card lights, a tilt screen for near vision testing, and multiple near tests give optimum results.

According to the company, the EPIC 5100 decreases workup time by 10 minutes and allows refractions to be performed in three to five minutes. This system has three contrast and glare testing modes, smoothly integrates with EMRs, and works well with wireless communications. The unique operator “assist” function makes it possible for technicians to perform exams with guided questions and operation. A detailed printout is also provided for storage in patient charts, including unaided and aided acuities, lensometer readings, autorefractor readings, subjective values, acuities, keratometer readings, phorias, vergences, accommodative measurements, and near acuities.

VEATCH
The HRS-7000 Sirius by Veatch Ophthalmic Instruments combines the completely redesigned HDR-7000 Digital Refractor, the HRK-7000A WaveFront Autorefractor/Keratometer, the HLM-7000 Auto-lensometer, and the Sirius Visual Acuity System. HDR-7000 boasts a moveable color touch-screen LCD display, and, according to the company, the aberrometer is the only one priced below $11,000 on the market today. The HLM-7000 Autolensometer also has an LCD color display for easy reading of prescriptions from single vision to progressive lenses. The Sirius Visual Acuity System integrates with the HDR-7000 control panel, and is available with EyeMotion animations for patient education. This system is also fully networkable for use in multiple exam rooms.

As optometrists, we can often be defined by the standard phoropter, and “Which one is better, one or two?” Jump on the bandwagon with these autorefractors and ask “Which is better?” in a whole new way!

Jennifer L. Stewart is in private practice at Norwalk Eyecare in Norwalk, CT.

WHERE TO FIND IT
AIT Industries
800-729-1959 • aitindustries.com

Marco
800-874-5274 • marco.com

Topcon Medical Systems, Inc.
800-223-1130 • topconmedical.com

Veatch Ophthalmic Instruments
800-447-7511 • veatchinstruments.com

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