|Amcon’s extensive Web site helps it live up to its title as “The Eyecare Supply Center.”|
Stocking your practice is a snap when you can go online any time of the day or night.
Ordering supplies or Rx products can be daunting and time consuming, especially when using 20th-century technologies. Orders by phone are usually limited to daytime business hours (when you are too busy), and they are often fraught with errors. Fax ordering can be a mystery: Did they actually receive the fax?
Instead, you can streamline your practice, reduce errors, and order 24/7 with Web-based ordering sites. Whether you’re looking for Rx or stock lenses, frames, contacts, solutions, pharmaceutical supplies, instruments, or other items, they’re all available on electronic ordering sites.
RX LENSES AND MORE
My personal favorite is Vision-Web. Hundreds of independent suppliers and laboratories have joined the VisionWeb network to bring eyecare professionals a portal for accessing a wide array of eyecare products and services. For example, this site can connect you to your favorite labs for convenient and efficient online ordering. Drop-down menus immediately display what products and services are available from your manufacturers. You also have options for reusing prior orders for duplicate pairs and for importing edger tracing information for remote edging. If you have several locations, they allow multiple ship-to addresses.
In our office, VisionWeb is integrated with our practice management software. Patient Rx information (PD, segment height, etc.) is sent directly to the lab, which prevents costly phone and typo errors. Frames can be ordered from a number of major companies and drop shipped to your lab (or your office) for processing. There are options for contact lens ordering, manufacturer payments, and insurance claims submission. Tracking order status is easy too. There is even a section that consumers can access for educational information on eye health, ocular anatomy, and eyewear.
THREE E-SERVICES IN ONE
Eyefinity is another great time saver and a true multitasker. You can submit insurance claims, process lab orders, order frames, and contact lenses, and track it all instantly. Eyefinity is integrated with
|VisionWeb provides an Internet portal for ECPs to access a wide array of eyecare products and services.|
OfficeMate’s eBusiness Solutions, which combines three electronic services.
eBuy handles frame ordering. Frames can be sent directly to your VSP or eLab surfacing provider or directly to your office. Its online frame catalogs are really helpful, and the reordercontacts.com section lets your patients reorder contact lenses for direct shipment through your office site. eWeb-Extra features Web site design and hosting options so you can get a site up and running. eClaim manages insurance claims, storing billing codes and provider numbers, and tracks claim and payment status with just a few clicks.
My favorite part of Eyefinity is in the frames section, where I can track recently dispensed frames processed through VSP or eLab. While not the most important feature of this site, it sure makes tracking inventory easy. I know exactly what we need to restock and what’s selling.
ONE STOP FOR CONTACTS
Most contact lenses can be ordered directly from the manufacturer, but we have a huge contact lens practice, which could make for six or seven extra site visits during the ordering process or multiple phone calls waiting for the “next available representative.” We order from the ABB CONCISE Web site, a one-stop wonder. With only one site to visit, we receive immediate notification of product availability, an instant order printout, and an e-mail as soon as the package ships. This also makes the return process easier, as we are not shipping returns to multiple suppliers. Virtually all major soft lens brands are available, and the drop-down menus are easy to use.
ABB CONCISE also manufactures gas permeable (GP) lenses of all types with a 48-hour turnaround on most. Because we fit a lot of keratoconus and GP bifocals, this further consolidates the ordering process for our office. You can access online fitting tutorials for specialty lenses and parameter guides for most contact lens products. This company has the same promotions, warranties, and trial lens
|‘GO-TO’ SITES FOR UNIQUE PRODUCTS There is nothing worse than a damaged screwdriver blade! When this happens, my two “go-to” Web sites for this category are Western Optical Supply and Hilco. Western has some unique products for those thorny issues that always seem to take up too much time (like broken screws). My other favorite, Hilco, has a multitude of offerings for almost every need. They both have easily navigable Web sites that are a joy to order from!|
ratios as the major manufacturers…and your favorite reps get credit too. Do you want to ship re-orders directly to your patients? You can easily create your own Web store with YourLens.com, set your own prices, and allow your patients to buy from you online. You can track shipping information with a couple of clicks! ABB CONCISE also stocks spectacle lenses in many parameters and materials.
SUPPLIES AND PHARMACEUTICALS
Amcon, “The Eyecare Supply Center” has it all. From chinrest papers to cycloplegics, from eyeglass cases to diagnostic testing materials, this site has everything you need to restock an ophthalmic office. As a bonus, some products, such as a near vision testing card, contain text in Spanish as well as English. I can order almost anything from lens cleaning cloths to shop trays, from fluorescein strips to anesthetics. When I needed large-molecule fluorescein in a hurry, it was there! There are not too many places where you can go for this type of one-stop shopping.
The online catalog is enormous, and the drop-down menus are user-friendly. For the medical side of our office, we can restock quickly and access previous orders for a quick use comparison and to establish a timeline for inventory replacement. For the optical side of the office, we can replenish lab supplies such as screws, nosepads, etc. Amcon also offers a full line of accessory products like cords, contact lens solutions, and kid-focused products such as the oh-so-cute Weezer sunglasses.
Hilco is another company that offers many ophthalmic and surgical supplies. For the medical office, it has sutures, scalpels, incisional, laser surgical instrumentation, and even A-scans and pachymeters. The Web site also features a full line of ocular pharmaceuticals. It’s easy to navigate, and you can track your usage for inventory purposes.
If you’re looking for an electronic ordering site that has a wide array of optical products, consider surfing over to 1-800-optisource.com. You’ll find just about every common item you might use in an optical shop or ophthalmic office. For example, there are bulbs for just about any instrument, from slit lamps, to radioscopes, to lensometers and beyond. Need any dyes? UV treatments? Anti-scratch coating materials? Opti-Source International’s selection of lab chemicals is awesome. There is also a huge selection of blocking pads, edger wheels, truing sticks, coolants, defoamers, and other edging supplies.
How about the newest in frame repair screws? Look for the new and unique Snapit™ Frame Screws. There are also cleaning cloths, lens cleaners, lens edge treatments, and myriad lens surfacing and finishing supplies. I particularly like the vast offering of replacement parts such as nose-pads, temple tip replacements, screws, and all necessary tools. The Micro-PAL Identifier™ has a small footprint that’s great for the dispensing table or finishing lab. And don’t forget the basics like screwdrivers and blades. You’ll find them in every configuration, style, and size.
So go ahead and streamline your practice, reduce errors, and order any time by utilizing electronic ordering sites. It’s the 21st-century thing to do!
Sharon Leonard is a licensed optician and contact lens practitioner in the Syracuse, NY, area.
WHERE TO FIND IT
800-772-3911 • con-cise.com
800-255-6161 • amconlabs.com
877-448-0707 • eyefinity.com
800-955-6544 • hilco.com
800-OPTISOURCE • 1-800-optisource.com
800-874-6601 • visionweb.com
Western Optical Supply
800-423-3294 • westernoptical.com