When Paula Koch, OD, reopened her practice in May, she says that she and her patients were particularly thankful that her technology from Marco allowed them to keep a distance. “Through COVID-19, I am loving that it’s a touchless experience, and I could sit across the room with my TRS system and refract from very far away,” Dr. Koch says. “It made me and my patients more comfortable.” Plus, it allows both her and her patients to keep their masks on with very minimal fogging.
These are just the most recent benefits she’s reaped from her Marco technology over the years. Dr. Koch founded Cherry Optometry in Chelsea, Michigan, in 2008 during the recession. Initially, she saved by purchasing used instrumentation, but her Vision Source colleagues recommended that she look into working with Marco. She purchased her first TRS system and has had a great experience with Marco ever since.
Dr. Koch brought in her first TRS system for her exam room and OPD-Scan III wavefront aberrometer for the pretesting area. The wow factor has proven it to be a great investment as the data is transferred to the exam room and patient record with a few button pushes. “I say that this is a no-stress eye exam,” Dr. Koch says, explaining that her patients no longer feel the pressure of deciding between one or two. “They can compare right to left or up to down, and within a few minutes, we’re done.”
It has simplified her own routine, as well, and when she added an associate OD, she brought in another TRS system so the experience would be consistent. She can also showcase this new way of refraction with her intern from Michigan College of Optometry. “I feel more confident in my final prescription, and it’s good for my type A personality,” she says, laughing. She likes that she can record the prescription down to the exact degree. “Technology is great, and I couldn’t go back to the old way. Marco makes a mundane task like refraction more fun and interactive for patients.”
TIME FOR A CHANGE
A popular feature of the TRS is the comparison of an old and new prescription, and Dr. Koch says that she has seen patients upgrade for what she would consider a small refractive change. “In the past, I might have said, ‘Let’s roll with the old one for another year,’ but now I ask, ‘Do you notice a difference?’ And they say yes.” Dr. Koch says that it’s also been beneficial for patients, usually those in their 50s or 60s, who are in denial that they need any vision correction at all or who may be trying to get away with readers only. “I show them no prescription and compare to their low plus prescription and ask them, ‘What does that do?’ It opens their eyes—pun intended—on how well they can really see.”
FULL OF POTENTIAL
Dr. Koch’s most recent investment from Marco was the ION anterior segment camera, and she says it’s been an excellent patient education tool, as well. “I can snap a picture of someone who is sleeping in his or her contact lenses and bring it up on the laptop,” she explains. She tells patients, ‘I want to show you these small blood vessels; they shouldn’t be there. That’s how I can tell you’re sleeping in your contacts.” She hopes that it will encourage them to follow a proper wearing regimen when they can see the damage that is being done.
She continues to learn and utilize more functions on the OPD, as well, as it offers so many features and serves as such a reliable predictor. She’s fitting more scleral lenses and adding more myopia management. “I don’t even have to do a fit set with certain brands—it makes it that much easier.” She can send data to her contact lens companies, such as Art Optical in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to be sure the scleral lens specs are exactly what they need.
The retro illumination function has been an asset in monitoring cataracts. “Before I fight the prescription, I can say, ‘This is the reason you are not seeing well,’ and they can visualize it. We like to explain everything and keep patients in the know that it’s not just an issue with their eyeglasses not working well.” The Marco lensmeter is quick at reading lenses, and it is frequently utilized in conjunction with the edger in the in-office lab.
SUPPORT YOU CAN COUNT ON
The team at Marco has been great, Dr. Koch says, from training her staff on operating the technology to troubleshooting. “We had a glitch with our internet router, and they just take over the system and get us up and running.” Their representative is just a text message away, and he is quick to direct her to the expert she needs if he is unable to assist. “That accountability is nice.”