Birmingham Optical director of medical and education, Jason Higginbotham, emphasised the need to educate all practice staff about optical coherence tomography (OCT) in his presentation at 100% Optical (27–29 January, ExCeL London).
He advised practitioners to educate support staff as well as optometrists about how the technology works and the key selling points.
One way of getting staff engaged in the technology is to let them try it out when the device is first introduced.
"Let your staff have scans done and then explain what they mean," Mr Higginbotham suggested.
He observed that while patients did not need to understand the physics of the technology, they did need to have an appreciation of the clinical value of OCT and why it is worth paying for.
Key points that all staff should be able to get across to patients include that OCT can aid the early detection of eye disease and monitor conditions once they are detected.
The technology is quick, easy and non-invasive, Mr Higginbotham stressed.
He suggested using waiting room leaflets and recall letters as methods of highlighting the fact that an OCT is present at a practice.
Newspaper advertisements and open days could also help to raise awareness.
"Open days bring people in and make them realise that you're investing in clinical excellence," Mr Higginbotham highlighted.
He suggested inviting local GPs along to open days, with the possibility that doctors may send patients to the practice if they know that OCT technology is on site.