The endeavor of the following paper is to empirically quantify, by way of a telephone survey, the most commonly made errors made by optometric practices when ordering ophthalmic prescriptions. Thus allowing for potential to bridge the gap between industrial and optometric expectations on ophthalmic prescription orders. In the survey it was revealed that optometric offices are responsible for approximately 67.9% of the total lab errors requiring call backs by the ophthalmic laboratory to the respective practices. The top six most frequent errors represented approximately 89.9% of all optometric mistakes reported. The number one error reported was categorized as "reading adds" and it comprised 30.5% of the total errors. A missing P.D. (23.3%), cylinder axis (11 %) and power sign (11 %) were next in succession followed by incorrect frame information (9%) and unspecified tints (5.3%) made the top six reported office errors. The remaining percentage of the lab errors were mainly composed of bad legibility and omitting lens material type. Ophthalmic Industry reported that optometrists' efficiency in writing or specifying lab orders has declined in recent years, 44% increased error, 36% decreased error and 20% report that it has stayed the same. The industry seems to feel, at least from a subjective point of view, that optometrists are performing at their utmost capacity by a margin of 65.3% to 34.75%. When the industry representative was asked if there was any added input that they might want to communicate to optometrists it was reported that the majority of the optometrist's lab errors were due to staff error and staff education or the lack thereof. This deficit comprised approximately 54.5% of the total error on the part of the technicians or the optician in the optometric office. The need to change orders to increase efficiency in orders via fax/modem was the next item reported. There was an apparently consistent percentage of repeat offenders (6.4%) in the optometric community. The remaining five comments only comprise 16.7% of the total errors reported.
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