What Is InfantSEE?
InfantSEE®, a public health program, managed by Optometry Cares® - the AOA Foundation, is designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an essential part of infant wellness care to improve a child's quality of life. Under this program, participating optometrists provide a comprehensive infant eye assessment between 6 and 12 months of age as a no-cost public service.
My 2 Cents About InfantSEE
I am an AOA member and I am quite fond of some of the services they have put together over the years. I feel that they are quite innovative and InfantSee shows that.
I have been an InfantSee provider for nearly 4 months now and it has been monumental in brining patients into my exam room. I think that as pediatric essential health benefits become a reality, InfantSEE will have an even more profound effect on helping you to build your practice.
New Grad ODs and InfantSEE
See the problem is this: being a new grad, I am not 100% booked, more like 25% of my day is spent seeing patients. It is essential I get 100% booked so that I can begin getting more experience as an OD, generating more revenue for the practice and, of course earning more money for myself.
So to solve this problem I came up with a multitude of ideas, but one of them was becoming an InfantSEE provider.
Building Revenue from InfantSEE
InfantSEE doesn’t generate revenue because you see the little guys for free but it sure does bring in referrals! Seeing a 6 month old and taking the time to explain things to parents really builds your name as a community doctor.
“Why wasn’t this caught earlier?” These are the words we all hate hearing from our exam chairs, especially if dealing with a preventable form of vision loss. You don’t have to be a pediatric optometrist to do an infant exam. (Really!) Infant eye exams provide an opportunity to detect sight-threatening refractive error, binocular vision disorders, and ocular health concerns early. They also build an understanding of the importance of comprehensive eyecare throughout childhood and beyond.
Doing a great eye exam on a kid will undoubtedly create some buzz in the community and will bring other patients in your door. Even more so, the parents will be thrilled by your exam skills! Tell them you see adults too! So in my experience, InfantSEE has really helped out our practice.
Talk to your patients about their children’s eye care. When a parent mentions that they have a baby, I always ask if he has had a comprehensive eye exam. If not, I will make sure to give InfantSEE informational material. Free promotional material is available by request through the InfantSEE Provider Toolkit. This will help market yourself as an InfantSEE provider to your existing patients and the community. You can request educational leaflets in English and Spanish, posters, and business cards. Infant vision simulator cards are also available and fun to use as demonstrations in the waiting or exam room!
To order more brochures and leaflets call (800)262-2210 or e-mail email@example.com.
Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an InfantSEE Provider
So you want to tap into InfantSee and build your schedule with both pediatrics and adult patients? Well here is a guide to becoming and InfantSee Provider!
Step 1: Register Online
- Go to http://www.aoafoundation.org/infantsee/become-an-infantsee-provider/
- Fill out the form with your practice information
- Submit the form and wait for your packet of information to come in the mail
Step 2: Read Over the Materials From AOA / InfantSEE
- Welcome Letter from the AOA President
- Clinical Reporting Sheet
- Clinical Assessment Sheet
- Patient History Forms
- Staff FAQs
- Chair side Guide to Infant and Toddler Eye and Vision Exam
- Supply of promotional leaflets and bookmarks
- Infant Assessment CD
Step 3: Publicize That You Are A Provider
- Use your twitter, facebook, google+ and practices website to let people know that you are now seeing InfantSEE patients.
- Utilize your e-mail blast software at your practice and let everyone know that you are an InfantSEE provider.
- Put the brochures and bookmarks in the waiting room and kids area to let people know.
Step 4: Seeing your first patient
- Have your patient fill out the form “Confidential Infant History”
- Preform your exam
- Document your exam on the “Clinical Assessment Form”
- Document your exam on the “Clinical Reporting Form”
- Submit your exam results online to at exam.infantsee.org
Step 5: You’re just about done!
- It is optional, but suggested that you provide a simple report to the parents and to the toddlers pediatrician. Sending the report to the pediatrician can be a HUGE practice builder!
- You must advise the parents both verbally and in writing that the parent is free to choose any eye care practitioner for any follow-up care. A form should be prepared that has that advisory to the parent on it.
What do I actually do for an infant exam?
InfantSEE specifies five assessment objectives – ocular motility, binocular function, refraction, looking behavior, ocular health. The provided guideline lists rough criteria for classification as a problem, concern, or no concern (1, 2).
After each exam, InfantSEE requires that you submit your assessment results. While patient identifying information is kept anonymous, your encounters will be logged under your account.
Tips for examining infants
Try to schedule infant exams during a time of day when the infant will be alert and content – not during naptime, feeding time, or at the end of the day.
Minimize wait time by having parents fill out paperwork beforehand. InfantSEE provides an optional template questionnaire you can use to obtain a more targeted history.
Gather an assortment of colorful, bright, and noisy toys to keep close at hand during the exam. Infants can become bored quickly, so be prepared to switch toys rapidly and frequently. Consider starting with smaller, less impressive toys and working your way up towards the louder toys with spinning lights.
Most objective testing can be completed with loose prisms, a retinoscope, loose lenses or retinoscopy bars, a penlight, acuity grating cards (Teller Cards, Lea Paddles), and a BIO or ophthalmoscope.
Check to see if your electronic visual acuity chart has video capabilities that can be used as a distance fixation tool. If not, consider placing an automated toy, family member, or staff technician at the end of the room to grab the baby’s attention.
Don’t be afraid to act silly and have fun! While singing “Old McDonald” and making animal sounds may not be appropriate with your older patients, your enthusiastic demonstration will likely prove irresistible for your infant patient. As the baby fixates on your face, you may have just enough time to complete your near testing.
Parents are amazed what you can learn by interacting with their child! Explaining what you are looking for as you move through the exam will allow the parents to differentiate your examination from a basic pediatric screening.
Send a follow-up report to the infant’s pediatrician. This can become an excellent educational opportunity and referral source.
Try to have fun and not get caught up in any one aspect of the examination. Keep moving and stay calm!
Success in examining an infant revolves around flexibility
Optometrists have the opportunity to cultivate a lifetime of healthy vision for our patients starting in infancy. Enjoy the chance to act silly and have fun while saving some vision! Share your experience in the comments below!
- InfantSEE: A Public Health Program For Infants. Helping Infants to Establish a Lifetime of Healthy Vision. Accessed January 2018.
- Optometric Clinical Practice Guideline: Pediatric Eye And Vision Examination. Published March 2002.Accessed January 2018.