Assessing Competencies

Case: Cisco, a contact lens fitter, received a call from a colleague, Mike, that he saw one of Cisco’s patients earlier that afternoon with contact lens-associated infiltrative keratitis. Mike told Cisco that this was the third  incident this year that one of Cisco’s patients had contact lens related problems and wanted to figure out how to prevent these issues in the future. Were these patients not following through on safe contact lens care or was something else the issue? 
After having a discussion with Mike, Cisco realized that he has been neglecting to book patients consistently for follow-up appointments. Sometimes he would not get a hold of patients and forget that he didn’t have a follow-up appointment before selling them more contacts. Sometimes it would get busy and he would let it slide. He had expected his patients to call or tell him if they had problems. What should Cisco do? How will the new continuing competency program help Cisco? 
Issue: The discussion with Mike helped Cisco realize that he needed to be more diligent in promoting maintenance of ocular health and corneal integrity. Safe contact lens wear requires confirming and documenting follow-up appointment with patients, testing visual acuity, measuring the corneal surface for change, and clarifying understanding of post care. 
One of the factors that distinguishes contact lens fitters apart from non-professionals is that contact lens fitters don’t just sell contacts. Contact lens fitters create a relationship with their patients, collaborating with the patient to take care of their eyes through regular follow-ups. Contact lens fitters ensure that their patient understand the post care by engaging the patient and providing further education if needed. 
What should he do? Cisco recently read about the new CCP program in the COBC newsletter. He recalls that one of the benefits of the new program is that it will help to assess areas of development. He logs on to his online account to complete the online assessment to generate his competency profile. 
The competency profile indicates that Cisco has areas that need development in contact lens competencies and that indeed he does need to work on providing follow-up care with patients to assess post wear. Cisco looks up the activities he can do to improve in this competency and includes it in his learning plan for professional improvement. Once he completes these activities, he can record in his learning plan how he has developed in this competency and reflect on how his contact lens practice has changed. 
Learning is an ongoing process. We look forward to releasing the new continuing competency tools to help you identify the areas in your practice that need development and support your professional growth with the new CCP. Coming soon!