Optometric Prescriptions: Re-examination of Patients

December 2002

A patient may come to your office with a prescription for spectacles issued by a fellow optometrist, an ophthalmologist or another medical practitioner. If you observe an apparent anomaly or obscurity in the prescription or if, after dispensing, the patient returns to you intolerant of the eyeglasses, you should report the matter to the prescribing practitioner and seek to agree upon an appropriate course of action. You should not re-examine the patient and issue a new prescription unless the original prescriber has clearly expressed support for such action, or the patient independently requests an opinion from you about the matter.

To act otherwise is not only discourteous but a breach of professional conduct in its implication that the original prescriber has made an error which it is the optometrist’s business to rectify. If, as is always possible, an error has occurred, it can be put right inoffensively by discussion with the original prescriber.