Coronavirus BRIEFING

COVID-19 Crisis Response Tactics: ABB Optical Group, CooperVision, Luxottica

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VM brings you the latest information from optical companies and organizations responding to the coronavirus. As part of ABB Optical Group’s (ABB) continued efforts to assist eyecare professionals (ECPs) as they recover lost business, the company has introduced the ABB Revitalize initiative with services, special offers and other resources to help support ECPs nationwide, offering them options to return stronger than before. ABB Revitalize includes special offers to help ECPs with reopening their doors and increasing patient satisfaction and retention both now and long term. The offers include:

• Through ABB Business Solutions, customers can sign up for ABB Analyze, the practice performance dashboard software, ABB Verify, the managed care and benefits patient outreach tool, and EyecareLive, ABB’s recently added telemedicine business solution, all at no cost for 60 days.

• ABB’s Yourlens online ordering platform and ABB AutoShip, the company’s contact lens subscription service, remain available to customers at no cost. Both solutions can help ECPs provide convenient online ordering options for patients.

• ABB Contact Lens is extending free direct-to-patient shipping on orders of two boxes or more of qualifying products through June 30. For a limited time, independent ECP customers will receive an additional 30-day terms from the normal due date on certain qualifying purchases.

• ABB Specialty Vision Products customers may take advantage of a free HydraPEG coating on one pair of any ABB-manufactured Contamac materials and extended warranties on all ABB specialty product designs.

Along with the offers, and in collaboration with industry leaders, ABB Revitalize features seven steps recommended to ECPs who are seeking to successfully reopen their offices. The suggested recommendations include steps on staying informed, enhancing practice patient and safety, documenting protocols and processes, communicating with patients, expanding methods of care, tracking and measuring performance and planning for the future.

“We want all ECPs to know that we at ABB are here to help, regardless of which phase of recovery a practice is in, and we’ll be here to make them stronger once they have recovered,” chief executive officer Tom Burke said. “With ABB Revitalize, customers will have access to strategic insights, intuitive resources, and special offerings to help them grow revenue and reduce expenses. This isn’t about just recovery. This is about being even stronger than before.”

For more information on ABB Revitalize and to sign up for special offers, visit the newly launched website at abboptical.com. ABB customers can also reach out to their account manager or call (800) 852-8089 to learn more.

In support of U.S. eyecare professionals working to reopen their practices and rebuild their businesses, CooperVision will host a webinar series featuring its Best Practices program honorees, “Best Practices to Get You Back to Practice.” The series kicks off on Thursday, May 28.

“Best Practices has always been about sharing the stories and expertise of the practices that have taken the profession’s challenges head on, finding ways to thrive in spite of them. COVID-19 is an obstacle that all eye care professionals are currently facing—and the best way to get through it is together,” said Michele Andrews, OD, senior director of professional and academic affairs, North America, CooperVision. “With this webinar series, we’re providing ECPs the ability to collaborate with some of the brightest minds in the industry on a peer-to-peer level, knowing that they are in the trenches right beside them.”

Each of the six webinars will feature two eyecare professionals from CooperVision’s Best Practices initiative, which recognizes optometric practices that advance the profession through innovation, leadership, and the provision of exceptional patient experience. During the webinars, the honorees—who span the program’s five years—will provide insight on various topics relevant to practice management and patient care during the pandemic.

The “Best Practices to Get You Back to Practice” webinars are free and open to any eyecare professional. The next one is titled Making Schedule Changes an Integral Part of Reopening  and is scheduled for May 28, 8:00 pm EST. The honoree speakers are Carrie Alfieri, OD, Pinnacle Eye Associates and Elizabeth Muckley, OD, Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons.

For more information or to register for the webinars, visit https://bit.ly/CooperVisionBestPracticesWebinars.

Luxottica has launched the Phase 2 management and prevention model in its workplaces, under the "scientific patronage” of the Department of Molecular Medicine of the University of Padua and of the Microbiology and Virology Laboratory University/Company Padua Hospital directed by Prof. Andrea Crisanti. Phase 2 will include new swab protocol, and a monitoring system to prevent virus spread, according to Luxottica. These surveillance procedures were presented to the social partners within the Luxottica National Observatory for Phase 2 "Together to Start Again", set up between the company and trade union representatives in April to encourage discussion on proposals in contrast to COVID-19. The company said in a statement, "With the appropriate adaptations, they will be progressively extended to all offices worldwide, confirming Italy's role as an innovation laboratory for the entire Group."

Luxottica will offer all employees the opportunity to undergo COVID-19 swab test, free of charge. This includes the entire corporate population: offices, factories and shops. The tests began on May 11 in the Agordo and Sedico offices, and will be aimed at all the Italian employees of the Group, their families and certain local communities. Luxottica said it will also make use of a new COVID-19 Laboratory directed by Prof. Crisanti at the University/Hospital of Padua, created with the initial contribution of 1.5 million Euros from the Leonardo Del Vecchio Foundation and which will be able to manage up to 40 thousand diagnostic swabs per month.

This first test phase will offer a complete picture of the Luxottica population and aim to isolate any asymptomatic positive diagnoses. The company and the University are also developing a new digital system to map the level of each employee's risk of exposure. When fully operational, Luxottica said, "the tool will allow intervention on Luxottica personnel with targeted or 'intelligent' buffers, because they are performed with the right frequency and addressed to the most significant situations within the active surveillance process."

The company will also equip employees with a monitor that alerts them if they are not respecting social distancing rules and keeps track of contacts with people potentially at risk of coronavirus infection. The small device, which the company calls a proximity badge, will be trialed at Luxottica's Agordo plant in the Veneto region in the next few days. Employees can carry the badge along with their access card, and it is equipped with a sensor that makes a sound alert if two employees are less than 1.5 meters apart. In addition, employees with the badge will be identified by an encrypted code. This data will be collected by a central database which will keep track of all contacts so that anyone who came into contact with someone who tests positive can be alerted and tested as well.

Luxottica has also launched an internal toll-free number for immediate medical advice for employees and their families. It is available to every employee who feels the need to speak, even at night and on weekends, with an expert professional.

Francesco Milleri, CEO of Luxottica said, "The unique dimension of this crisis requires new answers and tools, not adaptations of old models. What changes today and constitutes the real novelty is the evolution of the concept of community and corporate responsibility. A responsibility that expands to protect the entire social and economic system of reference. The role of companies for their own survival must change as the role of the state, politics and trade unions will have to evolve and adapt to this new reality. Only the convergence of innovative organizational models, digital technologies, new labor legislation and adequate mechanisms to stimulate the economy will be able to guarantee a solid response to this global crisis."

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