Welcome to the encyclopedia of patient scripts, or “Scriptopedia,” where I’ll provide you with specific scripts that have resulted in the success of either increasing patient education or the dispensing of a product or service. This month’s column: Getting your healthy patients to say “Yes” to retinal screenings.
As per previous “Scriptopedia” columns, remember to use the patient’s preferred name and to incorporate “social proof” because both actions instill patient trust. Also, provide a snippet of education, express the benefits of “why” other patients choose it, and close.
RETINAL IMAGE SCREENING AND FEE
“Laura, we know our patients appreciate that we’ll do everything to improve odds and reduce any risk to preserve their very best eye health. Today, Dr. Smyth advised acquiring a digital image of the interior of your eye. This image provides a baseline for evaluating your eye health. Your responsibility is just $XX. Other patients choose to undergo a retinal image screening because it aids the doctor in detecting abnormal variations inside their eyes, enabling the early detection of blinding eye diseases, such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. It’s been a sight-saver for patients. Do you have any questions, or may I acquire the image for you, too?”*
* If the patient asks, “Will my insurance pay for it?,” reply, “That’s a great question. If the screening image reveals the onset of any vision abnormalities, your major medical insurance will cover it, where your plan entitles you, okay?”
NOTE: People buy the value of “why” and “how” the test benefits or helps them avoid something bad. Tell “why” you perform the test and what’s in it for them, and close with the question: “Would you prefer it, too?”
OCT AND/OR ULTRA-WIDE FIELD RETINAL IMAGING DEVICE
“Debbie, during your exam today, Dr. Smyth is going to evaluate your retinal eye health. The retina is where sight takes place. Diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, occur in this area of the eye. This eye disease is the leading cause of blindness for those older than age 55. Also, it’s cumulative and can develop like a time-bomb through the years. We can check your retina in one of two ways: (1) instill dilation drops, which most patients want to avoid because they cause four hours to six hours of light sensitivity with close-up vision blurriness and require 20 additional minutes of waiting in the office for the drops to take effect, or (2) acquire a digital image of your retinal tissues, which provides a baseline for the future, has no side effects, no additional waiting in the office, and your responsibility is only $XX. Would you prefer the digital image too?*
* When you want patients to choose a combination of screening tests, bundle them as a combined test with evaluation. “Line pricing” can often create patient frustration and skepticism.