Article Date: 5/1/2010

The VIP Treatment
contact lens focus

The VIP Treatment

Automated communications simplify your practice, keep patients informed.

MELISSA SHORT, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

To promote your practice and maintain your patient base, you must take advantage of each opportunity to keep your office relevant to them. For some optometrists, optimal patient retention and relations means utilizing the eyeVIP communications tool from Alcon, Inc.

This free, web-based communication program links you and your patients in-between routine appointments, increasing patient retention, saving your practice time and money and providing patient education.

Increasing patient retention

The program increases patient retention by sending out electronic appointment reminders, eyecare tips and special offers — all as if these things were coming directly from your private practice.

This is important, as contact with patients in-between office visits can mean the difference between a stable and returning patient base or a decrease in regular visitors.

EyeVIP is a free, web-based program that enables you to stay in touch with your patients in between office visits via electronic appointment reminders, patient education on eye health and practice promotions.

The program is another way for a private practice to set itself apart, says optometrist Robert G. Goerss, of O'Fallon, Mo.

“Programs like eyeVIP help to keep my practice at an elevated level in my patient's mind,” he says.

Time and money savings

Other optometrists, such as David Masihdas of Salt Lake City, Utah, says that eyeVIP reduces the amount of time and money spent on standard office procedures, such as scheduling visits and mailing appointment reminders.

Citing the importance of technology and time, Dr. Masihdas says eyeVIP's professionalized format has streamlined his office.

Patient education tool

EyeVIP alerts your patients to practice promotions of which they may not otherwise have been aware. In addition, it helps your patients to take advantage of special offers, such as coupons, that aren't available elsewhere. Both have the potential to increase your practice revenue.

“… At the same time, [eyeVIP] shows the patient how important their ocular health is,” says Dr. Goerss.

Specifically, the web-based communication program provides patients with information on topics, such as contact lens hygiene and proper spectacle care.

The delivery of eyecare tips and reminders can increase patient compliance — and the likelihood they'll return to your office, says Dr. Goerss.

“If an individual is continually presented with information from our office, then they are more likely to stay compliant with both their examination schedule as well as [their] contact lens hygiene,” he says.

This is because repeated exposure to proper eye health encourages patients to seek professional care regularly and to implement a regimen of self-care.

And through frequent contact, you can more easily engage with patients and keep the focus on the importance of eye health.

EyeVIP creates an advantage for both you and your patients by increasing patient retention, saving practices time and money and providing patient education, your colleagues say. They suggest you investigate this value-added business and educational resource. OM


MS. SHORT IS A FREELANCE WRITER BASED IN OAHU, HAWAII.

Optometric Management, Issue: May 2010