Article Date: 8/1/2012

CooperVision Launches Multifocal Daily Disposable
strategy & innovation

In and Around the Exam Lane

Use technology to increase efficiency, productivity and customer service.

Scot Morris, O.D., F.A.A.O.

Let's focus on a few of the technologies that can help improve customer service, efficiency and productivity in and around the exam lane. I challenge you to pick one and try it for the next three months. Focus on it. Make it part of your process. In another three months, try something new, bringing the same enthusiasm and focus.

History

History taking has to be one of the most mundane and non-productive experiences in the medical exam. Patients fill out the same forms (personal health information, HIPAA, financial information, etc.) at every office visit. I abhor the redundancy, especially when I visit my physician's office.

What if you developed forms that patients could fill out online or on a tablet computer in your office? If you can't engineer this solution, why not enlist the help of a patient and compensate him with a “comped” exam?

We now put an editable PDF of these forms on our tablets, which patients fill out and sign while they are in the pre-test area or, better yet, at home so they are not “wasting their time” with paperwork in our office. We encourage patients to print these forms to use in their physicians' offices.

Customized viewing

When patients complete the forms, invite them to sit in the reception area or exam room and watch “TV” — that is, a digital sign solution that offers customized content, which we find critical in “preparing” consumers for the next steps of the exam process. Each four-minute loop provides a brief feature on our practice, doctors and staff followed by five-second spots on daily disposable and multifocal contacts lens options, sunwear attributes, progressive lens technology and anti-glare coating. Interspersed with quick pieces of trivia, this “consumer merchandising” helps create a demand for the products and services we introduce.

Another option is the “tech” sitter: We “rent” gaming and personal music systems to kids for free by “holding” a parent's driver's license. With the kids entertained, mom or dad can have their exam and shop without being disturbed by “parental duties,” thus increasing patient satisfaction and sales.

The pre-test video experience

Next, while the patient waits during pre-test, why not show a video that describes the next exam process? Such a video would not only make the consumer feel more educated and at ease, it may help patients better understand your fees. You can find such solutions in today's patient education and marketing software systems, which offer a full library of video clips on office tests and procedures.

Delegation

Depending on the laws in your area, you may also delegate some of the following tests to the pre-test process to increase efficiency:

IOP readings. Many new tonometric devices allow your staff to quickly ascertain, without anesthetic, accurate IOP readings.
Refraction. While automated refracting devices bring up mixed emotions, I can only give my experience: I wouldn't practice without one. It has increased our efficiency and profitability many times over. It also has a “cool factor,” and consumers perceive this as a new level of care.

Perhaps the best benefit of these technologies is that they free time to allow us to do what we are paid for — act as our consumer's vision consultants. OM

DR. MORRIS IS THE DIRECTOR OF EYE CONSULTANTS OF COLORADO, LLC, AND MORRIS EDUCATION & CONSULTING ASSOCIATES. E-MAIL HIM AT SMORRIS@EYECONSULTANTSOFCO.COM.


Optometric Management, Volume: 47 , Issue: August 2012, page(s): 62