Article Date: 6/1/2013

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Do Your Patients Really Know You?

Use touch points to position yourself as the expert in eye conditions.

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GINA M. WESLEY OD, MS, FAAO

Do your patients know you? And by “know you,” I mean do they know your expansive wealth of ocular knowledge and capabilities in relation to diagnosing and treating eye conditions?

I imagine at this point you are thinking, “Well, how could they? It’s such a wide berth of aptitude, I don’t have the time to tell them.” To which I respond, how can you afford not to tell them?

In today’s world of healthcare reform, managed care plans and varying levels of competition, the only constant is change. I believe that our patients are becoming savvier, in terms of their choices, every day, and if you aren’t aware of them shopping for not only products, but for doctors’ abilities and know-how as well, you may be sadly left behind.

How, you may ask, can I possibly convey my level of skill beyond educating the patient throughout the exam process and throwing a few diplomas on the wall? Subtle layers of touch-points throughout your practice are the best way, in my opinion, of letting your patients know you are the eyecare expert.

Look beyond exams.

Aside from what happens during the exam process itself (which starts, by the way, from the scheduling phone call or e-mail), display and outline the services you provide on your website and Facebook page. Showcase these same items on in-office materials, such as brochures, handouts or professionally bound binders located in the reception areas and/or exam rooms.

Become a TV star.

These days, it’s easier than ever to create your own videos that highlight you explaining the technology in your office. Or consider featuring a service you provide, such as orthokeratology or vision therapy. Who best to hear it from than the doctor? Why not feature yourself on the television in the reception area and/or your website, all while working with patients in the exam room? I love technological “delegation.” I just put myself in two places at once, and patients notice. They joke at my amazing ability to be present in all areas. However, those patients paid attention and just learned extensions of my skills that may not have come up in the exam room.

OTHER COLUMNS LIKE THIS:

MAY 2013
Talking Tech With Patients • page 50

APRIL 2013
Your Best Resource • page 43

MARCH 2013
Spruce Up Your Optical • page 46

Even if those skills aren’t personally utilized by said patients, I’ve expanded their knowledge of my capabilities, which hopefully brings me up a notch compared with my competition.

Challenging but rewarding

Yes, it’s hard to promote yourself, and many of you are doubtful this can be done, and done with poise and professionalism. However, being comfortable in conveying your strengths and knowledge to your staff, patients and future patients is so very important for your practice and the profession; we could all, as eyecare providers, benefit from the promotion of our optometric capabilities. OM

DR. WESLEY PRACTICES AT COMPLETE EYE CARE OF MEDINA, WHICH SHE OPENED IN 2008. SHE WAS HONORED AS MINNESOTA’S OPTOMETRIST OF THE YEAR IN 2011. E-MAIL DRWESLEY@CECOFMEDINA.COM, OR SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: June 2013, page(s): 52