Take the Time for Technology
Wow patients, and keep them loyal by marketing your office’s technology.
LEAH COLBY, O.D.
Part of our business model in patient care is promoting our medical eyecare services. As eyecare technology continues to evolve, this job becomes more complex: I struggle with how to fit the discussion of my technology in the time I spend with my patients and not fall an hour behind schedule.
To meet this challenge, we have developed 10- to 15-second scripts that our technicians and doctors utilize to educate patients on our technology. In some cases, technicians educate as they administer the tests. In others, the doctors review the technology they utilized during the exam. These scripts can also plant seeds for other patient care opportunities, for example, exams for family members, contact lenses or enhanced optical eyewear technology. Several examples follow.
When developing scripts, don’t overlook basic technology. With something as simple as autorefraction or autokeratometry, our technicians explain what they are doing and why.
Autorefractor scripting: “This technology gives our doctors a ballpark idea of the prescription, so when we see young children or non-verbal patients, it provides a pretty good idea of where to start with their glasses.”
Autokeratometry scripting: “This technology gives our doctors a curvature measurement of the front surface of your eye in the event you are interested in contact lenses or LASIK.”
One of our first investments in technology was a posterior/anterior segment digital camera. We include baseline photos as part of our routine examinations. Not only are the photos a critical tool for following eye diseases, they are an outstanding tool for patient education. Showing patients images of corneal ulcers, diabetic retinopathy or dirty contact lenses plays a huge role in patients’ understanding of their disease or condition.
Photography scripting: “This is a picture of the back of your eye. We can see the blood vessels and how they circulate blood to your retina. I look every year for signs of systemic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, so this photo will serve as a baseline for our future exams together.”
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This has revolutionized my practice. Showing patients an “MRI-like” image of their retinas and/or optic nerves is beyond impressive for patients… and me. It has elevated the level of our patient care, resulting in more appropriate referrals to our network of surgical ophthalmologists and has allowed us to follow patients who have eye conditions with more confidence.
OCT scripting: “This technology takes an “MRI-like” image of the layers of your retina or optic nerve. It allows us to see things that the human eye can’t detect and helps us better understand and manage your eye condition.”
I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity. Develop your own scripting, and utilize at least one of them during an eye exam to help enhance the level of your patients’ care and satisfaction. By “marketing” your technology, you increase patient education and loyalty. OM
DR. COLBY OPERATES EYEWEST VISION CLINIC IN ROGERS AND ST. MICHAEL, MINN. SHE WAS NAMED THE “YOUNG OPTOMETRIST OF THE YEAR” BY THE MINNESOTA OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION. TO COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE, E-MAIL OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.
Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: July 2013, page(s): 37