Article Date: 11/1/2003

instrumental strategies
Optical Marketing Made Easy
The Optichart System takes care of selling and is patient friendly.
BY RICHARD N. FRIEDER, O.D., & AARON M. SAKO, O.D.

In our attempt to balance the fine line between excellence in patient care and maintaining a profitable practice, we have turned to the Optichart Lifestyle and Dispensing System by Medeor Systems Inc. Optichart is an interactive, touch-screen computer that integrates automated patient history, lifestyle profiling and individualized video product presentations to effect higher sales with little or no effort from the doctor and staff.

How does it work?

We're big on marketing concepts so we decided to test the Optichart ourselves. The system is actually quite simple. Our staff greets patients and then directs them to a large print touch screen. With less than one minute of simple instruction, even our patients who aren't familiar with computers enjoy the experience.

They answer yes/no or multiple-choice questions simply by touching the screen. Patients enter their clinical history, lifestyle information and eyecare preferences. Based on their selections, the Optichart software chooses the most appropriate videos for each patient and then prints the patient information in a HIPAA-compliant format on separate forms for the doctor and staff. The entire process takes less than five minutes.

To match the marketing objectives for our practice, we chose from a menu of videos. The core system spotlights anti-reflective lens treatments, progressive addition lenses, polarized sunglasses and newer lens materials. Photochromic and computer lenses, contact lenses and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis video presentations are also available.

The Optichart requires almost no instruction.

Patients can pre-register

In contrast to other patient-operated computer products that require close staff supervision, Optichart doesn't tie up valuable staff time. Patients can even select the Spanish version of the questionnaire and videos and have their responses translated and printed in English.

Another asset to the practice has been the option to pre-register patients on the Internet. Through a link on our Web page, patients can complete a full clinical, lifestyle and insurance questionnaire. The system securely sends the results to our office and sends a copy to the patient. Patients come to the office with their paperwork completed, which saves time and staff effort. Having insurance information in advance prevents billing problems. And of course, the lifestyle data enables higher sales revenue.

It does the selling for you

After the first month using Optichart, we were pleasantly surprised to see our optical sales up by more than 30%. And after more than four months, sales have stayed consistently higher. Our opticians feel that the system makes suggesting upgrades and second pairs easier because patients learn about the products and are thus pre-sold on items of interest.

From the doctor's standpoint, it's nice when a patient inquires about products and procedures without having to "sell" them. And it's helpful to have a full patient history documented for you.

You'll see results

Optichart uses patient- and staff-friendly computer technology while presenting a professional image and message. It's efficient, easy to use and immediately increases profits by promoting premium products, services and, ultimately, your practice. 

DRS. FRIEDER AND SAKO ARE IN PRIVATE GROUP PRACTICE IN ORANGE COUNTY, CALIF. CONTACT THEM AT (949) 586-8200 OR AT EYECARE@LAPAZOPTOMETRIC.COM.

 


Optometric Management, Issue: November 2003