As you read through this month’s articles you will find a theme: Opportunity. I hope you read with excitement, however, I know opportunity for some is anxiety for others. We read about esports (see pps. 10 and 14) and are thrilled to be able to help patients maneuver the challenges video games create for them, both visually and with ocular health. We also know these patients are so hooked on technology, that they may see our practices as “old” or “not relevant,” unless we continually improve, upgrade and invest in technology and efficiencies.
WHAT ABOUT E-COMMERCE?
Everywhere we look, brick and mortar department stores are closing. Are they closing because people don’t want to go shopping, or are they closing because they are not relevant? We know our patients are increasingly concerned about spending money on a less-than-exciting experience with less-than-friendly people in an atmosphere that doesn’t give them a good vibe. What I think is amazing about optometry is that we can improve on all of these areas to create an outstanding patient experience, as well as incorporate e-commerce and high tech in our offices and online, as needed for our patients.
IT’S ABOUT INDIVIDUAL NEEDS
The key to staying relevant to our patients is to continue to solve their problems and make certain we help them connect the dots between what we are doing and how it relates to their individual needs. At my practice, we use a double-sided form that asks patients to answer six questions, so that we can determine their needs. The rest of the form is for the doctor to complete, based on what the patient’s needs are, as well as our findings from their comprehensive eye health evaluation. (The form will be presented at Optometric Management Education CE presentations. See p.12 for more information.)
This form includes a summary of findings and the solution in the form of multiple pairs of glasses (every day, computer, reading, sun), contact lenses and the products needed to promote exceptional eye health. This is in addition to information on any disease findings from the visit.
All the information on the form is delivered from the doctor to one of our team members in the presence of the patient in the exam room. Products are sold, contact lenses prescribed and glasses selected, as prescribed by the doctor. In this way, we stay relevant because we individualize the experience for each patient, leaving them with a take-away (which we scan into their record) that summarizes how we will solve the problems they reported when they arrived.
ASK THAT ONE QUESTION
I have found that when combining this process with one question I ask at the beginning of the exam, I am able to create an experience that is impactful for everyone involved.
That one question is:
“Mrs. Jasper, what are your goals for today?” Try it, and see how much fun it can be. Combine it with a plan to meet the needs you have uncovered with the above questions, embracing new opportunities for your practice and your patients. Once you do, you will see your Net Promoter Scores soar. OM