If you’ve been in the ophthalmic world for long, there’s one buzz word that you hear all the time: patient experience. From ophthalmic conferences to internal practice management meetings, patient experience and patient satisfaction is the name of the game. While surgical outcomes are obviously important, there’s no ignoring the overall experience a patient has at your practice. Put simply, if you don’t nail patient experience, your practice won’t thrive.
Whether you’re crushing it with patient experience or struggling in this area, there are always tangible changes your practice can make to improve. From a patient’s first contact with your practice to their post-surgical compliance, here are some of the smartest investments in technology and processes we’ve found that can help your practice increase patient satisfaction and improve the experience they have.
8 out of 10 patients will do some form of research online before ever picking up the phone or scheduling an appointment. Not only does this mean that your practice should be #1 on Google (more on that another day), but it also means that you need to be offering tremendous value and education to your patients. After all, surgery is scary, and patients want to know their options. The practice with the best educational materials will win.
We recommend Rendia for digital educational materials. Their embeddable animated videos are useful tools to help patients understand ophthalmic conditions, what they can expect from surgery, and what recovery will look like.
Online Appointment Scheduling
Since most patients will begin their journey online, why not give them a convenient option to schedule an appointment? There are many ways of doing this, and it will likely depend on what electronic records system your practice uses.
The most basic way, however, is offering a simple form on your website that patients can fill out. It should collect some basic details, such as personal and contact information, what type of procedure they’re interested in, and a space for comments or questions.
This will give your staff an opportunity to follow up with patients and continue to educate them and answer any questions they may have. And of course, if patients aren’t interested in sharing that type of information online, they can always pick up the phone…but it’s always nice for patients to have options.
Once a patient has scheduled an appointment and is sitting in your waiting room, the opportunities to educate don’t stop. Consider integrating educational patient videos into your waiting room (again, Rendia is the best platform for this), or even implement a practice promotional video that plays on a loop in your waiting room. High quality flat-screen TVs are dirt cheap these days, so it’s a no-brainer.
You should take any chance you get to promote your services, educate patients, and make them feel at ease. The better informed patients are, the more comfortable they will feel…and that’s a huge boon for word-of-mouth referrals and overall patient satisfaction.
We’ve all been there: the dreaded check-in forms at the doctor’s office. Endless medical histories, clipboards, and a near-100% chance that you’ll mess up on a form. But what if that process could be simplified with a convenient, easy-to-use digital check-in system that could let patients share the necessary health information at their convenience?
Yosi is one of the best solutions we’ve found for this. Yosi is a pre-visit, at home patient check-in platform that removes registration from your waiting room that drastically improves throughput. With Yosi, patients can fill out the necessary medical forms and upload insurance documentation, which reduced unnecessary paperwork at the practice and makes the lives of your front office staff much easier.
If your practice specializes in LASIK or any other elective surgeries that attract a younger audience, this is a powerful strategy to increase patient satisfaction. Given the chance, younger generations are much more likely to use technology that they understand over antiquated medical forms. Trust us – your patients will thank you.
Post-Visit Patient Education
Now that they surgery is complete, we move on to post-visit patient education and that dreaded aspect of all surgeries: patient compliance. Paper eye drop schedules get lost, patients don’t take their drops, or they forget to come in for post-surgical check-ups.
What if there was an app that could coach patients through their post-surgical experience and help them know what to expect along the way?
The Patient Journey app is the best solution we’ve seen for this – it allows providers to set the date and type of the patient’s surgery, as well as their recommended course of post-surgical treatment. Patients receive a customized “plan” via a smartphone app that reminds they to take their drops each day and coaches them through what to expect after surgery. It can be customized with your practice’s branding, and videos and other educational content can be loaded in to further customize the patient experience.
Combined with tools like Rendia on your website to educate patients on what they can expect after their surgery, the Patient Journey app is an excellent tool to increase compliance and make the patient journey that much easier.
Now that every other part of the surgical journey is complete, there’s still one big thing hanging in the air: payment. Gone are the days of checks and printed invoices – practices that use digital invoicing have an easier time managing their records, keeping track of their finances and projected revenues, and receiving payment faster.
Clients of ours have experienced great success invoicing patients with tools like Square and Bill.com. Online payments and invoicing is a competitive space, and there are loads of great providers out there whose set of tools may be perfect for your practice.
Whatever your preferred tool, a digital payment system can make financing more convenient for patients, and much easier for your administrative staff.
All of these tools can help make administrative tasks at your practice much easier, and we’ve seen firsthand how they can work wonders to increase patient satisfaction by providing the patient with a seamless, friction-free experience. While there are tons of great tools out there that fit the needs of nearly every practice imaginable, these are just some of our favorites.