How Digital Marketing Boosts Contact Lens Sales

With consumers making the transition from traditional purchasing methods to more modern forms, it’s time for businesses to follow suit when it comes to their marketing tactics. Consumers are being drawn to digital marketing material such as emails, texts, and websites to make their purchases instead of the old school billboards, flyers, and mail ways. “Digital Marketing has become the sensation of this millennium as well as acting as a savior for all types of businesses. It is a set of tools and marketing strategies to promote your brands and services through the internet medium.” Moreover, if businesses expect to compete with other competition and increase sales, they need to incorporate digital marketing tactics to their business model.

So what is digital marketing….

“Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and their websites to connect with current and prospective customers.” The best way to reach out to patients now is typically right to their mobile device or computer since they spend so much time there. If you can reach them right on their device, you make it easy for them to make a purchase.

How does this effect contact lens sales?

Typically, when a patient sees their eye doctor for their annual eye exam, they are looking to leave with a new pair of glasses, or in this case, a contact lens supply. Now the problem is that many patients will only purchase what their insurance will cover and nothing more. This gives the Doctor’s office a challenge to try and retain that patient throughout the entire year until their next exam. A business-savvy doctor’s office will have a digital marketing strategy in place to reach out to patients throughout the year. Reminding patients that they have to purchase additional lenses at the right time is critical for practices to generate revenue. A simple email or text to a patient can be the difference on whether they re-order from their Doctor’s office or take their business elsewhere to a company made it easy to remember and purchase their next lens supply.

In this digital age where technology is a major factor in consumer sales, it’s only right to market to them digitally as well. Connecting with patients first hand via cell phone, laptop, etc. is the easiest and most effective way to get their direct and undivided attention. This can transition to an increase in branding and patient reach when it comes to patients needing contacts. Making the complete switch to digital marketing not only is beneficial for the office in sales, but great for the patient to have ease of access to the contacts they need.

Need a headstart on some contact lens digital marketing material?

Check out these free templates.

 

Sources

  • digitaldealer.com/digital-marketing-can-help-business
  • blog.adext.com/en/digital-marketing-strategies-increase-online-sales
  • blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-is-digital-marketing

6 Habits of Exceptional Patient Experience Leaders

To some, patient success management comes easy. You might be able to tell by the natural way they quickly and easily build relationships with their patients. They keep patients happy and they rarely leave for a competitor. Some of the most common habits for those individuals that help them with their successes aren’t soft skills. Instead, they are much more tangible skills that can be taught and practiced to help beginners or even those who have experience and are looking for improvement. According to Ron Lunan from Salesforce, here are the six habits that help contribute to the success of customer experience leaders:

1.) They Advocate

Every patient relationship should be a two-way relationship where the patient service professional is able to communicate with the patients, but also allowing the patient to be able to communicate back. The patient should always get the feeling that when they communicate to your organization their voice is heard, and input is considered when changes to the product or services are planned.

2.) They Address

There will come times where bumps in the road come up. Either issues with the product or service come up, or the patient experiences some sort of extenuating circumstance that impacts their success with your organization. These can be tough situations to deal with, but a good patient experience manager will address these issues head-on and make the patient feel at ease. If they have previously established a good relationship it can make these situations easier on both the patient and representative.

3.) They Own

When an issue arises it can be easy for the patient experience manager to shift it off to someone else whether that be a support team or doctor. However, the most experienced managers will do everything they can to try to address the issue immediately before handing it off to someone else. This can help build a trusting relationship between patient and manager as the client feels important when their needs are immediately addressed and that they have a capable, experienced manager ready to help.

4.) They Anticipate

Change is constantly occurring whether it’s to the product or service, organization, or even coming from the patient themselves. A good patient experience manager will be able to anticipate and communicate a plan of action for potential changes that may impact the product or service to minimize any negative implications. This could mean a plan of action for unexpected office closures, scheduling issues, etc. The more prepared you are for change the higher the patient satisfaction tends to be.

5.) They Teach

Keeping your client informed and up to date is a cornerstone to a good relationship with your patients. Not only should you be teaching them about your service or products, but staying up to date on the latest industry trends and topics and providing tips and tricks is a great way to build additional rapport. This can be achieved through various methods whether it be a trunk show with the latest trends in frames or being able to talk to a patient about a new procedure that may be a dramatic improvement over previous treatments.

6.) They Challenge

This trait can be critical to establishing the highest level of success with the patient. When you build a good relationship with the client and acquire a deep sense of understanding on how their needs impact their daily living you open the opportunity to challenge the patient into thinking in new or creative ways to maximize efficiency with your products and services to extract as much value as possible. For eye care practices this can be as simple as talking to the patients about blue light glasses if they work in front of a screen a lot or reviewing how to clean contact lenses if they are a new wearer to make sure they do not become irritating and frustrating to wear.

Your patient management staff may be a natural at this, but it’s always a good idea to be explicitly clear with your expectations of them. They are the main point of contact with your patients and with a little visibility and training if needed, you can have the best customer success team!

Patient Chat: Text Communications That Fill Your Exam Chair

Article originally posted on Review of Optometric Business Feb 20, 2019

By Susan Fairchild, office manager, and Miri Park, OD

When patients want to communicate in their personal life, they often send a text, rather than make a phone call. When scheduling a doctor’s appointment, or communicating about the arrival of their eyeglasses or contact lenses, they expect the same. They want the convenience of texting a quick reply, rather than making time for a phone call.

Fortunately, our patient communication system Prime Nexus allows our practice to do just that–text patients to schedule appointments and to let them know the glasses or contacts they ordered have arrived. The latest Prime Nexus feature, Patient Chat, takes this a step further by allowing us to have whole conversations by text. This not only saves myself, and our front-desk staff, time, but increases the likelihood of a prompt reply from the patient. That prompt reply, in turn, makes it more likely that the patient will schedule an appointment, and make it into our exam chair.

Patient Satisfaction, Staff Efficiency
The beauty of Patient Chat is it creates a win-win for patient and practice. I love that the technology allows me to hold as many texting chats simultaneously as I want, while showing me the history of each of those exchanges. I can see at a glance if another member of our staff has already responded, and what the patient’s, or our staff members’, last comment or question was.

Prime Nexus automatically sends a notice two weeks prior for patients to confirm upcoming appointments. Before Patient Chat, if a patient did not respond within 10 days (following another automatic confirmation sent by Prime Nexus), someone from our office would have to call the patient, often leaving a voice mail which many patients would miss, along with their appointments.

With the ability to send a simple text message, the patient is able to quickly text back, that they can, or can’t make it, and then text back and forth over a couple minutes to reschedule if necessary. The great thing about texting, rather than calling, is patients can text back in many situations they would not be able to answer the phone, such as when they are sitting in a meeting at work.

Texting Boosts Recall Effectiveness
Close to three-quarters of our upcoming appointments confirm via the automatic text, or e-mail, that Prime Nexus sends. The Patient Chat feature then takes the effectiveness of our recall to the next level by allowing us to follow-up when necessary via text, capturing appointments that otherwise would have been lost.

Prime Nexus provides our staff with notifications if a patient with an upcoming appointment has not confirmed, which then prompts us to follow-up. The ability to then text the patient, instead of playing phone tag with them, has resulted in a practice that is now almost entirely booked at least two weeks out. The fuller appointment books connects directly to our profitability, helping us not only offer patients a convenient way to communicate with us, but another way to increase our revenues.

Communicate Office Changes & Field Questions
Over the last year, our office moved to a new location. We set Prime Nexus to send reminder notifications to all patients an hour before their appointments, and to give them the address of our office. We pointed out in these notifications that our office location had changed. Patients then could easily text us to ask for directions if they weren’t familiar with the area that our new office is located in, or if anything else about our move confused them. Many patients noted to our staff that they were glad that we both automatically sent them the reminder about the appointment coming up in the next hour, and that the notification pointed out our new address.

Less Time Spent On The Phone Means More In-Person Time
When the staff is tied up on the phone confirming appointments and letting patients know about the arrival of glasses or contacts, they are not able to give as much attention to what’s happening right under their noses in the office.

With most communications for scheduling and product arrival now requiring no more than a couple minutes texting–if that–our staff can pay better attention to the patients in front of us. That means less interruptions in the optical while helping patients select all the eyewear the doctor prescribed, and more time to provide a hospitable and welcoming environment in greeting every patient who walks through our door. Now, newly arriving patients are less likely to find the receptionist on the phone and experience a positive first impression by being immediately greeted.

The Texting Solution We’ve Been Waiting For
We’ve used–and loved–Prime Nexus for years, but eagerly awaited the ability to go even further in our communication with patients with texting functionality. Patient Chat is the technology we’ve been waiting for, and it has far exceeded our expectations.

Patients hear from us, and respond, in as little as a minute, and those patients in our office have a staff that’s not preoccupied on the phone, and can give 100 percent of their focus to ensuring each patient has the best care possible.

Check out the article here

Thumbs Up for Facebook Marketing

Our world is becoming increasingly digitized, with entire generations coming of age never knowing a world without the internet, social media, or smartphones. That means that every business must have an online presence.  With over 1.2 billion daily active users, Facebook is a key platform for your business.

What you can do to promote your business on Facebook:

Post regularly

One of the best things you can do for your business is to be present with your patients. By showing up on your social media channels and posting items personal to your practice that are of interest to your patients, you help your patients create an emotional connection to your practice. When a patient feels they are truly in a relationship with you, they’re less likely to try going somewhere else. Try to find a balance between informative posts and personal interest stories about the current goings-on in your office.

Create an Event

Having a sale or hosting a trunk show? Put it on Facebook! Creating an event helps spread the word about special happenings in your practice and drives foot traffic through the door. In addition, Facebook events can be visible to people in your area who might be unfamiliar with your practice. This can help new patients find you!

Boost a Post

A boost post is a regular Facebook post that you pay to promote to an audience of your choice. This is a great way to promote your practice and raise awareness outside of your existing patients. Choose people who like your Page, extend it to their friends, or select a new audience filtered by age, location, interests and more. You select your budget for the post, and Facebook will only charge you based on the number of views you get within your budget.

Create an Offer

Creating an Offer allows you to input the specifics of a sale you’re offering, like a coupon. Unlike a regular Facebook Page post, people who save your offer will get reminder notifications before it expires so they don’t forget to use it. Offers can also be boosted. If you’re looking to grow your online presence, offering a deal exclusively on Facebook could help you drive traffic to your page and encourage people to Like and follow you online.

6 Reasons You Need Patient Chat in Your Optometry Practice

Consumers these days are pressed for time and are focused on convenience. One way you can meet consumer expectation is to use 2-way texting for communication. Here are 6 reasons you need patient chat in your optometry practice.


1. It’s the preferred method of communication for many

Six billion SMS (short message service) messages are sent every day in the United States, according to Forrester Research, and over 2.2 trillion are sent a year. Messaging is the new channel of choice, according to Twilio research, which states 89% of consumers want to use messaging to communicate with a business.

2. It’s less intrusive than a phone call

Nielsen research shows that Americans text at least twice as much as they call, on average. It’s easy for people to glance at a new message while in a meeting or watching a Netflix marathon when a phone call would normally be ignored.

3. It’s more immediate than an email

Do you want your patients to show up on time for their appointment, or just when they get around to it? That can be the difference between sending a text message vs an email. In fact, according to Mobile Marketing Watch text messages have a 98% open rate, while email has only a 22% open rate. Text messages rarely go unnoticed or unanswered and are the ideal medium for reaching patients in a timely manner.

4. It’s a better customer experience

Forrester Research indicates that 77% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service. Rather than call in and be put on hold if a staff member is with a patient, patients could just text in their inquiry and go about their day. With more patient conversations happening over chat, it also frees up the phone for tasks that really need that live call.

5. It makes you stand out

A common theme among new competitors arising in the market is their use of digital technology to transform an entire industry (think Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb). The optometry industry is seeing its own slew of startup disrupters and in order to survive, independent practitioners need to pivot quickly in order to adapt to new consumer expectations. Eye care practices that can meet these new expectations stand out from the pack and make patients happy. Happy patients are more likely to leave good reviews and spread the word to their family & friends.

6. It adds a personal touch

Patient chat can supplement an automated messaging system by allowing you to have 1 on 1 conversation. If your practice is using something like Prime Nexus for automated appointment reminders and other notices, doesn’t it make sense to allow patients to reply directly to that reminder? It’s also the best venue for emojis like these:

( ••)
( ••)>⌐■-■
(⌐■_■)


What is the difference between chat and text?

Chatting and texting are frequently used interchangeably but there is a difference. Texts are sent via SMS, which stands for Short Message Service. It is a universal technology for exchanging short text messages between a fixed line or mobile phone devices. Chat is done through an OTT (or Over the Top) application like iMessage, WeChat, Hangouts or Facebook Messenger and does NOT require a cellular connection, but instead uses an internet connection.

With our new Prime Nexus Patient Chat feature, you’ll be adding an OTT application to your office computer which will translate your chat messages into text messages. This combines the immediacy of texting with the accessibility of a central chat application and allows for 2-way texting from a computer to a mobile device. No need for patients to download another app!

>> Learn more about Prime Nexus Patient Chat


Sources
www.asktelemarketing.com/blog/2018/3/15/4-reasons-your-customer-service-should-include-sms
www.twilio.com/learn/messaging/what-are-sms-and-mms
www.teamhgs.com/blog/2018-trend-1-digital-channels-finally-overtake-voice
mobilemarketingwatch.com/sms-marketing-wallops-email-with-98-open-rate-and-only-1-spam-43866/
go.forrester.com/blogs/12-06-19-sms_usage_remains_strong_in_the_us_6_billion_sms_messages_are_sent_each_day/

LensFerry Gives Sight Series: Jason’s Jeremie Journal

Each year, a few of the EyeCare Prime employees get the chance to volunteer at an Optometry Giving Sight mission trip. Jason, an EyeCare Prime employee who was selected to join the 2018 mission trip, wrote his recount of the trip of a lifetime below.

Our Haiti Adventure

My Boss: You have been selected to attend a mission trip!

Me: Oh! That sounds great I responded.  Where is it?

My Boss: Haiti

Me: Haiti! (all while thinking, where is that? Time to consult all-knowing “Google”)

According to CNN

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Eighty percent of residents live in poverty, according to the CIA World Factbook. Haiti is one of the most densely populated and least developed countries in the Western Hemisphere.

According to my government (The British)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the Carrefour, Cite Soleil, Martissant and Bel Air neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince due to the high risk of criminal activity.

Note to self: Don’t tell any of this stuff to friends and family.


As the pre-trip planning increased, and we understood our roles more, my anxiety grew mainly due to the unknown.  I quickly got distracted with daily life, and before I knew it the departure day arrived, and I found myself arriving in Haiti’s capital Port-Au-Prince. The drive to our first nights’ accommodations was an invasion of the senses. It was so different than our sanitized and regimented world of the UK & the US.  There was noise, unregulated roads, and rubbish all over the place. The warm welcome of our hosts more than compensated for the unusual start to our trip.

After meeting the other volunteers and trip leaders from VOSH, and interestingly two Americans who were born in Haiti, we had a good night’s sleep in preparation for the week ahead.  Day one was a 7-hour drive in a minibus to Jeremie. This was another assault of the senses, seeing what multiple natural disasters and extreme poverty look like first-hand.  When we arrived in Jeremie we went to the “hospital” to set up for our week’s work. The hospital looked more like a war zone than the mental picture I had preconceived.

However, we all began setting up our stations and equipment for eye exams. Michelle, our trip leader, confirmed our target was to see 1,000 Haitians in the four days. This sounded tough, but we were all super positive and it felt like our energy and enthusiasm would get us through.

Monday morning arrived, we took the minibus to the hospital and our consecutive 12hr days began, in some ways you could say the next four days were quite repetitive. You would be right with this statement, but I can tell you we all learned a lot during those four days.  Every day I try to capture my thoughts in a journal and I would like to share some of my highlights for your interest and reflection:

  1. We take for granted the most basic things such as running water. The majorly of the Haitian population are getting water from a pump in the ground and there is no hot water for a shower.
  2. Reading and writing are not a given, a high percentage of the people could not read so we had to adapt the eye test by using a “Tumbling E” chart which you ask the viewer to tell you the direction of the letter “E” by pointing up, down, left or right.
  3. Vision unlocks or blocks your potential in life. People have shared this theory with me before but when you can see the person’s occupation on the form and you determine their level of visual acuity the theory comes to life.  Vision = Education = A Job = Money = Food & Shelter (This also works in the opposite way).
  4. The smile and thanks from someone is worth a million dollars.  Several times I was moved when someone we had completed the pre-screen test for came out of the building with a pair of glasses that allowed them to see properly and they simply said thank you and gave you a look that said it really meant something.  #Priceless
  5. Family members get very worried when the Island you are on has an earthquake, luckily for us, it was on another part of the Island.
  6. We all make preconceptions about people, especially when you cannot speak the language. For example, some people looked unapproachable and sounded grumpy but when you simply said good morning and asked how they were, their face changed to a smile and you could feel a connection.
  7. We all make preconceptions about food. The food in such a strange environment such as the crab and beef stew (Legim) that, frankly, looked like baby vomit, turned out to be delicious. I can tell you it took some effort for me to give it a try.
  8. Make fewer preconceptions and give people a greeting, and be open-minded about trying their food. You might surprise yourself. It could be your new best friend or a favorite new dish.
  9. People try and do the best for others, so many people brought others to the hospital in the hope we could help them without thinking about what help they needed themselves.  The example that pulled my heart more than another was the 40-year-old son who brought in his Dad who was pretty much blind.  The son did not even ask for an eye exam, he simply wanted us to try and help his father.  Unfortunately, there was not a lot we could do for the Dad but we did manage to give the son some readers that he would use to read things for his Dad.
  10. After a week of cold showers, a hot shower and fresh towel feels like a luxury, just remember many people don’t have the same luxuries we do.

Thanks to anyone who has pledged funds to this amazing cause. I can tell you every cent makes a difference.  Thanks also for letting me be chosen to represent all of the donors and the company I work for on this eye-opening charity mission!

LensFerry Gives Sight Series: Jeremie Journal

Read about the Haiti outreach trip from the perspective of EyeCare Prime General Manager Mark Lindsey.

With an estimated three doctors of optometry for a population of over 10M people, hope can be elusive to find as a participant in an optical outreach mission in Haiti. However, following a seven-hour bus ride and finding thousands of people in need of basic eye care, one loses track of statistics and begins to work on what one can do to help those in need. During our multiple twelve hour days, we saw infants, policemen, principals, nurses, and even some Haitians into their late nineties. Most of them had never had an exam in their lives up to this point.

Our team of ODs (VOSH members), translators, and optical professionals set out to spend five days providing medical exams, glasses, readers, and sunglasses to the people of Jeremie, Haiti. This remote part of the island still shows the horrendous impact of hurricanes, outright poverty, and a poorly supported medical infrastructure for its citizens. The average person lives on less than $2.00 per day. This was evident in the housing, the environment, and the lack of food available to the average Haitian citizen. We also ran into hundreds of patients who had never learned to read or write and we quickly adjusted our vision screening tools to accommodate their requirements.

We were able to see over 1,100 patients and provide hundreds of pairs of glasses to those in need. Medicine and referrals for surgery along with custom glasses were offered to dozens of others we examined during our time in Jeremie. One of the most rewarding parts of the trip was our to visit the new school of Optometry that LensFerry is supporting via our donations to Optometry Giving Sight. Knowing that this school will teach and train ODs to serve the people of Haiti for years to come was an excellent and encouraging way to wrap up our last day of the trip.

One case that particularly stuck out to me was Sean,  a Haitian orphan, who grew up in an orphanage. He never knew his mom or dad and did not know how old he was, however, he guessed he was between 30 and 49 years of age. He was demonstrating signs of Presbyopia during our exam and I estimated he was most likely in his mid to late 30’s. I joked with him – through our translator – that we would need to cut him open and count the rings like a tree to determine his age. He laughed, and as I handed him his new + 2.50 readers. He then began to smile and commented to me that he and I would be friends at any age.

Thanks to the LensFerry Gives Sight program, in partnership with Optometry Giving Sight and LensFerry practices, underprivileged people in impoverished communities were able to receive eye exams, glasses, and vision care. With every contact lens purchase, your office and your patients have contributed to a meaningful cause.

Making Your Patients’ Experience as Seamless as Possible

In all areas of the service industry, consumers continue to look for the simplest, fastest, and most efficient experience possible. Whether it is the online portals for patient paperwork, the automated ordering kiosks at fast food restaurants or chat boxes on websites for help and support, processes are being streamlined to meet this need. Any shortcut a person can take to save time at the store, office, or restaurant is being utilized and businesses are delivering on this expectation.

The eye care industry should begin to follow these trends as well. It can be expected that patients will tire of the traditional appointment check-in process. Manual paperwork and information verification can be cumbersome for the patient and time consuming for staff, which in turn can make a seemingly simple eye exam take much longer than expected. How can your Optometry office enhance the patient experience to keep up with these expectations for faster, simpler and more efficient service?

Make Scheduling the Appointment Easy

The first step in the patient experience is the process of scheduling an appointment. With the shift to digital and all that goes with it, the new generation of patients expect to schedule anything and everything they can online. Therefore, to create a seamless experience it is essential to have an online patient scheduler where patients can see a doctor’s availability and select an appointment based on that. This allows a quick, easy and convenient way for patients to get themselves on your schedule.

Capture Patient Information and Confirm Electronically

A common concern with online appointment schedulers is gathering contact information and essential details needed for the visit. That is not always the case however, as most appointment schedulers and patient communication software will require that patients submit relevant information with their request. Many of these programs also provide the opportunity to remind a patient to complete paperwork and fill out information forms prior to the day of the appointment.

Additionally, an automated appointment reminder can produce monetary savings by reducing the number of “no-shows,” or patients who fail to attend their scheduled appointments. Surveys have shown that these types of reminders can decrease this “no show” number by up to 50 percent. Therefore, these systems save staff time and saves the office money as well.

Avoid Drawn-Out Office Visits

The technological advances in patient communication software make it increasingly simple for patients to complete and submit pertinent information prior to an office visit. Encourage your patients to save time by completing this information prior to a visit and help them avoid a longer office visit.

An E-Commerce Option for Lens Ordering

Provide your patients with an online option for ordering their contact lenses with a service such as LensFerry. Providing your patients with an e-commerce option for ordering their eyewear or contact lenses can save them time, and give them monthly payment options that they can afford. According to a recent study, mobile commerce is not just here to stay but will also grow dramatically over the next couple of years. The study projected e-commerce sales to reach $4.058 trillion by the year 2020. As of this year, projections are estimated for an already massive $2.860 trillion. (eMarketer, August 2016)

Many of the latest e-commerce options provide offices the ability to pre-load patient information and prescriptions to allow their patients a quick and easy online ordering process.

Want to create a seamless patient experience for your patients? Check out the EyeCare Prime suite of products that include Prime Nexus, great for streamlining your patient communications, and LensFerry, a must-have in this growing subscription-based economy we live in today. Lensferry is one of the rare services that can provide a new stream of income for your practice in today’s competitive environment.

Four Ways a Patient Communication Software Will Increase Your Office Efficiencies

As Paul Coelho once said, “The eyes are the mirror of the soul and reflect everything that seems to be hidden, and like a mirror, they also reflect the person looking into them”. This quote shines a light on how significant a person’s sight is. As Optometrists, you can keep your patient’s sight in good condition so that – just like Coelho’s eyes – they too can have the ability to see everything and reflect their soul within.

It’s important to recognize – that although important – not all patients will remember to show up to the eye appointment they made with your practice a year ago. Others may not realize they are overdue for their annual eye exam. Often, offices get busy; your office staff may not have had enough time to make those calls for appointment reminders, and/or recall reminders as intended.

This is where many practices wonder how they can streamline office efficiencies, so they can continue tending to patient’s needs, while at the same time, reaching the ones they haven’t seen in a while. A simple solution is to ensure your practice has an effective patient communication software. Here are four ways it will help increase your office efficiencies:

  1. Automate Appointment Reminders- This can extremely helpful when monitoring cancelled, rescheduled, and most importantly, scheduled appointments!
  2. Encourage & Promote Returning Patients- Send out campaigns about trunk shows, email blasts about sales and promotions. Recall reminders will also ensure sure your patients remember you and come back to you when it’s time!
  3. Save Staff Time- Who wouldn’t want to save staff time? Not only are you saving on all those overtime hours, but having automated reminders going can help you and your office focus on patient care!
  4. Build Practice Reputation – you can build your practice reputation with the help of surveys and reviews and what better way to have those automatically going out too?

Patient communication software offers an abundance of features that can help your office stay in touch with patients, while saving staff time. The best way to run a business would be to find a solution that can save time, energy and allow you to focus on what grows your business, your patients.

Implementing a patient communication software gives you the luxury to meet the needs of your patients all while engaging with them automatically. Not only are you going to be seeing more great reviews coming in, but you will be doing what you do best at your practice, serving the needs of your patients the way you can, staying in close contact with them throughout the years with the patient communication software that works for you.

As an eye care practitioner, you need a patient communication software that works with your office and focuses on your specific needs. This is where Prime Nexus Patient Communication Software comes into play. Prime Nexus is a software that has been exclusively made with office workflow in mind. This means that you would worry less about recall, appointment and Rx notifications, leaving you to focus more on your patient’s care. With Prime Nexus, we have your back while you focus on patient care and growing your overall practice.

Three Ways to Obtain Patient Text Messaging Consent

With a technology shift and consumers expecting convenience, the doctor to patient relationship (and vise-versa) is also transitioning. Many patients and doctor’s offices are looking to make the communication switch from standard email notifications to texting for communication. Emails are sent more often than texts, but email open rates hover around 20%, compared with 98% for text messages. With their inboxes flooding with emails, patients have started shying away from relying on this form of communication and would rather have a conversation via text with their provider. In a world where consumers and customers always win, many providers have begun to meet these expectations. While texting seems to be an easy switch, providers must consider rules and regulations to obey by HIPAA laws.

So what is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA, was passed by Congress in 1996 for several reasons. First, it provides the ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for millions of American workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs. Second, it reduces health care fraud and abuse as well as mandates industry-wide standards for health care information on electronic billing and other processes. Lastly, it requires the production and confidential handling of protected health information. That being said, there is some grey area on what doctors can or cannot text their patients while respecting HIPAA.

The problem with electronic communication is that some doctors may or may not know what they can and cannot text to patients to follow HIPAA compliance. In reality, HIPAA is not a standard set of ground rules, but rather a general consensus that can vary from patient to patient. One patient may request that the information being transmitted via text must be secured while another patient does not mind if that information is unencrypted. The best way to handle this situation is to notify patients of the risks of sending unsecured texts and make sure they know what they are agreeing to.

HIPAA compliance is crucial to follow when communicating with patients, so the best precaution that medical providers can take to make sure they are being compliant with HIPAA is obtaining permission. Consent from the patient is the best way to safely cover the providers end when it comes to allowing communication via text – there are a few different ways you can obtain that consent.

Ask during check in. The easiest way to obtain consent from the patient is during their exam check in. When patient’s come into the office it can be a simple conversation asking them if they would like to be notified in the future about upcoming appointments, reminders, etc. If they agree, the next step would be to sign proper documents that the office can have for their records and to cover their bases. A simple crafted consent form can provide proof of the agreement that will allow communication via text to take place.

Provide an option online. Usually when patients are requesting an appointment from the office online there are required fields that the patient must fill out. Having a simple section that asks the patient if they would like to be notified via text can easily cover that and allow consent. By them agreeing to text notifications the office already has a record of that consent which can held for their records.

Send an email. While there is a good chance patients already receive email notifications from their provider, it is an easy question to ask if they would like to be notified via text as well. A simple email that asks the patient for their permission to text can be used as consent, phone number verification, and proof of agreement for office records.

Prime Nexus provides offices the ability to call, text and email patients a variety of communications to streamline office efficiencies. Learn more by clicking here.

 

https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2017/33045/email-vs-sms-battle-of-the-heavyweights-infographic

https://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/definition/HIPAA

https://www.solutionreach.com/blog/4-ways-to-get-patient-text-messaging-consent-with-templates

https://blog.sprucehealth.com/hipaa-compliance-can-text-patients/

Holiday Digital Marketing Tips for Your Practice

Believe it or not it’s about that time of year again!  The holidays are right around the corner and with them, businesses are trying to prepare for a couple of the biggest spending months of the year.  To help you get ready and ensure you will be noticed this season, here are 7 tips for holiday marketing:

  • Start planning now! According to Chad White a research director for Litmus, “On average, retailers increase their email frequency to their subscribers by roughly 50% during November and December, compared to non-holiday months.” Prime Nexus allows you to create email campaigns and save them or set them to go out at a scheduled time.  This feature allows you to get all the busy work finished now so that when the crowds come rushing in to spend the rest of their FSA/HSA money at the end of the year, you can focus on your patients and let Prime Nexus do the marketing for you.
  • Take advantage of high return on ad spend. Return on ad spend (or ROAS) is calculated by taking the revenue gained from a certain ad and dividing it by the cost of the ad (Big Commerce). Our Prime Nexus service is a subscription-based model, which means you are paying a fixed cost. With that said, it’s beneficial to take advantage of our campaign feature where you can send emails as many times as you want without adding additional cost.  Social media is also a huge marketing opportunity that is low to no-cost for your practice.  If you have Premier digital marketing services inquire about the social media posts or custom campaigns they can assist you with.
  • Market to win goodwill. The holidays are all about family, friends and feeling good!  Lianna Patch from Punchline Copy shared the idea of running a sales campaign based on goodwill stories from your clients.  Keep a list of patients willing and able to share their stories on how your practice has been able to help them or make their experience more pleasant. Sharing testimonies with current and potential customers is a great way to build community support around your business. Prime Nexus even has a built in public survey page filled with patients who have left you good reviews and are willing to share them with the public.
  • Create a sense of urgency tied to an incentive. In the medical industry, this applies heavily to a large percentage of your patients automatically if they have a health spending account that does not roll over year to year.  Promoting the use of these benefits well ahead of time will help lessen the chaos of patients trying to cram in last minute appointments and orders.  According to Nick Raushenbush cofounder of Shogun Landing Builder, creating a patient facing landing page or can help create a sense of urgency to ensure patients are aware of the timeliness of these benefits. Take advantage of the already created HSA/FSA campaigns in Prime Nexus.
  • Know what action you want customers to take. In other words, have a specific goal in mind when creating campaigns or ads.  Do you want to encourage new appointments?  Make sure you have an appointment request link available or easily accessible from the ad.  Do you want patients to purchase a product?  Consider adding in a coupon or discount of some sort to grab their attention.  Remember, the holiday season is prime time for ads and sales so you must make yours stand out from the rest.
  • Pay extra attention to mobile! E-commerce is huge during the holiday season. It accounted for almost $110 billion in online sales during November and December 2017. Mobile commerce (purchases made via smartphones and tablets) is growing, which accounts for a larger and larger portion of e-commerce sales each year (33.1% in 2017) with projected growth well into the future (Amy Gesengues The Big Holiday 2017 e-commerce wrap-up).  Creating a mobile friendly website will be key to competing for product sales and online appointment requests.  Prime Nexus and LensFerry are both built to be mobile optimized for contact lens sales and patient communications.
  • Consider implementing a loyalty program. Holidays are a great time to acquire new patients, but it’s also extremely important to focus on longevity and keeping those customers coming back.  Raheem Sarcar, Founder and CEO of RewardCamp stated, “I’ve seen retailers increase repeat business by 300% as a result of converting new customers into repeat customers.”  A loyalty program may be a good way to keep patients coming back not only for appointments but for material sales.  Offering discounts if patients buy an annual supply of contact lenses is just one example.  If that’s not your style or patients aren’t interested in an annual supply up front, consider trying a points system where they receive a gift certificate or some sort of reward after spending “x amount”.  The more often a patient returns to your office for business, the more it becomes a habit. The biggest key for consumers in 2018 is convenience; LensFerry offers the convenience of online and mobile patient ordering to help you see repeat business time and time again.

Introducing: The LensFerry Gives Sight Series

When it comes to purchasing contact lenses, patients have an abundance of options. Between local retailers, online ordering and direct to consumer marketing, how can you set your business apart from the competition? One way to keep up with the changing landscape is by incorporating digital solutions into your practice. When evaluating a commerce solution, pick a business partner who is dedicated to helping those in need.

Research shows that more than half of young people have purchased a brand or product in order to show support for an issue the brand represented. LensFerry offers your practice both of these powerful tools by providing an online contact lens store that also gives back to those in need through their partnership with Optometry Giving Sight. LensFerry makes a donation towards an eye exam for a person in need every time a patient makes a purchase through the platform.

By implementing LensFerry in your office, you can offer your community a way to give back by providing the gift of vision to people in desperate need of vision care living in underserved areas. LensFerry will provide you the opportunity to broaden your reach to help not just patients in your practice, but patients all over the world.

Thanks to the LensFerry Gives Sight program, in partnership with Optometry Giving Sight and our LensFerry offices, underprivileged people in impoverished communities were able to receive eye exams, glasses, and vision care. With every contact lens purchase, your office and your patients have contributed to a meaningful cause.

EyeCare Prime is thrilled to share stories of patients, testimonies, and reflections from the various volunteer trips we have taken over the years in The LensFerry Gives Sight Series.

Learn more here

EHR and Nexus

An EHR (electronic health record) is a software that many successful optometrists utilize to keep track of patient information. This system helps doctors keep track of useful data such as patient appointments, Rx information, personal information and much more. If an Office EHR offers all these features, why use Prime Nexus?

Your EHR and Prime Nexus are the perfect pair
Prime Nexus allows you to easily integrate patient information from many EHR softwares while avoiding manual work. Our account specialists make it easy to sync the two systems together so you can enjoy all the added features of Nexus without having to lift a finger. Once you make the decision to move forward with Prime Nexus, we will conduct a training call. Our specialists take this time to virtually install the software on your office’s computer. Once installed, you can sit back and let our specialists walk you through all the settings to customize the system as you please. Nexus will then pull data from your EHR every five minutes to ensure information is always up-to-date.

Prime Nexus takes your practice to the next level
Prime Nexus is a patient relationship system that syncs to pre-existing EHR software allowing practices to connect seamlessly with their patients. It allows an office the ability to customize important features to better fit their needs. One of the most popular features in Prime Nexus is the messaging tab where a practice can edit surveys and social media settings. Through Prime Nexus an office can link to their Facebook, Google MyBusiness and a variety of other review platforms, so patients can easily share reviews and feedback. Within the easy to use dashboard, the alerts feature gives you the edge when it comes to being notified of updated patient information, appointment requests, and new messages. To boost communication with patients outside of the office, Prime Nexus includes a campaigns feature. This allows a practice to create custom marketing campaigns that can be scheduled in advance or sent to a certain demographic. Pre-made templates can also be utilized to inform patients of promotions, health tips or even to wish someone a happy birthday.

Join us, and let’s grow together
Office EHR software is great for staying organized, but pairing that with a patient relationship software like Nexus is crucial to growing a practice. We make it easy to use both. See how seamlessly Nexus integrates with the EHR softwares below and take advantage of our unique system by scheduling a demo. An optometrist’s job is ensuring patients get the vision care they deserve; Prime Nexus’ job is ensuring the doctor is focused on patients, not problems.

Compatible EHR Software:

OfficeMate
Crystal PM
Revolution EHR
Compulink
Eyefinity PM
MyVisionExpress
Practice Director

Three Trending Topics to Share with Your Patients this Fall

Fall is here! Nights are getting cooler, the school year has begun and costume planning is underway. An eye exam may have slipped your patient’s mind during this busy season. Take this time to remind them about the importance of their eye health with some relevant information.

Check out these three trending topics and download our free images to communicate them to your patients in office, via email and on social media.

Remind your patients why a vision screening should not replace a comprehensive eye exam

  •  Inadequate Testing
    • It is difficult for a vision screening to identify how the eyes work together and does not give any information about the health of the eyes.
  • Lack of Trained Professional
    • Only a licensed professional (such as an optometrist) can conduct a comprehensive eye exam. They have the specialized training needed to make a diagnosis and provide accurate treatment
  •  Limited Testing Equipment
    •  Professional equipment is important when it comes to getting an accurate reading of the eye. Vision screenings are often not set up in an suitable setting with necessary equipment.

The Dangers of Unregulated Decorative Contact Lenses

Halloween contact lenses can be a fun addition to any costume, but wearing lenses without a prescription from an eye doctor can lead to serious health issues and potentially (and permanently) damage your eyesight.

An Eye Healthy Recipe

Cauliflower has a powerful antioxidant called sulforaphane that protects the retina from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to serious vision issues like cataracts, macular degeneration and even loss of sight. Including sulforaphane in their diet may help protect your patients’ eyes and can be incorporated into easy and yummy dishes. Suggest that your patients try a recipe with Cauliflower.

Regular communication with your patients is a fantastic way to ensure they keep coming back to your practice. Prime Nexus offers these three topics as visually appealing seasonal email campaigns for an easy patient touchpoint. You’ll be able to reach your patients with information they want to receive.

We’re offering a free download of these three trending topics for you to use as you wish. It’s as simple as entering your email below!

Review of Optometric Business | Automated Patient Relationship System: Increase Patient Appointments, Enhance Care

First published on Review of Optometric Business on September 5, 2018

Your patients can contact you when they remember they need you–or you can take a proactive approach, and stay in touch with them, driving new appointments. To make sure our patients receive the care and products they need, we use Prime Nexus℠, an intuitive patient relationship management system. This technology ensures patients can easily contact us to schedule new appointments, and that we can easily do the same, reminding them of their upcoming appointment. We started using Prime Nexus about a year ago, and recall (ensuring patients return year after year) in our five-OD, Boca Raton, Fla., practice has never been better.

Year-Over-Year Improvement
Last year at this time we had less demand and more single-doctor days. Now we are more booked, and both our double- and single-doctor days are overflowing. Booking further out in our schedule has made a huge difference to our monthly revenues, nearly doubling what they were before we started using Prime Nexus.

Wide Range of Recall Functions
Prime Nexus replaces a lot of manual duties for us, including confirming appointments, letting patients know that they are due for their annual exam and getting them back into our office. It has increased our patient load every day!

Importantly, it does all this while saving our staff time. In the past, our employees would have to call patients to remind them of upcoming appointments. Prime Nexus takes care of this task, automatically sending texts, e-mails, and even making automated calls.

Enhance Care: Increase Annual Examinations
The best part is not only has our recall improved to almost double what it was before using the system; the care of our patients also is much better. One of the most helpful things the system does is remind patients, not only of upcoming appointments, but the need to schedule an annual exam.

That means, a patient with an eye disease with no symptoms, such as glaucoma, will be reminded to come in for an annual check-up, enabling us to provide sight-saving care. It also means patients with eye conditions that affect quality of life, like dry eye, can get the diagnosis and treatments they need, and those with need of visual solutions, can get the needed eyewear.

With the large elderly population in South Florida, it is not unusual for a conversation with a doctor during the annual exam to uncover the need for progressive eyewear with anti-reflective lenses that can make driving at night safer and easier.

The power to intuitively be one step ahead, anticipating the need for the patient to make an appointment for an annual exam, is a great asset to the care we provide.

Give Patients Ease of Scheduling
Today’s patients don’t want to wait on the phone to make an appointment. Most have such busy lives that they often don’t even remember that they need an appointment. Prime Nexus automatically sends the patient a text or e-mail reminder when they are due for an exam and patients can immediately request an appointment online based on practice availability. This frees the patient from spending valuable time on the phone, or the need to rely on their memory when making a new appointment.

Prime Nexus also makes appointment confirmations seamless, taking the hassle out of the process for both staff and patients. There’s no more trying to catch the patient by phone, or waiting for them to call you back. From the patients’ perspective, they don’t have to take a call at an inconvenient time, or worry about finding the time to call back– or hope that the person on the phone is accurately taking down their scheduling information.

The Millennial patient population particularly appreciates the ability to schedule appointments online so easily. A system that enables young patients to make and confirm appointments with so little effort is a practice that will attract many of those patients.

Facilitate E-Blasts
Along with sending personalized texts and e-mails, and making automated calls to patients due for an appointment, or needing to confirm an appointment, Prime Nexus can be used to send e-blasts to many patients at one time. In our office, we have used the system to send e-blasts to patients who haven’t been in our office for a while, showcasing new products and pictures of our optical, and including a message about the importance of the annual exam to maintaining eye health.

See How You Did
In addition to recalling patients for appointments, Prime Nexus can be used to automatically text or e-mail patients a survey about their visit to the office. We have been using this feature to get patient feedback, and have been pleased with the results. This convenient process allows us to receive feedback that we otherwise would not be getting, as many patients will not go out of their way to take a survey. The Prime Nexus technology makes it so simple, all they have to do is click, and tell us what they thought of our visit, and how we could do even better.

 

Toby Blades is the office manager at Salomon & Schwitzman in Boca Raton, Fla. To contact him: tobyblades@gmail.com

How to add images to custom campaign templates

  1. Ensure the image you would like to add is in a file format accepted by Prime Nexus (JPEG, PNG, GIF). This is displayed after your file name – ex. EyeCarePrime.png
  2. If it is not in one of these formats, you can use a third party service to help you convert your original file type – ex.
    PDF to PNG
    Word to PNG

    As a general rule, never upload anything that would include patient details.
  3. Next, click the image button shown here:
  4. Choose “upload”, an option shown across the top of the page
  5. Click “choose file” and select the file you have saved as one of the acceptable formats
  6. Click “Send it to the server” and you will see the file upload successfully

    (Note the preview may look distorted or stretched but not to worry, it will look better soon)
  7. Click “OK” and you have successfully added your image! Now you can center the image, add more content or finalize your template, congrats!

The Shift to Mobile Commerce

Technology continues to shift toward mobile and it is increasingly important to establish a presence amongst mobile solutions. In 2017, tablet and smartphone usage per user was over 3 hours a day compared to just 0.3 hours a day reported in 2008. Businesses are beginning to adopt this trend by launching mobile-friendly websites and adding text communication options for their customers. In addition, businesses are now acknowledging the value of adopting e-commerce options for their products.

Mobile commerce is becoming more important in the modern marketplace as tablets and smartphones are expected to account for nearly $132.69 billion in retail sales this year– almost tripling the number from just four years prior. Consumers are benefiting from the convenience of mobile commerce which has encouraged them to use it as a primary way to shop. However, these consumers aren’t the only ones who benefit from this movement to mobile commerce. If a business is to optimize their mobile presence to better reach their customers, they can benefit from the move to e-commerce as well.

User Convenience

A major benefit of mobile commerce regarding customer use is its ease and simplicity. Now you can shop for products with a smartphone or mobile device at any time of day. Consumers can access and purchase almost any product sold globally with the click of a button. Whether they see a commercial on their tv, see a billboard as they are driving along the highway or are introduced to a product through a conversation with a friend, consumers now have the power to purchase in the palm of their hand.
Consumers can also look up product information, reviews and other comparable items while they are in a store. This convenience has completely changed the shopping experience in a physical store. According to a 2014 study, almost 32% of shoppers admitted to changing their mind on purchasing a product in store after checking online information. 22% of the same shoppers chose to complete the purchase online instead due to the information they researched in store (Source: MobileCommerceDaily, 2014).

It’s Growing Rapidly

Mobile commerce is here to stay and is predicted to grow dramatically over the next couple of years. EMarketer suggests projected e-commerce sales to reach $4.058 trillion by the year 2020. As of this year, projections are estimated for an already massive $2.860 trillion. These projections create a huge incentive for businesses beginning to embrace the mobile trend and can predict a massive return on investment (eMarketer, August 2016).

Although the benefits are well reflected, e-commerce is still drastically under-utilized. According to a report from November of 2017, 74% of small businesses still lack an e-commerce presence. This presents a massive opportunity for small businesses to jump ahead of the curve and build a strong e-commerce presence.

Speed & Efficiency

The increased automation of e-commerce has affected the ease of buying and selling including the increased forms of automatic, single-click payments. The days of “cash or credit” seem to be over as more companies have transitioned to touch payment apps such as Apple Pay, Pay Pal, and Amazon Pay. It makes it easy for both buyers to make payments and sellers to receive those payments.
Although an initial investment is required to get a business up to speed on these trends, the return on investment and ability to keep up with online competitors outweigh this cost. With the growth potential and ability to reach your customer whenever and wherever, the benefits of e-commerce are undeniable. As society continues to adapt and grow their reliance on technology, it seems safe to say that these trends are not going away.

Tips for reducing no shows

Tips for Reducing No Shows

No shows can be inconvenient and frustrating for optometry offices and their staff. Here are some tips for reducing no shows with Prime Nexus.

Use automatic appointment reminders – Automatic appointment reminders save staff time, reduce human error and leave a trail of data to track communications between the office and patients. Automatic reminders give you the ability to track if, when and how patients are getting reminders. When they confirm, Prime Nexus will allow you to see exactly how they are confirming.

Use multiple reminders – Reminders sent to patients who scheduled an appointment in advance can be very effective. Typically, if an appointment was scheduled the previous year, offices remind patients a month in advance, but that may not be enough. Sending multiple reminders throughout that month will help notify patients that the appointment is approaching. Prime Nexus provides the option to skip certain messages if the appointment was already confirmed. This helps maintain the balance of messaging patients who need extra reminders but not over-messaging those who already confirmed.

Keep a wait-list – If an office is booked out for a long period of time, scheduling patients quickly might not be an option. Keep the wait-list for patients trying to get in as soon as possible and consider utilizing Open Seat in Prime Nexus.

Adding appointment booking to Facebook & Google

Adding Appointment Reminder to FB & Google

 

 

 

 

 

Updating Book Appointment Button on Facebook:

  • Go to office Facebook page
  •  Locate the top bar, directly below the cover photo
  •  Hover over “book now” button
  • Click “edit button” -> book with you -> book now -> link to Prime Nexus booking link -> finish

Book Now Button

Removing WS3 tabs from Facebook:

If you previously utilized WebSystem3 you may still have custom tabs on the left hand side of your FRemove WS3 tab from Facebookacebook page. Instructions to hide those tabs:

  • Go to office Facebook page
  •  Click “settings” (top right)
  •  Click “edit page” -> you will see all tabs listed out
  •  You can press “settings” of each tab, slide any old WS3 tab to read “off”
  •  Make sure you press save for each

 

Adding Book Appointment Button on Google MyBusiness:

  • Navigate to your Google MyBusiness Listing (business.google.com)
  • Click “info”
  •  You will see the option to edit your practice info -> navigate to the website section
  •  Paste Prime Nexus booking link in “Appointment URL” sectionGoogle MyBusiness Book Appointment Button

If you utilize the Premier or Reach digital marketing programs, your rep will be able to assist you with updating your links across your online listings.

Three Trending Topics to Share with Your Patients this Summer

Child Swimming

Summer is upon us! With vacations, summer camps and pool parties, an eye exam may not be at the top of your patient’s to do lists. Keep your practice at the top of mind with relevant emails and information they’ll want to open and read.

Check out these three trending topics and download our free images to communicate them to your patients in office, via email and on social media.

Pool Eye Safety

Swimming is a blast, but be sure to remind your patients to take proper precautions to protect their family’s eyes in the water. Here are some tips you can give them:

  • Wear Goggles – Pool water can wash away your eye’s protective tear film and cause irritation. Wear a pair of well- fitting goggles when swimming.
  • Don’t Swim in Contact Lenses – Bacteria can collect on your contact lenses and lead to irritation or infection. Avoid swimming in your contacts.
  • Keep a Pair of Sunglasses Handy – Water is highly reflective, so protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses when hanging by the pool.

An Eye Healthy and Popular Treat!

The acai berry is packed with energy-boosting nutrients and antioxidants. Antioxidants can prevent the breakdown of hair, teeth, and skin. It can also slow down the effects of macular degeneration (deterioration of the retina causing vision loss). Acai bowls are not only healthy, but delicious as well!

Firework Safety

In the United States, thousands of people are injured by fireworks each year. Nearly half of these people are bystanders. Fireworks are a beautiful summer experience, but if your patients choose to participate in this activity, it is imperative they follow correct safety measures and procedures. Here are some things they should do:

  • View from at least 500 feet away
  • Never let young children play with fireworks of any type
  • Wear protective eyewear and ensure bystanders are as well

Regular communication with your patients is a fantastic way to ensure they keep coming back to your practice. Prime Nexus offers these three topics as visually appealing seasonal email campaigns for an easy patient touch-point. You’ll be able to reach your patients with the information they want to receive.

 

Summer Newsletter Preview

We’re offering a free download of these three trending topics for you to use as you wish. To receive the download, please fill out the form below: