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.