Tips to Streamline Your Optometry Practice
The most successful ophthalmic practices are a result of continual improvements. Whether your practice is just opening its doors or reaching its twentieth year, there are several ways to streamline your optometry practice to improve efficiency, patient satisfaction and revenue.
Online Appointment Scheduling
If a patient visits your website, he or she is already considering your service. By allowing instant appointment scheduling, the patient is much more likely to follow through. Offering online scheduling services also reduces phone time for office staff, boosting efficiency as well as staff and patient satisfaction.
Additionally, patients can fill out electronic forms online after scheduling an appointment to reduce paperwork once he or she arrives in the office. Paperwork is often dreaded in the waiting room and can delay appointment times and increase the workload for staff. By giving patients the option to fill out paperwork at home, this step can be skipped altogether and reduce patient waiting time.
After visiting your website, a phone call is typically your patients’ earliest impression of your practice. Neither your patients or staff want to spend more time than necessary on the phone. As a rule, always answer before the third ring. A long-ring is not only annoying to patients in the waiting room, the caller may also think you are understaffed, and therefore unequipped to handle their business.
When a staff member does answer the phone, how you greet your caller is imperative. In a clear, friendly tone, answer with a practiced line, such as “Dr. Brown’s office, this is Marcus, are you calling to make an appointment?” By opening with this question, your caller facilitates conversation right away to increase efficiency.
Although your staff may be wonderful, chances are your office is closed on weekends, holidays and evenings. Consider a phone answering service for all off-hours to keep your patients feeling cared for at all hours of the day.
Finally, train your entire staff to answer calls. Cross-training is beneficial for your team as well as your patients, who will pick up on how in sync and expedient your office is as a whole.
Manually dialing each patient’s phone number to remind him or her of an upcoming appointment is unnecessary and an improper use of time in the modern world of technology. Automated confirmation services are now available and can send email, text or even phone call reminders of upcoming appointments to patients. Don’t worry, this service will not reduce your human connection with your patients: your staff members will now have more time to answer questions and provide service to patients who truly need their attention.
Monthly Reports and Team Feedback
Create charts of budget, accounts receivables and how any changes have improved efficiency. By presenting up-to-date reports to your staff, your team will stay informed and open a platform for valuable and innovative ideas from your staff. Not only will you benefit from fresh, new ideas from often unexpected employees, your team will feel valued and proud to be included.
Update Your Equipment to Digital
Updating your equipment to digital is perhaps the most effective way to increase your efficiency and streamline your office. Digital refraction systems include connected equipment that easily communicates. This connectivity reduces repetitive data entry, the amount of time a doctor spends in front of a screen (instead of face time with the patient) and even physical pain due to repetitive movements. These systems are so accurate, there is a massive reduction in prescription errors as well.
Because digital refractors are the most up-to-date technology available, these systems also include advanced features to improve optometry offices’ efficiency. These features include a dual-cross cylinder for split prism presentation. Additionally, the autolensometer takes a reading from the patient’s old prescription and shows him or her how the new prescription compares side-by-side.
Simplify Your Medical Records with EMR Integrated Equipment
Medical practitioners in every friend are aware that the deadline has come and gone to convert to certified electronic medical records (EMR). In the ophthalmic industry, however, this switch to electronic records can result in more tedious and repetitive transcriptions if eye care professionals still use manual refractors.
Digital refractors, alternatively, integrate with EMR software to improve accuracy and efficiency while eliminating redundancy and human error.
One Equipment and Repair Source
Optometrists utilize a long list of equipment each day. By using one equipment provider who offers high-quality instruments, a comprehensive support team and repair services, your practice will run exponentially smoother. Additionally, using a vendor who also manufactures their own parts cuts down on wait time for maintenance and repairs.
Learn More About How to Streamline Your Optometry Practice
At Veatch Ophthalmic Instruments, we are deeply invested in the success of optometry offices across the country. Because of this, we created a free white paper for the public, “An Eye for Efficiency: Tips to Streamline Your Optometry Office.” Download the free white paper today!