Running an optometric practice is a lot of work. And, a significant contributor to the difficulties of running an efficient practice is completely out of your hands. Many of the difficulties and frustrations of running an optometric practice stem from your patients’ knowledge of your practice and the eyecare industry. Giving your patients a better understanding of how your practice operates can result in better patient visits, fewer arguments, and could increase profits.
Below are four things you wish your patients knew and tips on teaching them valuable information.
A big complaint from your patients is that they can purchase frames cheaper online. But what they don’t know is that the frames on your frame board and the price you quoted them are a reflection of the quality put into the frames and the value they’ll get out of selecting frames from a trusted OD who knows their vision needs.
To increase the profits in your optical dispensary and help patients select the best product for their vision needs, check out these VisionWeb resources:
Patients generally don’t know the difference between their vision and medical insurance. Some may not know that their medical insurance can get billed during an eye exam. The unfamiliarity with how a patient’s insurance works and how your practice uses it becomes a point of frustration when you have to bill both or even charge the patient.
Helping your patients understand the differences between their vision and medical insurance, and why you would bill one over the other could help you avoid tension. An easy way to explain the difference to your patients is to tell them that vision insurance covers a routine eye exam where no medical issues were discovered. Medical insurance covers a comprehensive eye exam for medical issues such as a foreign body removal, conjunctivitis, cataracts, diabetes, floaters, etc.
For many of your patients, getting an annual wellness exam from their primary care physician is routine, but getting an annual exam when you have 20/20 vision seems unusual. However, your patients may not know the difference between a vision screening and a comprehensive exam.
As you move your patients through your office workflow, explain to them what each test is checking for and if it’s part of a comprehensive exam or just the vision screening test.
Your patients may gloss over their contact lens information. When your patient comes to the exam, it is common for them to say, “I don’t remember” when asked what solution they’re using, what contacts they have, or what shape of lens they use. This information is especially important if the patient didn’t fill their contact prescription with you, or if they are a new patient.
To avoid the chance of not getting the right information during a contact lens exam, remind your patients when you contact them with a patient recall message. Tell them to note their brand of contacts, the solution they are using, and contact shape. It might be easier if you tell them to take a quick picture of these with their phone so they have the information when they are in the exam room.
When you’re explaining the prescription to the patient, tell them the difference between a toric lens and a spherical lens, so they will be better informed on what they need. This type of detail may also persuade the patient to purchase the lenses from your practice.
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