Most patients know what to expect when visiting your practice. However, you should optimize their experience to be quick, free of unnecessary steps, and uniquely pleasant so that they return year after year.
If you're not sure how to evaluate your practice from a patient's perspective, we have a few resources for you. In addition to performing a patient experience assessment, you can administer a few patient surveys about your workflow, efficiency, and more.
Keep reading to find out 3 common ways practices fall short in delivering the ultimate patient experience. We'll also provide a few tips to improve these 3 parts of your practice's patient flow.
Revamping Your Optical Patient Experience
From the patients' perspective, they want to be seen as soon as they arrive for their exam and experience no delay passing through the front desk, technician, OD, optician, and check-out. Although this doesn't always happen, you can get close to a seamless hand-off process with workflow optimization techniques.
You can increase efficiency for patients by reducing administrative tasks, requesting patient forms before the appointment, or using a cloud-based EHR/PM platform that automatically syncs information across all devices. Evaluate the efficiency of your existing patient flow. Is there any point where the patient is unnecessarily waiting on your staff or practice?
How many text messages, emails, and direct mail pieces are you sending your patients? If your patients are only hearing from you once a year, you're probably not giving them ample time to bond with your practice and schedule their exams in advance. However, if you're sending your patients messages every week, you're probably going to overwhelm them quickly and lose their attention.
Survey a focus group of loyal patients to find the sweet spot for the number of messages they're willing to receive and review your strategy for automated patient recall. Injecting a bit of fun in your patient newsletters, recall messages, and announcements can improve satisfaction with your communication and loyalty to your practice.
Have you ever left a ride-share like Uber or Lyft with a complimentary bottle of water or stick of gum? Does it make you want to rate the driver well? The small things can really set you apart from other practices in your area and lead to positive online reviews. Provide up-to-date magazines, books, and a TV playing a family-friendly show on Netflix with subtitles in your waiting area. If there ever is a delay between exams, your patients are much less likely to notice because they'll be enjoying the entertainment they don't receive at all practices. Also, make sure to choose comfortable seating. It's the little things that make a lasting impression after your patients leave.
To streamline your workflow, read our free ebook on efficiency in your optometry practice.