Which part of your office is most in need of updating?

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Top Reasons Patients Leave Your Practice—and What to do About It

JD Powers and Associates has found 4 reasons why patients leave a business, and optometric practice is no exception!

1.    8% of the people leave our practices because they found a better deal somewhere else.
2.    9% leave because something has occurred to make it unreasonable for them to come back.
3.    14% don’t come back because of some unresolved issue. They are mad or disappointed. Maybe a billing problem, trouble with their glasses…something.
4.    But 67% of the people who don’t come back to our practices, don’t come back because of a feeling of indifference. In other words, 2 out of 3 patients that you lose are lost simply because they don’t think you care whether or not they come back.

Consider the following as a basic guide for building better relationships in our business:

1.    Design all protocols and procedures with the patient in mind.

2.    Show respect throughout the visit by using proper names, unless the patient is considerably younger or if the patient requests to be called by his/her first name.

3.    Anticipate the patient’s needs. Walk through the experience, see it through their eyes, think about what they may say or need at each station, and prepare your staff to deliver a wow experience.

4.    Tie a ribbon around the experience by showing you care after the transaction is complete. Give them a handwritten thank you card, call to see how your patients are enjoying their eyewear or contact lenses, check on your injured or post-operative patients with a quick call…

Make Your Office Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-Compliant

The Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA) mandates that healthcare providers protect patient information. That general mandate requires that doctors zero in on the specifics of their office operations. Examine your patient-staff interactions from the time a patient calls the office for an appointment to the time they check out and you may be surprised at how often you inadvertently release protected information.

The key to HIPAA compliance is based on the concept of preserving and protecting the patient’s privacy and dignity. It simply isn’t as easy as it sounds and we need to be constantly vigilant. Here is a checklist to assess how well your office operations comply with HIPAA. Keep in mind that doctors should always consult their own attorney or state board for clarification.

1. Don’t Repeat Sensitive Info with Others Present

2. Use Discretion when Verifying Insurance Information

3. Turn Over Sensitive Documents and Turn Computer Screen Away

4. Keep Personal Information Off Sign-In Sheet

5. Ask Whether Elderly Would Like Caretaker to Accompany in Exam Room

6. Always Debrief Parents of Minors–Even When Parents Not in Exam Room

7. Conduct Parent or Caretaker Debrief in Private

8. Don’t Publicize Diagnosis and Treatment Plan at Check-Out

Readers Say Patients’ Top Need-to-Know: OD’s Can Address Medical Eyecare Needs

Asked what optometric patients most need to be educated about, 42% of Review of Optometric Business readers said patients need to know their eye doctor can do more than just prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses–that they can also address their eye health needs. 25% said patients most need to learn about the impact of the sun’s ultra-violet rays on their eyes and how to protect their eyes, while 17% say patients need to understand the importance of annual comprehensive examinations. 8% said their patients need to be educated about why they should comply with contact lens care and how best to do it, while another 8% said parents need help understanding how to best care for their children’s eye health and vision needs.