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This Simple Change Can Make Your Eyecare Business Way More Efficient

It seems like a small step, but it can have a big impact.

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IF I TOLD YOU that I had one easy protocol you can incorporate in your practice that can save you time, enhance your relationship with patients and grow your business, you’d do it, right?

Well, I do, and here it is: Encourage (well, instruct) patients to fill in online patient information, history and registration forms before their visit.

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Yup. It seems like a small step, but this small act can have a big impact on your practice. In fact, if you don’t have this protocol in place you are missing out on precious opportunities for your practice.

Instructing a patient, especially a new patient, to fill out these forms on your website before coming in for an appointment achieves three main objectives:

Increasing Office Efficiency

This step makes life easier for the doctor and the practice and streamlines the patient’s visit.

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The five to 10 minutes that it takes the patient to fill in these forms by hand can cause delays in the patient flow of the practice. When pre-filled online, the information is automatically inputted into the patient’s record (saving the administrative staff the time of entering by hand) and the file can be ready for the patient as soon as they walk in the door. This is a win-win. It saves time for the practice, keeps the schedule running on time and saves the patient time waiting. Your patients will appreciate this convenience and the modern services you provide.

Familiarizing Patients with the Doctor’s Website

Filling in your online forms forces a patient to visit your site, even if the patient calls in to schedule the appointment. Why is this important?

First of all, it gives the patient more of a chance to familiarize with the practice, read about the doctor, his services and specialties, and find out about other options available, such as specialty eyewear, dry eye treatments and vision therapy. This will make the practice more impressive (especially to the new patient) and has the potential to boost sales because it may lead to the patient inquiring about additional products or services of interest.

Secondly, it increases patient retention and loyalty. In the digital age, familiarity with your website will not only ingrain your practice into memory, but will likely help you come up higher on their next Google search. (Your site is also likely stored in the cache or user search history of the device.) This means quicker and easier mental retrieval and web retrieval of your practice website and information.

The more they learn about your practice, the more your patients will feel connected to your practice, and the more likely they will be to think of you for their eyecare needs in the future.

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Lastly, once patients have visited your site, they are more likely to make referrals. They might leave a positive review on your site, Facebook page or a local business directory, or send a link to a friend seeking eyecare. Once they have connected with you online, the potential network becomes endless.

Increasing Traffic and Time on Site

These are important factors for Google and for increasing your search ranking to help more new patients find your practice. This is particularly on point for practices that are struggling to increase traffic. Encourage patients to fill in your online forms and not only will they spend more time on your site, but so will others who will be able to find it easier.

Remember, your website is your 24-hour business card, and so much more. When your patients are visiting your website, it is just like a virtual visit to your office, where they can get to know you and build trust for a future of eyecare together.

Zvi Pardes is the Head of content marketing at EyeCarePro, which provides ECPs with educational content that helps them advance their practices through technology, management strategies and digital marketing. EyeCarePro serves both industry and practices and is the only company of its kind solely focused on the optometric space. Contact him at [email protected]

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