3 Areas Your Staff Has to Own in Your Practice - E28
As much as we may not want to admit it, our staff is the grease that keeps our office engines running smoothly. They are the tip of the spear in patient care. From scheduling the appointment to pre-testing, this is the patient's first impression and on the other hand, your staff is the last aspect a patient will deal with (checkouts, dispensing, and adjustments). Today I am going to give 3 ways they can work better for you.
Dispensing is an art form and if your staff is not properly trained or motivated, this can be a disaster and create a tsunami of RX checks that eat up chair time. Attitude goes a long way and so does making sure the staff is positive, letting the patient know they love the frames they picked. This will lead the patient down the path you want them to go instead of saying things like “Are the frames too tight or pinching?” or asking with uncertainty “Does everything look ok?”. A good example of something you could lead with is “Life is always more clear with a new set of lenses!” and “Try on the frames and see how they feel”. Make sure your staff lets the patient know that it will look really clear but may feel off at first, you are always there to help.
Making Appointments and Pre-testing
Remember being an optometry student? We had white coats, but they were short and patients knew we were training. Get a patient in the wrong mood and they would not cooperate and make life awful. However; the moment the attending would walk in they would be perfect angels and fully cooperate.
Not necessarily to that extent, but patients do that with us. They will complain or let your staff know what is bothering them, only to tell you everything is fine and they have no issues. If you want to be naive and think everything you do is perfect, you can live in that false reality, or you can teach your staff to pass that information along to you. It can be in exam notes, or when they present to you after pre-testing, but make sure you know what rough edges you need to smooth over. You can only fix what you are aware is broken. Communicating the importance of this to your staff is paramount.
Insertion and Removal
I love contacts for all ages, older or younger, I feel there is a contact lens for every walk of life. Fitting the patient is easy, getting them to stay in the lenses and be successful is the hard part. Your staff probably plays a bigger role than you in the latter. Think about the frequency a contact lens patient returns to your office and the revenue you gain from year after year sales of their lenses. It is a lot right?
Well, you better make sure your staff knows how to train and more importantly how to encourage new lens wearers in those early stages. First hand knowledge is the best, so if your staff does not wear contacts, they still need to have gone through the process of insertion and removal. Keep the patients calm, and assure them they will get better with time. Additionally, a call half-way through the week of their trials to check in and see how things are going goes a long way.
There you have it 3 ways your staff can work better for you and improve life in your office.
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