The Patient Experience: Part 2 - E34
Last week we discussed how the patient sees us before they come into the office. Today we are going to discuss what we need to take control of when they actually come into the office. As we saw, it takes a ton of time and effort to get the patient in the office, now we need to make sure we do not screw it up! Here is how we can give a 5 star patient experience.
Before the patient sees you they are going to do pre-testing and be worked up. Your staff has to, if nothing else, be personable and friendly. They represent the care you provide, so obviously being knowledgeable and proficient help, but do not overlook personality in regards to your techs. Make sure they promote you as a doctor by letting them know whatever problems they are having, you will have the answer. Also make sure they can answer basic questions as to why they are doing the tests they are doing.
This is our time to shine. We have trained our whole lives to provide amazing eyecare and help patients see as best they can and have healthy, happy eyes. Do that but do not forget to listen to the patient. You can do an amazing slit lamp exam or refraction, but if the patient does not feel heard, thinks you have rushed, or does not connect with you as a knowledgeable eye care provider, it is all for naught. Hear what they are saying and provide specific answers to their needs. We do our basic required exam, but make sure to personalize each exam for the patients needs. They will love you for it.
This can be when checking out for contacts or more likely when they have finished with their exam and go to optical. You need to personally hand the patient off to the optician and make sure you explain to your staff (in front of the patient) their specific needs. You spend all the time in the exam room coming up with the best possible solution for their eyes and if they decide to go with a flat top bifocal instead of the progressive, or do not get the non-glare coating and are complaining of glare at night, did you really do your job? I would say no.
By having this conversation with your staff you can empower them with the authority to help solve the patient’s problems. If there is pushback, they can reference your recommendations and hopefully come up with the best possible solution for their needs.
As you can see, communication and treating every patient like the unique person they are is paramount in providing excellent eye care. Tune in next week for what happens after the patient leaves the office. Our work is never done!
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