Do you ever wonder if there’s more you can be doing, as a practice, to keep your patients satisfied? If so, Your Patient’s Voice™ might be worth exploring. Carmen Sevilla, membership and meeting director for the Optical Laboratories Association (OLA), gave Vision Care Venture some background about the program.
THE BIG IDEA Your Patient’s Voice gives eyecare professionals (ECPs) an opportunity to offer patients online surveys immediately following their appointments. If a patient agrees to receive the e-mailed survey, which comes in the form of a link, she or he will answer questions that cover topics including, but not limited to the following:
• The initial experience of setting up the appointment • The waiting-room experience • In-house professionalism • Purchase details (or reasons for not purchasing)
Of course, ECPs’ priorities may change over time with regard to what they want to learn from patients. With that in mind, Sevilla said, “As time goes on, should the needs of the industry shift in such a way that different questions would be needed, that can be accommodated.”
BENEFITS TO PRACTICES Practices offering the survey can also customize questions, which can be open-ended. If a patient doles out a lower-than-50% score in any area, ECPs are immediately notified via e-mail. With such immediate feedback, practitioners can swiftly address complaints and even identify potential staff performance issues.
They can also view aggregate scores of other ECPs within a given geographical area (a ZIP Code, for example). Sevilla said, “It’s not to create competition, but rather help them know, ‘How do I measure up?’” In order to obtain access to other local scores, at least three local ECPs with at least three surveyed patients each must participate.
OTHER ADVANTAGES Labs have access to this the information about the practices, but not identities of the patients, and then are able to lend a hand in making improvements. For example, a lab may see that patients don’t feel educated about lens choices, so they can offer practices materials to share with patients. Sevilla said, “If patients feel like they’re in control of the choices, then they don’t feel like they’ve been pushed into eyewear that might seem very expensive without knowing the reasons why.”
Jeff Szymanski, Vice President of Toledo Optical Laboratory, has seen first-hand results for his business. He said, “Your Patient’s Voice provides the information needed to make the adjustments necessary to increase capture rates, further drive revenue per patient, and simply provide a customer experience that’s second to none.”
Szymanski also pointed to the value of seeing data as it relates to other ECPs and labs in other areas. “In addition to a comprehensive overview of the patient’s experience, this tool also provides comparative metrics from across the country, which can even further help users understand the certain areas of their practices that might need more attention,” he said. “ECPs today can gain the information necessary to position their practice for years of future success. In fact, we feel so strongly about the necessity of this tool that our laboratory underwrites a significant portion of its costs for our supporting customers.”