Webinar : Top 10 Medical Billing KPIs that Impact your Practice’s Bottomline

What is the secret to optimal health and what does it have to do with revenue cycle management? We think most experts would agree that the secret to optimal health is the consistent application of healthy habits, knowledge, and hard work that result in sustained long-term success. A successful revenue cycle management (RCM) process works the exact same way! There are many key components within the RCM process and a gap in workflow in any one area can ultimately result in a loss of timely revenue and an unhealthy process.

Join us for this timely conversation, where we’ll discuss:
• Key components within the RCM process
• Top 10 Medical Billing KPIs that Impact your Practice’s Bottom line
• And Much More

This webinar will provide valuable insights for Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Clinic Owners and many more.

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Jessica Whitney, CPC, CPMA Audit Manager

Jessica began her career in healthcare over 20 years ago at Blue Cross of Idaho working in both provider relations and claims. After several years she transitioned to practice management and has managed in both small, privately owned as well as large multi-specialty hospital-owned practices. She has spent over 20 years refining her expertise in practice management with a strong focus in revenue cycle management for practices of all sizes. Jessica also has in-depth knowledge of the credentialing and contracting process as well as experience in reimbursement analysis.

In her current role as an Audit Manager with AAPC Audit Services she performs revenue cycle audits and training for a variety of clients. She has additional experience in both coding and auditing and is a certified coder and medical auditor.

4 Reasons Every Eye Care Practice Needs a Cloud-Based EHR Software

One of the many tough choices you have to make as an eye care practitioner running your own practice is whether to use a client-server or cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) software. Choosing the right EHR system that best suits your practice’s budget, setting, and patient population is indeed a daunting task.

Here are some stats to help you decide:

  • For 83% of participants in the Black Book survey, cloud-based HER is the biggest healthcare technology trend. (Source)
  • Cloud-based EHRs’ adoption rate in small practices increased from 60% in 2013 to 82% in 2015. (Source)
  • Price is the critical driver for cloud-based EHR software adoption. (Source)
  • Cloud-based EHRs are the highest-ranked systems in terms of physician satisfaction among small practices. (Source)

Difference Between Client-server and Cloud-based

With server-based EMR software, the hardware and software are housed at your practice. This means patient information is stored on-site. As and when you require help, your vendor will step in to coordinate the maintenance of your server with your local IT team.

Cloud-based systems, on the other hand, store all the data on external servers. All you need to access your information anywhere anytime, is a computer with an Internet connection.

Why Do Practices Prefer Cloud-based EHR Software Over Client-server?

Many small-to-medium-size eye care practices are realizing the benefits. Here are four critical reasons for you to consider cloud-based EHRs for your practice.

  1. Cost-Effective and Scalable
    Unlike expensive server-based systems, cloud-based EHRs are centrally hosted. They do not require any on-premise hardware installation, software licensing, or maintenance, making them more affordable and easily scalable to suit your needs. Since a cloud-based EHR is offered as software-as-a-service (SaaS), you will only pay a monthly fee to use it. You don’t have to worry about updating the software, as updates are made automatically. Also, when your practice grows, new users or locations can be added easily.
  1. Easy to Access
    With cloud-based systems, you will always have critical data at your fingertips, allowing you to provide better, more efficient care to patients. Imagine a scenario when you are out of the office, but need to follow up on an urgent case. With a cloud-based EMR software, you will be able to access the patient record anytime, anywhere, and provide the much-needed care to the patient. Cloud-based EHRs also provide an opportunity for better patient engagement and interaction. Another benefit of cloud-based EHRs is that they allow for better mobility as most of them are accessible via a laptop, an iPad, or a mobile device, meaning you will no longer be tied down to your computer screen.
  1. Easy to Implement
    The ease of implementation is probably one of the biggest reasons small or solo eye care practices prefer cloud-based EMR software. Since cloud-based systems don’t require on-premise hardware or software installations, it mitigates the stress of implementation. Also, because the upfront capital investments in hardware or in-house storage systems are almost nil, you can get a faster ROI and prevent interruption of cash flow with a quicker implementation process than client-server EHR systems.
  1. Secure
    Patient data stored in a cloud-based EHR system is subject to the same privacy rules as traditional healthcare records but is more secure. Using a cloud-based system means you no longer have to store confidential information in desks. Instead, you can rely on your vendor’s expertise to protect the data on a centralized server. A reputed and experienced vendor like Eye Care Leaders will have their server warehoused in a secured facility that is weatherproof, fire-proof, and theft-proof. To further secure sensitive data and patient records, your vendor will allow you to control who has access to information and securely transfer records to authorized people. 

Conclusion

Transitioning from paper-based patient records to cloud-based EHR software may seem like a daunting task at first. However, once you’ve made that transition, you’ll notice countless benefits in terms of cost and time savings, and improved productivity and security.

Still confused about whether you should make the leap? Contact us, and we’d be happy to suggest a product based on your practice’s unique challenges and the specific goals you want to achieve.

Lack of EHR Usability Impacting Clinical Efficiency? EHR Optimization is the Answer!

Feeling frustrated by the amount of time your staff is spending on EHR software? Well, you are not alone!

  • Almost 40% of primary care physicians believe there are more challenges with EHRs than benefits.
  • 71% of physicians agree that EHRs contribute to physician burnout.
  • Nearly 72% of PCPs think that improving EHRs’ user interfaces could address EHR challenges.(Source)

The good news – EHR optimization can help address most of the problems related to shortfalls with EMR usability, drop in physician productivity, and clinical inefficiency.

What is EHR Optimization?

It is the process of enhancing the operations of an already installed EHR or EMR system to improve clinical productivity, reduce physician burnout, and enhance usability. Providers can optimize their EHR software as per their unique needs and specialties.

Why is EHR Optimization Important?

According to a report, at least 38% of healthcare CIOs are investing in EHR optimization. Look at this data to understand why hundreds of thousands of eye care practices turn to EHR optimization:

  • Improved operational efficiency post EHR optimization can help reduce cost by up to 10%.
  • Nearly 18% improvement in task completion time can help providers see an additional 3-4 patients per day, which means an increase in the bottom line.
  • A 16% increase in timely finalization of notes means increased provider satisfaction and reduced physician burnout. (Source)

EHR Optimization Best Practices

Often, providers and medical staff feel that EHRs were dumped on them and they weren’t consulted or trained to leverage the new system. Many users also complain that EHR workflows don’t align with clinical workflows, resulting in provider burnout and reduced productivity.

So, when you launch the EHR optimization initiative, make sure to take and implement user feedback. The goal of the optimization exercise should be to personalize EHR workflows to the users’ requirements. For instance, an ophthalmologist caring for a patient with diabetes should be able to view the patient’s past glucose levels or clinical visits.

The following tips will help you take a strategic approach to EHR optimization:

  1. Assess the existing workflow: Map and compare the pre-implementation workflow with the post-implementation workflow.
  2. Take Users’ Feedback: Interact with users and take their feedback. Understand pain points and gaps in the new process. Identify areas where optimization is needed.
  3. Set EHR optimization Goals: Based on your interaction with users, note key points related to security, reliability, usability, training, and support.
  4. Share Goals with Stakeholders: Explain to providers and medical staff how redesigning EHR workflows will help increase efficiencies, improve care quality, enhance the patient experience, and eliminate the administrative burden on users.
  5. Involve Vendor in Project Planning: If your in-house IT team does not have the expertise to crack this project, consider hiring EHR optimization specialists. The cost of hiring a professional vendor to drive the optimization will be far less than a failed project’s price.
  6. Invest in Training: Initial and ongoing training is essential to achieving success. Newly hired users should spend ten or more hours training to understand key features and functionalities of the system, while on-going training should focus on engaging users and keeping them updated.
  7. Monitor, Assess, Report, Fix: This mantra will help make your EHR optimization project a success. This is because optimization might get complicated as your goals, staff, and requirements change. With this mantra at top of mind, EHR optimization will never slip through the cracks.

Conclusion

Merely implementing EHR software does not guarantee provider efficiency, or patient satisfaction, or a good ROI. Practices that fail to integrate and leverage EHR capabilities can find themselves trapped in post-implementation despair, paralyzed by dissatisfied users, and reduced clinical efficiency. Your EHR will deliver maximum value when it is leveraged to drive strategic decisions, improve care quality, and control costs. Let our EHR specialists conduct an onsite visit to review your clinical workflows and understand your specific requirements before suggesting the right EHR optimization strategy.

4 Key Uses of Analytics in Healthcare

The healthcare industry generated more than 500 petabytes of data to provide value-based care to patients, reduce costs, and improve efficiency after the introduction of the Healthcare Affordable Care Act.

The healthcare analysts were presented with the unique challenge of translating this massive volume of structured and unstructured data into valuable insights to help reduce cost and improve healthcare services’ efficiency.

Enter Big Data Analytics!

But the role of data analytics in healthcare is not restricted to costs and efficiency. It does much more than this. But before we dive deeper into the critical role played by data analytics in healthcare, let’s understand what exactly healthcare data analytics is!

What is Healthcare analytics?

This branch of analysis focuses on offering valuable insights into clinical management, diagnosis, and quality of care.

Analytics uses statistical methods and technology to search through massive amounts of information, both historical and real-time, and analyzing it to predict individual patients’ medical outcomes.

The systematic data analysis allows healthcare professionals to increase their efficiency, improve patient engagement, and accelerate diagnosis while reducing costs.

According to the report, the healthcare analytics market is expected to cross $50 billion by 2024 from $14 billion in 2019, a CAGR of more than 28% during the forecast period.

Why Do We Need Healthcare Analytics?

The challenges facing the healthcare industry are compelling arguments to ascertain the need for analytics.

Healthcare providers have always been under constant pressure to improve productivity and reduce skyrocketing costs. Also, the advancement of technology compelled providers to adopt digital tools like EHRs to gain a competitive edge, improve quality of care, engage patients, and enhance business prospects.

Now, the widespread adoption of EHRs saddled healthcare professionals with tons of structured and unstructured data. Crunching these numbers and extracting meaningful knowledge was one big problem.

The need to address these challenges drove the adoption of healthcare analytics.

What is the Role of Analytics in Healthcare?

Here are some of the ways advanced analytics software is helping the healthcare industry achieve goals:

1. Predicting and Preventing Chronic Diseases

The treatment of chronic diseases is one of the highest costs for the healthcare industry. Analytics can help healthcare professionals track many causatives and indicative chronic disease factors and report the findings. The provider can use this information to perform tests to confirm specific medical conditions and initiate the appropriate action.

Analytics can also help cut costs by predicting which patients are at higher risk for chronic diseases and arrange early action before the problem worsens. This involves aggregating data related to a variety of factors, including (but not restricted to) patient’s medical history, demographic, and socio-economic profile. Medical history typically includes age, race, gender, blood group, blood pressure, pressure, family history of chronic conditions, and other factors.

By aggregating and analyzing all these forms of data, healthcare professionals can effectively allocate resources, allowing them to aggressively intervene in high-risk cases early on and prevent long-term costs.

2. Increasing the Accuracy of Diagnosis

Misdiagnosed patients are not a thing of the past. According to a published report, despite technological advancement in healthcare, almost 5% of patients are incorrectly diagnosed every year in the US. Errors during diagnostic procedures account for almost 10% of patients’ deaths.

This is where analytics can come to healthcare professionals’ rescue and help them make accurate diagnoses.

For instance, when a patient comes to the ER complaining of chest pain, it is often difficult to decide whether to hospitalize the patient. Access to the patient’s historical data with an accurate assessment of whether the patient could be sent home safely will help the doctor make the right decision. The system’s “prediction” of the patient’s health will not replace the provider’s judgment but would assist them in making the right call.

3. Reducing Cost of Treatment

The recent shift in the US healthcare system from a volume-based payment model to value-based care is transforming the way providers manage costs, get paid, and deliver care.

To ensure a value-based model’s success, eye care practices will have to reduce unnecessary variations and contain costs. This is where data analytics becomes essential. How?

Analytics can be used to predict the staffing needs by analyzing the historical data for factors like local weather trends, seasonal infections, and holidays. These insights will help the administrative team allocate staff accordingly, reduce labor costs, and ensure efficient shift management.

Another way analytics can help hospitals save costs is through pharmacy data analysis. According to a report, the cost of drugs and other supplies comprises 15% of a hospitals’ total budget. Better drug utilization and reduced stock can positively impact the bottom line.

Similarly by monitoring a patient’s health, not only the chances of readmission can be reduced, but also the cost of care associated with readmissions.

4. Improving Medical Outcomes

While the rise in patient portal adoption has made it easier for patients to access their medical data, many still struggle to understand their medical condition. Low awareness rates, complicated by medical jargon, often lead to poor medication adherence and a lack of patient engagement.

Patient engagement is directly related to medical outcomes; therefore a low patient engagement rate is less likely to yield a good medical outcome.

So, how can analytics help increase patient engagement? On example is wearable technology. The practical and informative use of data from wearable devices helps patients understand what they need to do to stay healthy. On the same data, after providers apply analytics, it helps them predict and make informed decisions around the next treatment options for individual patients.

A recent study has revealed that medication adherence is only about 50% – 60%. Healthcare providers are also leveraging analytics to discover patients who don’t adhere to medication plans. And when patients don’t adhere to medication or treatment plans, it jeopardizes the quality of care and medical outcomes and increases healthcare costs.

By leveraging analytics, providers can help patients participate in their care plans leading to improved medical outcomes and care delivery.

Conclusion

With the healthcare industry becoming increasingly patient-oriented, and patients shopping around for the best-reviewed providers, analytics will be a cog in the wheel for ensuring a healthier future, both for patients and providers. Analytics brings a lot to the table. Reducing costs is one of the top goals, but using analytics to improve patient experience and grow revenue is what will help you gain a completive edge in the long term!

Everything You Need to Know About an RCM Software

Efficient Revenue Cycle Management is the key to success for every business, and eye care practices are no exception. Poor RCM processes can mean lost revenue, which is the last thing any eye care practice wants. But what is RCM?

RCM includes all admin and clinical functions that contribute to capturing, managing, and collecting patient service revenue – from claims submission and payment processing to insurance collections. RCM also involves following up with payers when claims are denied. Simply put, RCM is your eye care practice’s billing process, and without an efficient billing process, it may become challenging to maintain a practice’s financial viability and provide quality care.

Why is RCM important?

The increased focus on holistic patient care and the move toward value-based reimbursement is forcing eye care providers to take a closer look at the way they approach RCM.

Faulty billing practices often result in financial losses and put the provider’s ability to deliver quality care at risk. Streamlining and improving core operational processes can help eye care providers remain financially viable. With this in mind, eye care providers search for solutions to save them time and money and turn to revenue cycle management software.

What is RCM Software?

When it comes to building a healthier bottom line, the bad news is that the current healthcare payment system is not provider friendly. The complexities of insurance and the way services are billed and collected are counterproductive to providers’ ability to get paid quickly. However, the good news is that there are ways to ensure getting paid the full amount from providers and patients and thereby reduce revenue loss. With the right tools and software to handle your billing, you can track what’s going out and what’s coming into your practice.

Revenue cycle management software (RCM software) improves the financial stability of your eye care practice by automating administrative tasks and streamlining the business side of your practice by getting more money per patient, quickly, and with lesser efforts.

How RCM Software helps Eye Care Providers Improve Cash Flow?

Here are some of the features of RCM software that reveal how central and efficient this system is for eye care providers:

  • Pre-visit authorization

It is a good practice to check insurance eligibility before the patient comes in for the appointment. Pre-visit authorization involves confirmation by the insurer that a medical procedure or prescription is required. Using the RCM software, your staff can check on patient insurance status and get the ball rolling and set up the time and date for a visit. When done correctly, this step can help reduce claim denials.

  • During the Visit

As you check each patient, you can use the RCM software for collecting copays. It is better to bring in this revenue than wait for payments to be settled after the patient receives repetitive bills. This will save on staff time and burden since they will not send multiple copies of the bills.

  • Post-Visit Payment Processing 

RCM Software allows you to enter payment information after the patient visit. With accurate data in place, you can monitor the revenue at the end of each week or month.

  • Reducing Claims Denials

One of your goals is to bring down the number of rejected claims. Since many rejections occur because of human mistakes during the data entry stage, the use of RCM software will reduce the number of denied claims.

  • Tracking Pending Claims

Claims that have not been denied but are pending must be tracked. Using the RCM software, you can stay on top of this anticipated revenue, giving your team the financial information, it needs to plan marketing campaigns or staff requirements.

Conclusion

Eye care practices that embrace RCM software can rest assure that they are doing what’s needed to grow, remain competitive, and ensure a healthier bottom line. The time you save and the extra revenue you can expect to see after implementing a revenue cycle management software will give you more resources to deliver quality care to patients.

One Step Guide for Independent Healthcare Practices to Improve Data Security

It feels like barely a month goes by without news of another high-profile healthcare data breach affecting thousands or even millions of people. These cyber attacks happen so often that we’ve probably become desensitized to the numbers. However, the cost of data breaches to healthcare practices is staggering.

According to a recently published report, cyber attacks cost the healthcare industry $6.5 million annually. Not just this, more than 32 million patient records were breached in the first half of 2019 alone, according to another report.

Independent Healthcare Practices Might be More at Risk

We all hear about data breaches when big healthcare practices are hit, and it’s easy to think that independent healthcare practices are less of a target, but cybercriminals don’t discriminate.

No healthcare practice, big or small, is immune in this era of cyber warfare. In fact, independent healthcare practices are more prone to cyber-attacks due to their weaker online security and fewer financial resources.

So, what exactly makes independent healthcare practices a target?

  • Staff is too busy to think about data security, and hackers know it.
  • Lack of skills and budget to deploy the right technology and strong firewalls.
  • Lack of in-house legal expertise around data handling.

So, if you are running an independent healthcare practice, it’s time to sit up, smell the coffee, and take steps to prevent data breaches.

Data Security – It is Everybody’s Responsibility.

While continuing to be under fire, healthcare practices have been working on improving their data security by hiring cybersecurity professionals, implementing the latest technology, and focusing on employees’ security awareness training. In fact, according to a report, nearly 94 percent of healthcare practices are using advanced technologies to protect data.

Here’re some of the most critical steps healthcare practices can take to ensure data security:

1. Prioritize Cloud-based Solutions

A lot of healthcare practices are skeptical of cloud-based EHR systems. While their doubts are understandable, cloud-based EHR systems are capable of delivering enhanced security than traditional paper records. Cloud-based systems achieve HIPAA compliance through data centers with high-level encryption methods and bank-level security that render protected data unreadable — even if a breach occurs. Even in case of physical theft or a natural disaster like fire, cloud-based data is safer because it is backed up in multiple locations.

2. Conduct a Risk Assessment
Conducting frequent risk assessments will help you identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your data security. It will also give you a clue to any shortcomings in employee training and other areas of concern. Not knowing your vulnerabilities will make it harder to protect yourself against a potential attack. Complacency will be your enemy. Also, conducting annual risk assessments is required under the HIPAA security rule.

3. Limit Information Access
Do all of your employees have access to sensitive patient data? And do all of them need access? Have your IT team control access to patient records, only allowing authorized employees to access the details. You should also audit the system regularly to verify who accessed what information and when. It’s critical to remove access from employees who have left the organization to keep them from accessing the data and causing problems.

4. Consider Data Encryption

One of the ways to limit data access is by encrypting it. Hackers will not be able to use stolen data if they don’t have the key to break the encryption. Though data encryption isn’t required under the HIPAA rule, it must be implemented if a risk assessment finds that encryption is a reasonable safeguard. However, if encryption isn’t reasonable, you will need to find an alternative that helps you achieve the same goal.

5. Use Strong Passwords
Sounds basic, doesn’t it? Our computer teacher preached the need for strong passwords the first day we sat down in front of a computer screen. Employees tend to use one easy-to-remember password to access different applications at work, but this is a big mistake. All a hacker needs to do is discover one password and apply it to all the other accounts used by the employee. The convenience of one password may lead to catastrophic data theft. An easy solution is to motivate employees to use different passwords for work apps, create stronger passwords using a mix of alphabets, numbers, and special characters, and generate new passwords frequently.

6. Focus on Employee Training

Unfortunately, a majority of data breaches are a result of human errors. After all, you can have the most secure systems and policies in the world, but they won’t do you a drop of good if your employees are not aware of information security best practices. When you implement a data security policy in your healthcare practice, take the time to train your employees on their role in this process.

Conclusion
Becoming a successful healthcare practice is a difficult task but maintaining your patients’ trust in your brand is much more challenging. Adopting the right tools and following data security best practices will help you safeguard your most valuable asset – your data.

6 Tips to Master the Art of Patient Scheduling

In an ideal world, patients show up on time for appointments, and schedules are planned to the minute. But we don’t live in an ideal world. Sometimes patients are running late, and sometimes doctors are late because they get sidetracked with an urgent call that requires immediate attention. And of course, some patients forget their appointments.

All of these scenarios are as real as they are costly. An open, unused time slot can cost an eye care practitioner $200 on average.

Considering that no-show rates are as high as 30%, you can calculate the revenue loss you are likely to absorb just by ignoring the importance of active patient scheduling.

With so many high-tech tools (free and paid) at your disposal, you may wonder how such a costly problem exists. A missed appointment not only makes a dent in your revenue; it is even more dangerous for patients as it could mean the difference between catching an illness early on or too late. An inefficient patient scheduling system can raise stress levels for you, your staff, and your patients.

 

Tips for Scheduling Patients Efficiently

Setting up an effective patient scheduling system is key to excellent patient engagement and a healthier bottom line. The following tips will help you streamline patient scheduling:

1. Allow Patients to Self-schedule

Did you know it takes at least eight minutes to schedule an appointment by phone?

Encouraging your patients to self-schedule through online portals will improve practice efficiency, enhance the patient experience, and reduce the possibility of no shows.

Recent research has indicated that the majority of patients prefer to self-schedule their appointments through online portals. The same study also pointed out that almost 31% of respondents would be more likely to choose a new provider if the provider offered online scheduling options.

By encouraging patients to do self-scheduling through the online portal, you’ll increase patient engagement and help your staff save hours while filling up open slots on autopilot.

2. Send Appointment Confirmations and Reminders

This best practice is non-negotiable. Sending manual or automated reminders to patients ahead of time will offer three benefits – firstly, it’ll increase patient satisfaction and help reduce no-shows; it’ll improve your efficiency and productivity. No-shows are costly and inconvenient, especially if your eye care practice is busy, and you have a long waiting list. However, if you don’t like calling patients to confirm and remind them of their upcoming appointments, you can consider using a tool for sending automated reminders. Research shows that appointment reminders can effectively increase show rates. This can mean the difference between an eye care practice that survives and one that thrives!

3. Monitor Cancellations

Making notes on individual patients will help you track the ones that cancel regularly and their reasons for doing so. It could be that some patients are not comfortable in the mornings, while others tend to cancel their evening appointments as they get too busy. If a patient cancels once or twice for the same reason, you should suggest them to schedule appointments at a time that will be more convenient for them. Again, this is where self-scheduling using online portals can help you. If you’re monitoring appointment scheduling and cancellation data, you can predict the likelihood of a patient canceling his or her appointment by looking at past behavior. In addition to encouraging them to self-schedule, the other efficient way to handle such patients is to call them an hour before their scheduled appointment. This proactive follow-up will either make such patients show up on time, or re-schedule well in advance.

4. Keep Buffer Time Between Appointments

It is a safe practice to factor in a buffer time of 10 minutes between appointments. These 10 minutes will give you time to write up your patient notes, straighten the room before the next appointment, file papers, if any, and check for any important notes or emails. This 10-minute gap between appointments will also help you stay on top of your daily admin tasks so that you don’t have a pile of paperwork at the end of a long day. Not to mention your patients’ satisfaction – they’ll appreciate a provider who sticks to the appointment time.

5. Communicate No-show and Cancellation Policies to Patients

All eye care practices should have no-show and cancellation policies in place that are communicated to patients in writing before their appointments. These policies can also be printed and kept in your waiting room for all to see and read. For no-shows, many eye care practices either charge the full appointment fee or a nominal fee, on a case-by-case basis. For instance, if one of your loyal patients misses an appointment, you may decide to waive the fee. But if a patient has a record of canceling at the last minute, you may want to charge the full or partial fee. However, you decide to charge patients, it’s always better to have a policy in place to fall back on when you need it.

6. Focus on Patient Reactivation

Reactivating former patients is often easier (and less expensive) than acquiring new patients. When you contact former patients and invite them to schedule a new appointment, you’re reconnecting with people who know and trust you. Your efforts to make them visit your practice will convert faster and much better than chasing new patients. Patient reactivation is a win-win for both patients and providers. For providers, reactivating patients helps them meet revenue goals and keep appointment schedules filled. For patients, improving compliance helps improve medical outcomes.

Conclusion

Eye care practices can improve their scheduling efficiency by using the latest tools and following the tips mentioned above. Most of the latest EHRs have many features and functionalities that increase patient engagement and improve patient reactivation rates. An increase in patient engagement and satisfaction will reflect on your bottom line positively.

5 Reasons Patients Aren’t Satisfied With Your Eye Care Practice

Whenever a patient cuts ties with your eye care practice, you experience the negative impact of ignoring patient satisfaction. While some churn is an accepted part of running a practice, a high churn rate can cripple your growth.

Churn is closely tied to patient satisfaction and for obvious reasons. Dissatisfied patients are more likely to leave, and when they do, they take a piece of your revenue and reputation with them.

According to a report, a “totally satisfied” customer delivers nearly 2.6 times revenue compared to one who is “somewhat satisfied.”

Stats like these are compelling eye care practices to recognize the impact of patient retention on their top line and bottom line. They’re focusing on transforming patient experience to meet (and exceed) modern expectations.

What Kills Patient Satisfaction?

Ensuring patient satisfaction is just one of the many goals of every eye care practice. It enhances medical outcomes and strengthens your online reputation.

But what impacts patient retention and satisfaction? Is it price or quality of service? What factors make a patient dissatisfied with your brand?

Knowing your patients’ needs is crucial if you want to keep your patients happy and choose your brand over competitors every time. However, sometimes we tend to take for granted the smallest things that can turn patients off. There are plenty of things your staff may do that can kill patient satisfaction– even if they’re done with the best of intentions. Here are five of them:

1. Lack of Personalized Service

Your patients do not want to feel unheard or uncared for. They need personalized experiences that make them feel appreciated and understood on a 1:1 level. They want you to see them as an individual with unique needs and interests. If you want to keep your patients happy, you’ll need to take personalization to the next level. However, personalization shouldn’t just happen in email campaigns. Your invoices, letters, and any other kind of patient communication should also include personalized information. It’s not just about using a patients’ first and last name; it’s about addressing their specific health-related issues, making the best possible treatment recommendations based on their past visits, communicating with them in the language and the medium they prefer, and much more.

2. Long Wait Times

Patients get turned off by long wait times. According to a study, there’s a strong correlation between wait times and the star rating of the eye care practice. Doctors with the highest rating had an average wait of 13 minutes, while those with the lowest ratings had average wait times of over 34 minutes. Aside from the frustration of the wait, patients often see this as poor management. In some cases, the long wait time is indicative of how doctors prioritize patients and their care. Wait times are a visible indicator of a practice’s performance. Long wait times affect not just the perception of care but also the actual care that a patient receives. In fact, many patients tend to leave their optometrist’s office before being seen because of the wait time.

3. Poor Patient Support

Lackluster service will lower the patient’s satisfaction levels before you can say Yes, please. Part of the problem is that the majority of healthcare marketers believe their employees offer top-notch patient care and service, while just a small percentage of patients agree. Isn’t discrepancy an understatement here? Let’s admit it – patient care is hard. If anyone tells you it’s not, they probably know nothing about it. That’s why it should be done by the right people who know your services and are also fantastic problem solvers and communicators. Make sure your patient support team is equipped with the necessary tools and professionally trained to handle difficult patients. In the end, happy employees equal happy patients.

4. Failing to Take Accountability

Patients don’t expect perfect service. They know there will be slip-ups and errors along the way. What matters to them is how an eye care practice and its staff take responsibility. Do they reach out to patients, or do they simply run away? This dictates patients’ satisfaction level on their preferred eye care practices. It’s best to take responsibility when the need arises, apologize if required, and go the extra mile to satisfy your patients’ needs. If possible, offer refunds, free consultations, discounts, or waived fees to fix the mistakes and win back the patient’s trust.

5. Ignoring Patients’ Pain Points

Your unhappy patients are your biggest source of learning. You’ll see great value in a patient’s negative feedback if you approach it with the right attitude and a level head. Your patients are your best critics, and when they’re not happy with your services, they simply tell you where you need improvements. So why not use your patients’ feedback, even if it’s negative, to your advantage? Active patient engagement, taking their feedback — and acting on it! — is vital to the growth of your eye care practice.

Conclusion

Though you can count the reasons why your customers leave on the fingers of one hand, the major cause is but one — poor customer service. Instead of assuming that your patients are happy and satisfied, call them. Their needs are frequently changing. Call them to learn about the challenges they are facing and how you can help. Remember, these small problems, if not attended to, can negatively affect your patient volume, revenue, reputation, growth, and even your competitive edge.