This article was written in partnership with RevolutionEHR, a supporter of NewGradOptometry & new graduate optometrists! 😎
Optometry patient recall. These are very important words to practice owners.
Having the ability to contact your patients quickly, efficiently, and through multiple channels is critical to not only ensuring your schedule stays full, but providing a great patient experience in regards to how they are communicating with you and your practice.
Many practices might find themselves getting lost from using multiple methods—from phone calls, to emails, to automated texts—never knowing if patients are receiving messages.
Patient recall is so important for a practice. If your patients are missing appointments, or forgetting to schedule regular visits, this equates to missed opportunities, lost revenue, and most importantly, losing patients to follow up.
These are the frustrations that come with running a practice, but luckily there’s a number of ways to maintain regular communication with your patients. Some of them even come integrated into the software you use every day at your practice!
In an effort to provide a solution to optometry patient recall, and tackle the necessity to communicate effectively with patients, RevolutionEHR developed RevConnect, easy-to-use patient engagement software that can seamlessly become part of your workflow.
This software is accessible directly within RevolutionEHR, allowing practices to communicate with patients, set up automatic appointment reminders, and monitor if and how patients are actually receiving them!
Why RevolutionEHR Practice Owners Are Using RevConnect
Dr. Jennifer Carter bought West Georgia Eye Care in 2016, and started using RevConnect once she discovered RevolutionEHR had associated patient engagement software available. She thought that RevConnect could be a great way to improve patient communication and customer service at her practice.
We sat down with Dr. Carter to discover why patient engagement software is a critical component in running an optometry practice, and how RevConnect has helped her manage multiple aspects of patient communication, both in scheduling and in the optical.
It is important as a practice owner to be able to connect with patients digitally.
Look around any store, doctor’s office, restaurant and you will see people “busy” on their phones. Whether they are checking emails, texts, or even playing games, 99% of people don’t go anywhere without their cell phone. Because of this, we knew connecting with our patients digitally was imperative. We had to reach them using a simple, efficient system that is already incorporated into their everyday lives (texting and emails).
We chose RevConnect for optometry patient recall versus other solutions out there because of simplicity.
We use RevolutionEHR as our EHR, so we wanted something that would integrate directly with our EHR. Again, simplicity and efficiency were key. We needed it to be simple for patients to confirm appointments, receive reminders, and so on. But we also needed it to be simple on our end.
Just like everyone else, we are being pulled in what seems like a thousand different directions each day. Spending time calling patients to remind them of appointments or to reach them for recall was taking hours each day — hours that we use now to pour into our patients and their experience in our office!
Years ago, we used another patient engagement system. The cost and lack of ability to customize is what pulled us away. We really liked the interface and features available with RevConnect.
Implementing RevConnect into our practice was extremely straightforward and simple.
The hardest part was deciding when we wanted reminders and recall to go out to the patients so we didn’t miss anyone or duplicate reminders/recall (which tends to aggravate patients). Once we decided on that, the setup was really simple. It is easy to adjust and adapt with a few simple clicks.
There are some great features when it comes to RevConnect.
Instant Confirmation. Instant confirmation from patients into our EHR that we can see directly on our schedule — hallelujah!
Customization. The ability to change the wording of emails and texts to suit our professional but casual style.
Integration with optical. We also love the ability to inform patients when their glasses arrive with a click of a button (we ship all contact lenses to the patients but if you don’t, that would be really beneficial as well).
When it comes to getting the best out of RevConnect to communicate with patients, I follow a simple protocol.
- Reminders – patients get reminders 1 week and 1 day prior to their appointment. We do have a few patients that only have a home phone number, so we call those patients the day before their appointment.
- Recall – patients receive a reminder 1 month prior to when they are due for their annual eye exam; we have a link on the email that is sent that leads them to our website where they can schedule their appointments online. This system talks directly to RevolutionEHR as well – which is awesome! If patients have not scheduled their appointment within 3 weeks, we run a recall report and call them.
- Recare – patients receive a reminder 18 months after they have missed their appointment.
- Orders are ready – When the patient’s glasses are verified, we click “verified” in the order and the patient automatically receives a text letting them know their order is ready for pickup.
- Birthday Messages – we don’t currently use this feature but as I’m typing this, I think we should think about implementing it!
RevConnect has allowed us to take a step back from traditional means of communication.
We no longer use postcards or mailers.
We do make phone calls if patients do not provide their email, only have a home number, or have not scheduled their appointments online after receiving the recall message.
RevConnect also provides time management benefits to practices.
The time RevConnect saves your staff and the money it saves on postage/postcards/mailers is invaluable to any practice. This is time and money that can be spent on other tasks, or investments into your practice. The simplicity and efficiency on the patient side can’t be beat. Patients love getting information about their appointments that seamlessly integrates with their daily activity.
We all lead busy lives; we have to ensure our patients’ time is respected.
Customer support for RevConnect is also incredible. It’s the same team that supports RevolutionEHR and every support rep has optometric practice experience so they understand what it’s like to work in an eye care practice. We have never had any issue reaching customer support and getting answers to questions we have, and they’ll walk you through anything on the phone or via email.
RevConnect offers practices a seamless digital way to communicate with our patients. Anything that takes the load off of our staff and is beneficial to the patient is worth its weight in gold.
About the Author: Jennifer Carter graduated from the University of Missouri – St Louis, School of Optometry in 2002. Upon graduation, she moved back to her home state of Georgia. Dr Carter worked in several different settings, but in 2011 she found herself at West Georgia Eye Care, a private practice focused on developing patient relationships and staff leadership. In 2016, Dr Carter purchased the West Georgia Eye Care; she and her staff continue to work toward improving customer service and staff leadership.
About the Author:
Jennifer Carter graduated from the University of Missouri – St Louis, School of Optometry in 2002. Upon graduation, she moved back to her home state of Georgia. Dr Carter worked in several different settings, but in 2011 she found herself at West Georgia Eye Care, a private practice focused on developing patient relationships and staff leadership. In 2016, Dr Carter purchased the West Georgia Eye Care; she and her staff continue to work toward improving customer service and staff leadership.