Is Your Practice Ready to See Me?
4 Practical Ways to Prep Your Practice for Patients: A Patient’s Perspective
Rachel Boer, RevolutionEHR Marketing Manager
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have three healthcare appointments to reschedule when practices in my home state reopen. And I’d like to share a secret with you: I’m not looking forward to it. It’s natural to think patrons of a business will simply show back up when they’re allowed to. But what about those patients, like me, who might be reluctant or even fearful to come back?
It’s important to recognize that when your practice reopens or resumes normal business levels, not all patients will immediately be comfortable coming to see you. Implementing and effectively communicating the COVID-19 necessary changes in your office, however, can help patients feel more at ease returning to your office.
Here are 4 ideas I’d like my optometrist to consider that will aid in getting me back to the practice for an eye exam:
1. Show Me That You Have Safety Procedures in Place
- Create policies for wearing PPE, social distancing, and cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces, eyewear, and equipment and post them somewhere visible for me to notice and reference.
- Educate me on your practice’s health requirements for entering the practice and advise me when to reschedule my appointment (What should I expect when I arrive at the practice? What symptoms require that I reschedule? etc.)
- Provide hand sanitizing stations and face masks in case I forget to bring my own.
2. Minimize My Exposure to Other Patients
- Implement a temperature test into your pre-appointment workflow.
- Adjust your appointment time slots to reflect appropriate social distancing requirements and allow time for sanitizing equipment, eyewear, etc., between appointments. P.S. If I see you cleaning, I’ll feel even more secure.
- Create optical appointment slots so I can schedule one-on-one time with an optician to select new eyewear while ensuring social distancing.
3. Reduce the Time I Need to Spend Inside Your Office
- If telehealth or virtual exams are available, let me know via email, text or phone call so I can consider that option instead of an in-office visit.
- If you have online eyewear ordering available, offer to walk me through the process over the phone or using video chat.
- Implement a patient intake solution so I can complete necessary “paperwork” before coming into the office, minimizing time spent in your office.
- Text me when you’re ready to see me for my appointment so I can wait in my vehicle instead of your waiting room.
4. Assure Me That You Still Care About Me
- Reassure me of the steps you’re taking to mitigate risk to me by communicating procedural changes via email or text.
- Post policy changes, adjustments to practice hours, and any other relevant information on your website, social media, or “pin it” to the top of your Facebook business page so I can easily find it.
- Place physical signs on your doors and in the office as gentle reminders of your commitment to protect me by adhering to the new policies.
- Use a patient engagement solution to remind me of upcoming appointments, safety procedures, and rescheduling protocol.
Some of your patients will have no reservations about reentering your office as soon as you reopen your doors. Others will be hesitant and require encouragement and reassurance that you’ve taken necessary precautions to make your practice environment safe. As my healthcare provider, I’d like you to recognize the various levels of comfort patients will have as we gradually transition to the Post-COVID-19 “normal” and consider what changes to make in your practice that will encourage those of us who are reluctant to return.
RevolutionEHR is committed to staying on top of eye care industry updates on behalf of our customers. If you’re interested in partnering with us for EHR software and practice solutions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-738-3471 x1 or explore our solutions on our website.