May is Healthy Vision Month 2020 (or should we say 20/20?) and we’d like to shine a spotlight on all of the vision care providers working hard to keep patients’ eyes healthy. We know that the coronavirus pandemic has massively complicated this job, but we’ve got strategies for adapting to the new challenges of COVID-19 that will ultimately help you maintain a strong patient-provider relationship and a thriving practice.
COVID-19’s “New Normal”
The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed the healthcare system, and vision care is no exception. You can expect to see many shifts in the way that the industry operates, including the way that healthcare is delivered to patients. Our data scientists have been hard at work analyzing how the pandemic has altered patient behaviors and increased reliance on technology; their insights can be found in our data report, “COVID-19 Ushers in Patient-First Care Model.” Make sure to check it out to stay informed on long-term healthcare trends.
One major takeaway from the report: telehealth is certain to become a mainstay at most healthcare practices. Many optometrists and ophthalmologists have adopted telehealth virtual visits at their clinics in order to maintain revenue flows and continue providing patient care in the age of COVID-19. How? Our customers at Eye Health America implemented Luma Health’s telehealth solution to give both staff and patients a seamless experience. It was an easy transition for this practice that required little work —check out their walkthrough of our product in a recent webinar. Telehealth is here to stay, and we recommend selecting a solution that’s smart, simple, and intuitive.
Watch our on-demand webinar to learn more about how to leverage reimbursable HIPAA-compliant virtual visits to deliver care and minimize appointment backlogs and cancellations.
Patient Engagement Strategies for Improving Outcomes
Many patients still don’t feel fully comfortable coming to their providers with health concerns, worrying that their providers will judge them or will dismiss their concerns. Creating a patient-provider relationship rooted in trust is crucial in any specialty, but particularly in vision care, where taking preventive measures is essential to preserving eye health. Up to 80% of vision loss could be avoided by interventions such as glasses or cataract surgery. When a patient notices that their vision is beginning to deteriorate, it’s essential that they feel comfortable going to their provider. By 2050, early cases of age-related macular degeneration are expected to double. We need to turn the tide on patient outcomes when it comes to vision care.
To maximize the effectiveness of your preventive care outreach, we recommend staying in constant communication with patients. Doing so can strengthen trust between patients and providers. For example, patients should be able to message your practice using the medium that’s most convenient for them — which, for most patients, is text messaging. Secure two-way text messaging that allows patients to respond with any questions they might have is key to ensuring that patients feel in control when it comes to their health.
Besides being HIPAA-compliant, Luma Health’s text messages are also multilingual and can be sent to targeted patient populations. This flexibility helps increase access to care.
By making yourself more accessible to patients and providing them with a top-tier experience, they’ll be more likely to respond to your outreach efforts. At a time when 60% of diabetes patients age 40 and older are skipping their recommended annual eye exam, proactive patient outreach is essential. Vision care practices need to ensure that they’re staying ahead of the curve when it comes to patient communication, and that providers are setting a positive foundation for relationships with patients. The following case study shows how one Luma Health customer achieved that.
Case Study: Southern California Eye Group
One large-scale vision care group in the Southern California area with over 45 locations was looking for a patient engagement partner to help them boost their patients’ experiences. While they had tried using other platforms to obtain actionable patient feedback, the surveys sent long after a patient’s visit to the clinic weren’t providing enough useful data.
That was where Luma Health came in: our feedback and reputation management tool allowed the practice to immediately collect data on the patient experience following their appointments. Happy patients were directed to online review sites such as Google and Facebook to leave their glowing reviews, and patients who were dissatisfied were able to voice their opinions on what the practice could have done better. Over time, the vision care group was able to continually improve its care delivery and received over 46,000 perfect scores from patients — changes that could be seen in their Net Promoter Score (NPS), which soared to 14% over the industry average.
Southern California Eye Group also had success getting more patients in the door with help from Luma Health. Using Luma Health’s referral management system, all referred patients were directly sent outreach texts — no manual processing needed from the staff, which sped up the process and got patients to care more quickly. Through interactive text messages, patients automatically scheduled appointments. As a result, this group achieved a 3x increase in their referral conversion rate!
The results were clear: adopting advanced patient engagement technology allowed this vision care group to attract and retain new patients while providing a better start-to-end experience for every patient.
Want to Learn More?
Want to know more about how Luma Health supports ophthalmology practices? Request a complimentary product walkthrough. Engaging patients is key for providing the essential vision care they deserve. We’re here to help. In the meantime, we wish everyone a happy Healthy Vision Month!