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Author: Andy Chance-Hill

24 October 2019

OmniChannel and the Clinical Touchpoints on the Patient's Journey - What's the link?

Every patient’s journey will vary depending on their ocular needs. Whether they require an OCT scan, a new pair of spectacles or a referral, OmniChannel touchpoints ensure a smooth transition from one stage of their patient journey to another.

Previously, we looked at OmniChannel in relation to your business needs and how technology enhances patient engagement. Now, in this month’s blog, we will review the clinical touchpoints of a patient’s journey and how OmniChannel can provide consistency throughout their in-store and online experience.

Often the very first touchpoint for a patient is a practice website. This provides a window into the depth of services available, sophistication of equipment used, range of product dispensed and qualification of staff they will meet, encouraging them to react by immediately booking an appointment.

"Feedback is also a crucial element to knowing where you might need to implement change."

Once the patient is checked-in, they can move seamlessly to pre-screening. Having equipment integrated with a PMS will reduce the patient’s waiting time, so you can forget about misplacing files, rekeying or mis-keying important information. Relying on a system that presents a patient’s record and pre-screening results with a click of a button, will ensure a smoother and quicker patient journey.

Over a quarter of respondents surveyed by the Association of Optometrists[1] are locums. In an eye exam, each optometrist will have a way of working, just ask any practice owner trying to satisfy their workflows. Whether your practice employs locums or not, having a flexible PMS that allows individuality but implements a thorough practice structure is key.

Be it an OCT image, eye pressure graph or educational video, use visuals on screen to enhance your explanations of your observations. This puts patients at the centre of the conversation around their ocular health and with the ability to compare over time, patients receive a deeper understanding into an improvement, deterioration or no change from their previous visits.

Once the examination is complete, the outcome is processed through a handover with supporting staff. Generally, the patient walks out the door with a new pair of spectacles. However, others will require further investigation by an ophthalmologist or GP. Referrals detailing results and observations can be sent via email efficiently and securely from a PMS, ensuring ease and sensitivity around further treatment. Allow seamless processing of government Ophthalmic Benefits, speeding up the acceptance of claims for both practice and patients.

Remakes can’t be entirely avoided, but a PMS can reduce the amount we do. PMS have been helping optometrists with fitting measurements when ordering frames or lenses by reducing the margin of error through the validation of prescriptions. Whether it’s on desktop or an iPad, it minimises mistakes and optimises time. Accurate ophthalmic fitting measurements taken by FrameFit technology should also be praised for shrinking human error.

Feedback is also a crucial element to knowing where you might need to implement change. Did the experience in the practice engage the patient in the way they were expecting from the insight given by the first touchpoint, the website? SMS surveys are an excellent way to measure your success with your patients. Think about a time when you’ve been asked your opinion face to face or over the phone. More often than not, we will give kinder feedback to curtail hurting people’s feelings. However, as the Internet hides reactions, the recipient will tend to be much more honest, leading to higher quality feedback. The advantage of sending an SMS is an increased response rate, as 98% of SMS messages are read[2], so your efforts aren’t being ignored in an email inbox.

OmniChannel touchpoints ensure a smooth transition from one stage of the patient journey to another. Whether it’s in practice getting an eye examination or online filling out an SMS survey, OmniChannel Solutions are on-hand to help both optometrists and patients alike.

[1] Adobe Blog, Marketing with 98 Percent read-rate, July 2015

[2] AOP, Optometrists’ futures, November 2018

Andy Chance-Hill has headed up Ocuco’s OmniChannel division since 2012, which has been consistently the fastest growing area with successful deliveries of OmniChannel services across the globe. Andy has over 30 years of experience in IT, with 15 of them specifically dedicated to Optics.