Author: Andy Chance-Hill
30 July 2019
Have you read part one?
Technology has transformed the way practices operate. Despite the leaps forward, patients and their ocular health remain at the centre of why you work so hard.
High-tech products such as paperless systems have slashed time-consuming tasks, to direct more focus back to customers. However, practices are still reluctant to put their full trust in the tech available, even though most of their patients have fully embraced the technological advances.
In the previous blog, we explored website options and protecting your patients online. In this edition, we will turn our attention to technology, patient engagement and the OmniChannel journey.
When we want to compare or purchase an item, the Internet is usually the first port of call, and it’s no different for frames and contact lenses. According to IBISWorld, over the last 5 years, there has been a 6% annual hike in online frame and contact lenses sales, generating £280 million in revenue. Frame Virtual Try-On (VTO) technology allows patients to try on frames before they even book an appointment. Accessible through their phone, tablet or on a practice’s website, the convenience of trying on frames from a sofa or during a lunch break is a hit with patients. In fact, 100% of consumers said they would recommend using the VTO technology to their relatives – high praise indeed.
"100% of consumers said they would recommend using the VTO technology to their relatives."
When attempting to book an appointment, there’s nothing more disheartening than realising the practice closed 10 minutes ago. Therefore, it’s no surprise that booking an appointment online has been such a success with patients. Recent GetApp research shows that a staggering 70% of customers would rather book online. The convenience of having a practice open 24/7 via their website, or booking from any location, on any Internet connected device could explain the popularity. For a practice, their diary is updated in real time, filling empty slots and eliminating confusion. It’s one tool all practices require in this day and age.
Once patients reach the door, building an authentic relationship with staff is key for maintaining patient loyalty. After all, patients retain 90% of what they experience in practice. Often, technology is accused of halting communication between people, but this can’t be further from the truth with the iPad App. Staff are freed from a static desk. They’re out on the floor, interacting and building a rapport with patients. From checking in patients, dispensing, taking payment and logging collections, the iPad App makes a mundane routine, engaging and stimulating for both staff and patients alike.
Technology has also reached examination rooms. Passive 3D developments allow optometrists to offer patients monocular refraction under binocular conditions. Additional advancements permit interactive eye exams to be tailored to low vision patients and children. These developments mean that no matter who walks through the door, optometrists have reliable tech by their side to meet a patient’s eye care needs.
Tech is enhancing a patient’s experience from the ease of booking online, right through to examining every type of eye. Love it or loath it, technology is certainly here to stay. No matter how a patient interacts with a practice during their OmniChannel journey, technology will be an integral part of this liaison. These advances enable effective and engaging communication whether it’s in-store or online. There’s no doubt that the maintenance of a patient’s eye health is always the top priority, and embracing tech will bring value and efficiency to that job.
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.