Do you use Weave, Solutionreach, or something else for patient communications? There’s a new software player in town DOING WHAT THEY DO, BUT BETTER AND LESS EXPENSIVE (KEEP READING TO FIND OUT WHO)!!
Before you dig into this blog, I want you to ask yourself: Does my current EHR allow the following all for $1200 per year
- Online forms integrated with EHR – both a desktop and mobile-friendly platform that sends patients a text message and/or an email automatically before their appointment. There, they can fill out their demographic, insurance medical info and history. This information is then sucked back into your EHR so your front desk doesn’t have to type it in. It’s not a PDF, it’s real-time info being gathered.
- Online scheduler integrated with EHR – people want to do everything online today. If you only have an appointment request feature, you will lose patients. And why would a patient want to request an appointment only to be called or emailed that the time is not available? Your online schedule should show real-time appointments.
- Ability to text contact lens prescriptions compliant with FTC ruling – we know it’s a super crappy law and hopefully, soon the American Optometric Association helps fight it. It’s obviously a huge burden for us to hand out Rxs and get written confirmation they received it. However, you should have the ability for your EHR to automatically send the patient their contact lens immediately after it’s finalized in your EHR so your team doesn’t have to do any additional work.
- Ability to collect outstanding balances via text message – you can send patients a bill in the mail or via email until they are blue in the face. However, if you want to actually reach somebody, the bill has to be seen on their mobile device.
Patient communication technology is nothing new
Most of us have been texting and emailing patients for appointment reminders for a long time by now. Patients need reminders 1 week, 1 day and even 1 hour before their eye appointments so they actually show up and don’t create gaps in our schedules resulting in a loss of revenue. Many of you have probably done really well-using software such as Solutionreach, Weave, Demand Force, Prime Nexus and others. They have done a great job innovating and making receptionists jobs easier.
However, there’s a new player in town called Opti-Xpres!
Opti-Xpres saw a gap in the market and realized the majority of EHRs lack really good patient-communication tools. Many people switch EHRs every few years just so they can get the new features they really want. We all know switching EHRs is not fun and takes months to feel comfortable.
Make your office touchless and stress-free for the front desk staff
The job of the front desk is still very manual. Patients come in and fill out manual forms, and then the receptionist has to type all that info in and it takes up a whole lot of valuable time. No patient wants to be told to arrive 15 minutes early to fill out the paperwork! Additionally, patients are always calling offices to make appointments when most people would probably prefer to book them online at home in their pajamas.
#1: Get a mobile-friendly online scheduler linked to your website and EHR
The greyed-out appointments here indicate ‘not available’ because this scheduler software online is constantly syncing with your EHR.
When people arrive on your website, they tend to want to make 3 different actions.
- Book an appointment
- Call your office to ask a question or book an appointment
- Research you / check out the services and products you offer
We all know that the phone ringing is a disturbance to the office. The front desk and other staff should be working and helping patients rather than wasting time booking appointments over the phone that could be done online.
There’s a major difference between “requesting” an appointment and scheduling an appointment.
Requesting an appointment requires you to call the patient and notify them that the slot they want is indeed open, thus taking an extra staff member step. Scheduling is a fluid process where the patient can see exactly what appointments are available because the schedule is linked to your EHR and is constantly updating in the background. There is no way for appointments to be double-booked unless 2 patients miraculously click the appointment at the same time online (not likely!).
Can I make contact lens or dry eye workup appointments longer or pick and choose when those appear on the online scheduler?
Yes, that’s easy! Online schedulers through Opti-Xpres are 100% customizable. Any request you have for a custom schedule can be programmed.
#2: Offer mobile-friendly online patient forms for new and previous patients
Patients hate filling out manual forms! I mean c’mon, what a pain!
Patients rarely arrive early to fill out new patient forms. They arrive right on time which causes your whole schedule for the day to be delayed.
Facts about Opti-Xpres Online forms:
- 100% compatible with all EHRs
- When patients book an appointment online, they will be asked to fill out their forms immediately
- If patients call to book an appointment, they will receive a text asking them to fill out their forms online
- It is mobile, desktop, and tablet friendly
- It is 100% customizable! If you need to add a specific field, let’s say a box to checkmark if a patient has trouble night driving, you could add this
- The info patients fill out is written back into your EHR, SO NO DOUBLE ENTRY IS NEEDED
- For different appointment types, you can have patients fill out different forms. For instance, if it’s a dry eye appointment, you could ask questions about dryness, watery eyes, crusty eyes, and any regimens they are on. This information would be dumped into the notes section of your EHR or as a PDF for you to view.
How do I collect patient insurance information through online forms?
It doesn’t get any easier! The patient will take a picture of their insurance card on their phone when they are filling out the online forms. The picture will be saved to the files section of your EHR. The patient will also be asked to type their ID number into the correct field, however, it’s always good to have a physical copy of the front and back of the card on hand.
What about previous patients? Do they have to fill out the whole patient form each time?
Absolutely not! That would be a waste of your patients’ time and we know how annoying forms are. The online form they will view on their phone is pre-populated with the patient’s information they filled out last time. The patient will just be asked to review if all the information is still correct. The one exception though is the medical history info has to be filled out every time.
Easy compliance with new contact lens prescription FTC law
Every optometrist knows this new law is a pain in the ass. Not only does it waste staff time, but it’s an administrative burden getting patients to sign that they received their Rx and are keeping track of that record. Scanning papers into our EHRs is a colossal waste of time (and not fun!).
We make compliance easy by auto-sending patients their contact lens Rx via text message once their doctor has finalized it in the EHR.
Step 1: After the doctor finalizes the contact lens Rx in your EHR, Opti-Xpres knows this and will automatically send your patient a text.
Step 2: The patient clicks the link and is led to this HIPAA secure site to confirm their patient identity. Your logo will be featured on this page in replacement of Opti-Xpres.
Step 3: The patient is able to view and download their contact lens Rx. We know it’s likely that patients will try to shop online, so you can include a button for patients to buy directly from your contact lens store.
Step 4: A note will be left in your EHR section automatically that states your patient received their contact lens Rx via a HIPAA-secure message. This will act as proof that you did your due diligence to comply with the FTC contact lens law.
What does the Opti-Xpres setup and timeline look like to get going?
We’ve discussed the top 3 features every optometry practice needs. It sounds like a lot of work to get going in your practice, but the good news is Opti-Xpres does all the heavy lifting. You just give them some basic information about your forms, schedule, and access to your EHR, and it will take about 3 weeks to get you set up.
What other features does Opti-Xpres offer?
Google and Yelp Review Population
Drive patients to your Google and Yelp listings to accumulate more reviews. It’s really simple. Patients come to visit you then get a text and email linking them to your listings to give a review. Practices with more reviews will land higher on search engine results.
Collecting money from patients can be hard once they leave the office. Whether it’s for a deductible from a medical visit, a copay, or for glasses, you can simply text a patient instantly with a link that allows them to pay for their bill. When you mail statements or email patients, it’s very likely they won’t pay. Over 90% of text messages are opening which makes it easy for patients to pay.
Make your optometry practice more efficient!
Opti-Xpres is really leading the way in building tools that integrate with all EHRs. Your staff gets tired of doing clerical work. Give them the software tools to get 2 times the amount of work done each day. The patient experience in your office is really determined by how convenient and speedy you can help them. Patients want to do everything online and on their own time! Allow them to do this.
Or reach out to Cornelius Miller, CEO of Opti-Xpres, at firstname.lastname@example.org