As with many medical specialties, optometry is subject to change based on various factors, from the aging population to advances in technology. Optometrists can expect an increase in patient volume, but this change in the industry may demand even more shifts from optometry practices themselves.
For one, virtual care is becoming an expectation from many patients. While the large 65 and over population is leading to an influx in appointments, studies have shown a connection between COVID-19 infections and myopia, according to Clinical Optometry. Optometry practices need to make visits more accessible to meet this growing demand for myopia management and beyond. This is especially the case given that online retailers make it easier for patients to purchase glasses and contacts.
In addition, the approach to payments is changing. As more vision practices find that insurance plans are offering low reimbursements, optometrists have begun to shift to direct pay to improve revenue.
How to Prepare Your Optometry Practice
Preparing your practice for the upcoming changes in the industry is key to your success. Follow these tips to keep your practice agile:
- Expand services: Maintain a professional image by staying up to date on industry topics and news. This effort also includes expanding your services to provide the latest technology and treatments.
- Streamline appointments: Your practice should offer telehealth appointments in addition to in-office visits. Rather than relying on phone lines alone, allow patients to make these appointments online or through an app to streamline the process.
- Implement regular staff meetings: Constant communication with your staff can revolutionize your practice and ensure your team feels supported while working with patients. Regular staff meetings can also include ongoing training on the latest trends to keep your practice in the know.
- Interact on social media: Connect with your patients through social media. Giving patients another platform to communicate with you creates a unique connection that many people want with their healthcare providers.
- Maintain patient communication: Social media can raise awareness of your practice and create an avenue for your patients to connect. At the same time, you should strive to make more personal connections with your patients. Implement email campaigns, set up text reminders for appointments, and send cards on patients’ birthdays. These connections will bring more patient loyalty to your practice and reduce the likelihood of them turning to online competitors.
- Improve payment solutions: Automate and modernize your payment options for patient convenience, especially if you choose to use direct-pay methods over accepting insurance. Implementing new technologies also means you can more easily focus on patient care.
Preparing Optometry Practices for the Future with Solutions from Rectangle Health
With Rectangle Health, you can future-proof your optometry practice. Our Practice Management Bridge® solution is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), ensures secure patient payments, and offers digital patient registration, Text-to-Pay, and more.
Accept more payments through a service tailored to your needs and watch your staff efficiency grow.
- Kohmarn, T., Srisurattanamethakul, N., Watcharapalakorn, A., Poyomtip, T., & Poolsanam, C. (2022, August 4). Outbreak of COVID-19-Related Myopia Progression in Adults: A Preliminary Study. Clinical Optometry. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9359493/