Web Strategy

Offer Convenience & Self-Scheduled Exams with a Mobile App

By Carmela Abraham, OD

April 22, 2015

Apps that do everything from booking dinner reservations to checking the weather, or helping us shop for our favorite products, are a part of our everyday lives. So, my practice provided an app for patients to easily view practice information, book appointments and order contact lenses from their phone or tablet.

The most important service this app provides is the convenience to the patient to be able to get tasks related to our office done on their own schedule.

Dr. Abraham uses her practice Facebook page to show patientshow they benefit from using the VisionApp. The app lets patients interact with the office any time that suits them, and frees up staff time by allowing patients to schedule their own appointments and order replacement contact lenses.

Integrates with Office Practice Management System

Our app, the VisionApp, is generated by our patient communication system, Websystem3, and integrates with our Eyefinity OfficeMate practice management system.

The app was implemented for us by Websystem3, and is downloaded through Google Play or the iTunes App Store for either the iPhone/iPad or Android operating systems. The office is assigned an identification number that must be keyed in during installation to connect this service with our office.

This app is downloaded and utilized at no extra expense to the patient or doctor since it is incorporated within Websystem3, software which our practice has already paid for.

Make Patients’ Interactions With Office More Convenient

Patients can use the app to make appointments, get turn-by-turn directions to the office, view current product promotions and order contact lenses. Patients can also use the app to view general office information, read our newsletter, access contact information and connect directly to our Facebook page.

The app is another way for patients to connect directly with our office easily, and from anywhere they have their phone or tablet. We feel that the easier it is for patients to utilize our services, the more likely they will stay current with their exams and contact lens prescriptions. It has been especially helpful for people who travel and for students away at school. Convenience is a prime motivator for busy people, and now some of our office’s services can be accessed 24 hours a day, not just during office hours.

Free Up Support Staff Time

Since patients can schedule an appointment or order contact lenses on their own with the app, contact lens ordering and appointment process time is reduced, helping our staff to use their time more efficiently.

With this patient-navigated app, staff time is only utilized to retrieve the information on appointments and orders. This task is designated to our office manager who has other responsibilities within the Websystem3 software. The doctors only become involved in the booking process if there is a problem or a patient care judgment call needs to be made.

We have not had a problem with no-shows because our office manager ensures appointments made are legitimate, and insurance is verified.

Advertise App on Facebook

We have a link on our Facebook page from which the app can be downloaded. Since we already have the capability of scheduling appointments and ordering contacts from our practice web site, we do not have a direct link to download the VisionApp there, but there is a direct link on our practice site to our Facebook page, where the app is available. Sending patients to our Facebook page to download the app is another way for us to get more people engaged through our Facebook page, which we update almost daily.

Carmela Abraham, OD, is an associate with The Salem Eyecare Center, Inc., in Salem, Ohio. To contact her: cabr44446@yahoo.com.

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