Patient Experience

5 Changes that Improved Patient Care, Boosted Capture Rate 10% & Doubled Second-Pair Sales

The practice team of Werner Optometry. Medina (back row, center, with glasses on) says the practice made strides in patient care and profitability by making several key changes.

Improvements that skyrocket patient experience and optical sales.

By Kathy Medina,
Office Manager

Feb. 28, 2024

We made a few changes in 2023 that got rave reviews from our patients, our team and our bottom line. These changes ensure our patients receive the quality care and service they deserve, and that we continue to grow profitability.

Virtual Scribe

We added a virtual scribe for our ODs last year. The doctors bring her along in the exam room virtually through a secure video connection on an extra iPad we purchased specifically for this purpose. She then does all the scribing for the OD, which significantly speeds the pace of patient visits.

Having the scribe be virtual, rather than physically present, means that we don’t take up space in the exam room, nor sacrifice the time of our in-office techs, who are now readily available to help in other areas of the office. Patients are very accepting of having another “person” in the exam room, and appreciate our efforts to prioritize their time in our office. Our virtual scribe has become part of our team just like all other team members.

Membership Program for Patients

We are piloting a new membership program for our patients. They can purchase a membership to our office, paid either annually or monthly, and choose one of three plans we currently offer. Patients enjoy the defined benefits outlined within their selected plan which includes discounts on specific materials and services.

This is NOT an insurance plan; simply a membership they sign up for that will renew automatically every year. Patients LOVE the idea, and frequently mention that this is something they see at their dentist’s office, and are happy that we have this option now.

Giving Patients Ability to Preview Frames

We recently added a program called PreView in which we send a link to our patients a few days before their exam, so they can see the frames we have in our office. They can choose up to 10 as their “favorites,” then we have them pulled and ready for try-on when they come in for their appointment.

We noticed this “plants a seed” for patients to purchase their eyewear here and creates an excitement to try on what they picked online. Win-win in our book!

Promos Made Possible By Our Industry Partners

A Vision Source promo with Varilux XR and Eyezen second-pair sales made a huge impact on our profitability last year. We shared the significant discounts with our patients, and our percentage of second pairs sold jumped from an average of 15 percent to now over 30 percent. We attribute that jump to the Vision Source promotion.

Daily Team Goals

We broke down our monthly goals into achievable daily goals designed to empower our team to “win the day.” When each team member understands their specific daily goal, our days run smoother and patient care improves.

For example, one of our optical goals is to maintain a capture rate of 70 percent or higher. Every morning we send a message out to the optical team about this goal. For example, we might say, “We have 12 exams on the schedule for today. That means we need to sell nine pairs to keep us at 70 percent capture rate, which breaks down to three pairs per optician.” We have similar goals and discussions around scheduling exams, contact lens exams, etc.

Then, throughout the day, we keep track of how we’re doing. We started setting these daily optical goals during summer 2023, and financially, August 2023 was a record-breaking month for us. In fact, we hit our monthly revenue goals four of the final five months of 2023 after instituting the “win the day” concept.

Earlier in the summer, our capture rate had dipped to 60 percent…by September, we were up to over 80 percent, and I attribute this improvement to our new way of looking at our goals.

Kathy Medina, office manager, Werner Optometry.Kathy Medina is office manager for Werner Optometry in El Cajon, Calif. To contact her:


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