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Digital Supplement | Sponsored by Alcon

Rethinking the ATIOL Patient Experience

A new program helps enhance communications with patients and staff.

“There is always room for improvement.” I aim to live by these words, especially as it relates to my practice and my patients’ experiences. I believe there is value in taking a closer look at the way we communicate with patients to improve their overall experience.

To start, it’s important to understand that with ATIOLs, the patient experience begins before they even walk into the office. In fact, it often begins with a practice’s online. A practice’s online presence plays a major role in the patient experience, as it is an important step in patients' understanding of their cataract surgery options. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

A New Way of Thinking

I recently attended the ACTIVATE Program Connect Masters Class hosted by Alcon, and my eyes were opened to a new method of helping to improve the ATIOL patient experience. By providing a unique approach to optimize how we operate and communicate with patients, I helped bring my practice to the next level by maximizing success factors already set in place and implementing new ones.

Through outstanding training designed to increase patient awareness and access to advanced technology IOLs — the program taught me ways to improve the patient journey and practice efficiency. Presenters such as Ritz Carlton, top digital marketing specialists, and ATIOL practice support experts provided a best-in-class education with constructive insights for implementing these concepts in every practice. The ACTIVATE Program approach is unique. It is action-oriented, focusing on the overall patient experience and creating an all-around advanced practice through improved communications, which can help to better highlight all that a practice has to offer, from the technology to the team.

A Team Effort

Each practice is made up of a team working together toward the common goal of treating ATIOL patients, and to enact meaningful change, the whole team needs to be on board. The ACTIVATE Connect Masters Class extended an invitation to staff, providing an opportunity for physicians to connect with their teams in a different setting, and collaborate with others in similar positions. I try to empower my staff to lead the effort of improving our practice and the experience for our patients. It’s a bottom-up philosophy that must be executed as a team effort. While the experience begins before the first appointment, it grows from the moment the patient walks through the door. It manifests in how we greet them, from the interaction with the technicians, the education received from the surgical counselor, and the meetings with the ophthalmologist. Overall, what’s most important is that patients feel all of their questions were answered, that we set them up for their best-possible outcome, and that they are happy.

Often, we physicians are so engaged in being researchers and clinicians that we forget it’s not only about the science, but also about the feelings that patients associate with your practice. Every doctor offers his own approach, and this is important because every patient and every case is unique. But all messaging to patients must be positive and consistent. Consistency can make a world of a difference as you showcase all that you and your practice has to offer. As surgeons, this is crucial, as our reputations are an important part of how we rate ourselves and how we continuously build and maintain trust with our patients.

Room for Improvement

The ACTIVATE Program Connect Masters Class introduced me to the importance of the small things that often seemed to be secondary to positive face-to-face interaction. This class successfully integrated physicians with staff members to create a cohesive push for change within practices for the all-around betterment of patient experiences. There is always room for improvement, and there is always room for growth within your practice, especially as it relates to improving the experiences of your ATIOL patients.

ACTIVATE is a trademark of Alcon. © 2019 Novartis. All other brand/product names are the trademarks of their respective owners.

© 2019 Novartis 1/19 US-ACT-18-E-2500 

Ravi Patel, MD, MBA
  • Florida Eye Specialists
  • Financial disclosure: None