Nowadays, digital transformation is an inevitable tool for organizations to modernize and develop their business and keep up with the fastly changing customer demands. As more and more organizations – including optical retailers – are digitizing their workflows, keeping customer data and administration processes paper-based is now a constantly deepening drawback.
Digital transformation and digitalization are currently among the best available means of increasing store performance and elevating customer satisfaction and loyalty. Online administrational processes, like appointment booking, have become the new norm in recent years, so why one of the most essential services, aka optometry, would lag behind this trend?
While the rhetoric of paperless operation entered the mainstream narrative more than a decade ago, a significant percentage of healthcare organizations, including optical retailers, are still using pen and paper or excel sheets for process management, appointment booking, or other business-critical tasks.
According to a study by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), knowledge workers spend around 28 hours on a weekly basis writing e-mails, searching for information, and collaborating internally. They’ve also found that by switching to digitalized solutions, the productivity of knowledge workers can be enhanced by 20-25%!
But what is exactly the problem with paper-based practice management?
- Increases margin of error
- Lowers productivity
- Slows down processes
- Creates bottlenecks
- Slows down the flow of information
- Documents and information become impossible to trace back
- Elevated cost
- Increases risks
Apart from problems with efficacy and productivity, paper-based management increases the expenses as well. According to the industry research firm Gartner Inc., around 3% of a company’s revenue is spent on paper, printing, filing, and storing information.
The solution: Digital Practice Management System
Fortunately, there are more suited ways to achieve the expected results. Digital Practice Management System (PMS) is a solution to digitize niche healthcare services, like optical retailers. These PMS solutions provide a wide range of tools to digitize the business, including inventory management, examinations, sales, customer care, or appointment bookings.
1. Finding available spots and adding them to the calendar
Practice Management Systems provide a centralized solution to track appointment booking. They help to identify free spots in the calendar with ease but they have much more handy features. An appointment booking system can be integrated into the website, thereby acting as a self-service tool available 24/7. As a result, it takes off the administrational burden on the shoulder of customer service specialists.
Thanks to the system’s flexibility, a predefined time interval can be allocated to each examination type, like adult eye test or contact lens check-up. The PMS intelligently makes the reserved spot unavailable to any other customer and adds it to the calendar.
2. Streamlined administration
A PMS can make sure that all required administration is done during the appointment booking phase. New customers can register their profiles, and fill out personal and patient data that instantly emerge on the platform used by opticians and optometrists. Thanks to this approach, opticians don’t have to worry about manually filling out forms, handing out documents, or making the patients wait before they can visit the dedicated optometrist.
Furthermore, in the case of returning customers, the amount of administrational responsibilities significantly decreases, while storing, reviewing, and tracing back their customer history is easier and cheaper than ever before.
3. Automated processes and notifications
Practice Management Systems offer means for automated processes like email & SMS notifications with templates. Due to this advancement, organizations can decrease the number of missed appointments, while providing an enhanced customer experience to customers.
Apart from e-mail and SMS notifications, an all-encompassing PMS provides further automated workflows, like e-mail automation, customer remarketing, or re-purchasing ordered products, like contact lenses.
Even though discussions about digital transformation are present in the IT industry for more than a decade, there still are fundamental services that use paper-based methods for process management. Using pen and paper or excel sheets is an outdated way of conducting operational responsibilities. It not only poses a major security vulnerability but possibly causes workflow bottlenecks, hence productivity loss.
Practice Management Systems are providing a wide range of solutions to digitize and optimize workflows, including appointment bookings. Ranging from easily finding free appointments, customer registration, or equal workload distribution, an all-around PMS assures other features, like sales orders or inventory management.
Clearvis.io is a Hungary-based SaaS company that develops a versatile PMS that enables organizations to digitize and keep all practice management responsibilities under one roof.