In ophthalmology, “accommodation” has a distinct definition. It describes your eye’s ability to adjust its focus and continue to track an object as it moves in space. For today’s ophthalmology practices, accommodation isn’t just the process of focusing, it’s something for doctors to focus on. To do better business, take note of these ways to expand your ophthalmology practice and improve your reputation locally and within your industry.
Increase Accessibility to Services
Eye health is important to everyone. Unfortunately, some of the instruments in an ophthalmologist’s office can’t accommodate all patients. Patients with disabilities, high anxiety, or obesity often struggle with the Goldmann applanation tonometer, which provides highly necessary intraocular pressure readings but poses some steep accessibility challenges. Patients who can’t comfortably rest their chins upon the device can’t take this important test. Fortunately, the Goldmann tonometer is not the only tonometer on the market. Handheld alternatives to the Goldmann tonometer provide less restrictive methods of measuring IOP. Offer the Tono-Pen to patients whom your Goldmann tonometer can’t physically accommodate, and air-puff tonometers to patients who can’t deal with a tonometer probe making direct contact with the surface of the eye.
Build Relationships With Patients
Visits to medical specialists that patients rarely see can prove alienating for both doctor and patient. When so much time elapses between visits, there can be a cold, assembly-line feel to the patients who pass through your door. Conversely, patients feel little attachment to their specialists—they’re someone to see for specific health needs, and no rapport is necessary. Shutting off the assembly line in favor of a more artisan approach could reap windfalls for your practice. Even if you only see a patient once every year or two, they’re likely to keep you in mind for significant procedures such as Lasik surgery or cataract removal. By following up with patients and treating them as more than impersonal one-time visitors, you can engage the most effective advertising of all: word of mouth. You can distinguish yourself as a specialist worth seeing and more than just an ocular doc-in-a-box.
Maintain an Online Presence
Even though ophthalmology is a serious medical practice, you might forget that it’s also a business. Taking a low-key, high-minded approach to marketing often seems like the best way to go, and, after all, it wasn’t business you went to school for. Still, marketing matters, and today, that means establishing and maintaining a lively virtual presence. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself and the services you offer. Look for endorsements you can highlight on your site. Among the ways to expand your ophthalmology practice, this is the one that can pay off the most.