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    The underlying, big hairy goal of eye care

    Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Eye Catching: Let's Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs are an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Donna Suter, president of Suter Consulting Group. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of Ophthalmology Times or UBM Medica.

    “It requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.”

    -Maxwell Maltz

    Almost monthly, I offer goals for consideration and challenge you to set goals for your staff. As you do this, remember to keep striving longer than you think should be necessary. For example, reaching out to former patients who have a diagnosis or family history that would benefit from a routine eye health appointment, but, who just don’t come in for a visit.

    A goal of asking technicians and administrative staff to make what I refer to as ‘regular recall’ phone calls daily is an appropriate tactic. I think no one has such a full day that 25 phone calls can’t be made. So I could have an accurate benchmark for this blog, I made regular recall phone calls to 25 people in my telephone’s contact list. My test subjects were 25 people to whom I don’t speak to regularly—not my ‘besties,’ people I see regularly, or clients.

    Here are my results and how long it took for each call:

    1.     Call no answer: 30 seconds

    2.     Call and left message: 1 minute 15 seconds

    3.     Call and spoke to individual: 3 minutes

    All my phone numbers were good and only 3 people had a voicemail that was not set up and/or full. What this means to you is it might take your employee even less time to make 25 calls than the 59 minutes I spent reaching out and leaving messages about the importance of routine eye care.

    Summary of my 25 calls

    1.     3 were a bust because there was no way to leave a message.

    2.     5 individuals answered the phone.

    3.     Left messages for 17 people.

    4.     By close of business, all 17 of those that I had left a message for called me back.

    What motivates patients to call back

    Donna Suter
    Donna Suter is president of Suter Consulting Group.

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