How Will a CLEAR Review Help You Drive Success?

The CLEAR Review is MJM’s proprietary management optimization curriculum. It is a modular, customizable approach to reviewing your entire operation and improving your practice. What does this mean for you?

  • More patients, and happier patients
  • Engaged staff members who truly enjoy their job
  • A streamlined and understandable process
  • Positive awareness of your practice throughout the community
  • Reporting techniques that will assist you in navigating future changes
  • And, most importantly, a true team approach to the patient experience

The CLEAR Review creates the opportunity for MJM to spend time at the practice and benchmark performance and current standards using our 21-module system. The deliverable of a CLEAR Method Review is a robust write-up that offers feedback and an action plan to enhance patient experiences based on a customized approach.

We believe operational improvements to the patient experience are the most vital opportunity available to practices to improve surgical volumes, increase patient satisfaction, and create an engaged staff.

If you’re ready to take an in depth analysis of your Culture, Logistics, Patient Experience, Awareness in your marketplace and Reporting, the CLEAR Review can maximize opportunities to grow your practice.


Patient Experience Training

The amount of time a patient spends with a doctor is a small percentage of the time they actually spend in the office.  On average, patients spend about 7 minutes with the doctor. If a consult appointment is 2 hours, what do you do with the rest of that time? Doctors and other team members are central to properly harmonizing the patient experience.

The experience is the marketing and not the advertising.

The importance of hidden systems

It is important to develop hidden systems so you can engage everyone equally. A hidden system will enable you to know who a patient is and what they do without them having to tell you every time they are in front of you.

“50-80% of the information provided by the clinician is instantly forgotten. Of the balance of information that is remembered, only 50% of it is remembered correctly.” –Greg Korneluk, Physician Success Secrets

What a patient remembers

For patients, 25% is remembered at best post-meeting. We go into the office and we throw all of this information at them like driving distance astigmatism, presbyopia, etc. A patient could potentially leave feeling completely overwhelmed. That patient goes home and says all I know is that my insurance only covers part of it. It will cost $2,000 and I have stigma.

We have to remember that our jargon dissuades people from understanding what we are talking about. Over the course of that hour or so conversation, they are burdened with information, then we dilate them and make them sign stuff.

What can we do to make it better?

In his book, Secret Service, John DiJulius III says that Americans have 1/20th the human interactions we had just 20 years ago. Rather than shopping at a store, we are online. Instead of meeting in person, we are doing webinars, video calls, etc. Rather than going to a bank, we do mobile banking.

“We are serving people that are starved for human interactions.”

When people are coming in, they are expecting more than just a great refraction. They want to talk with you. They want you to ask them about their family life, etc.  And they haven’t had a chance to tell anyone that and you may be the only they can talk to. We owe it to people to do a better job of interaction because they want meaningful interactions.

People are paying for experiences—for those interactions. You can drop this into any business model as these are the foundational elements of how businesses have changed over time.

Progression of Economic Value

  • Commodities (Agrarian Economy), which turns into…
  • Goods (Industrial Economy), which turns into…
  • Services (Service Economy), which turns into…
  • Experiences (Experience Economy)—such as Starbucks

As much as you grow, what are you going to try and do at all times? You cannot be standard. You have to be unique.

So, what does this mean for doctors?

From a patient standpoint, they are concerned with the following:

  1. Was I treated well?
  2. Were they trustworthy?
  3. Were they organized?
  4. Did they say thank you?
  5. Was the doctor nice?
  6. Was the office clean?

The patient is saying, I care more about this than technology. Obviously, I care about outcomes as well, but I want these things also.

A patient expects that you will have the best technology and a pristine outcome–these are known commodities. It is the steps above that take you above and beyond and will be the reason a patient chooses one doctor over another.

How should our teams adapt?

John DiJulius nails mass customization in his book What’s the Secret, “With the amount of intel healthcare has on its customers, it should be the best experience on earth.”

By being in healthcare, we have more information on our customers than most organizations and we rarely use it. We need to use it!  “You cannot be experientially excellent until you are operationally excellent,” DiJulius says.

You don’t get credit for having warm cookies in your waiting area if the trash can in your public restroom is overflowing because someone hasn’t been in there for awhile. It’s the overall experience that a patient will remember. The entire experience from the front door to the checkout needs to be worth every penny.

Details are everything: From the minute a patient walks in, your staff members are on stage. Be personal and warm.  You want the experience to be so wonderful that rather than a family member just dropping off the patient, they also want to join in on the experience of having good conversation, eating warm cookies and drinking a customized, Starbucks-like coffee.

A lot of people won’t take the leap if they don’t know where they’ll land. The market already believes that you are the best around at what you do. I just know if you pay attention to these kinds of things it will be even better—it will be world-class.

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You Can’t Hide the Truth

People can tell a lot about your business, offering, healthcare practice and overall organization by the attitude of your employees. And employees can’t hide how they feel about you. They can put a smile on their face, answer questions politely and serve customers. But there is no hiding from the truth.

Humans are programmed to engage and interpret the non-verbal signals of other humans. Customers will know if your staff enjoys your company and their daily work or if they just tolerate it for a paycheck. If your staff is unhappy, your customers will be unhappy over time.

If you are offering a premium product for a premium price, you have only one choice—commit to engaging your staff in meaningful ways, invest in their lives (both personally and professionally), and integrate them into the vital aspects of your mission and vision. Create a powerful team culture for all staff members, and the effects will not only improve daily work, but your long-term ability to attract and retain customers.

You can’t hide the truth from your customers. So create the best workplace you can for all your staff.

You Want to Advertise? You Need a Marketer

Although, nationwide, refractive surgery volumes are still relatively flat, many practices are finding strategic advertising efforts have a positive impact on their clinical and surgical caseloads. Some ophthalmologists believe that achieving higher volumes should be as simple as calling the cable station and asking for a bundled advertising package. This approach is dangerous, as it may not be a strategy for sustained growth. Why? There is a vital difference between advertising and marketing.

No matter what business you are in, the purpose of an advertisement is to make a logical prospect try your offering … once. Your team’s ability to capitalize on that single opportunity, in my opinion, is what separates those who believe in advertising from those who say it never works. Marketing, on the other hand, should be defined as the work your team does with every patient, every day, to deliver value to patients, build a positive brand identity, and spread the referral net for the practice. Marketing is operational.

Advertising makes a promise. Operational marketing ensures that this promise is kept for every patient, every time. Strong marketing is the foundation of effective advertising.

Operational Marketing

Implementing operational marketing is not easy. Prior to placing any advertisement, the savvy practice will have harmonized and optimized its phone team’s skills (see “Premium Practice Today,” June 2012 issue, page 60), its communication standards for each patient’s visit, its education of patients, financing (including payment options), and the consultation. A practice harmonizes these encounters by planning what is performed at each stage of the process and ensuring that all is in line with what the patient/customer should experience and feel. Optimization entails enhancing each individual staff member’s performance at every one of these opportunities throughout the customer’s experience. Because every stage of the customer’s experience is important to the definition of marketing, those who are developing the advertising should understand these components as well.

Advertising is often the responsibility of one person or group, whereas marketing is the responsibility of the entire staff. Every individual in the practice organization must assist in the development of the customer’s experience at the point of service. If everyone is acting in harmony, external advertising efforts can be kept to a minimum.

After building a proper operational marketing program, your practice may be prepared to advertise your offering to the external market. You may be targeting a market segment, referring group, a certain area in the community, or simply the people who are already walking through the doors. The kind of advertising you want to implement will determine the type of person you hire to handle the task.

With these strategic notes in mind, here are the key areas you should consider when hiring someone to handle your marketing and advertising.

Key Areas To Consider When Hiring a Marketer

According to Cindy Haskell, the former administrator, now marketing consultant to Gordon, Weiss, and Schanzlin Vision Institute in La Jolla, California, the following are required of any internal personnel in the role of marketing director/coordinator.

  1. Build your brand. The individual is responsible for overseeing the brand and message in all areas of delivery. Your brand is defined as what your customers say about you. To grow your brand, it is crucial to have consistent messaging throughout the organization.
  2. Coordinate advertising and marketing. The individual is responsible for coordinating the day-to-day advertising and marketing activities. The marketing director is also directly involved in the development, implementation, and tracking of the strategic marketing plan.
  3. Prepare a budget and conduct an analysis. The individual must be able both to plan and place advertising across modern media and to analyze the reach and effectiveness of advertising efforts. It is impossible to change tactics if you do not know what is working … or not.
  4. Perform research. The individual must be able to gather and analyze data on competitors, the community, and the marketing industry to properly position the practice.
  5. Use current patients. The individual will create and maintain a robust database of former and prospective patients, gather video and narrative testimonies, and use these local stories to build the brand of the surgeon and the practice.
  6. Run internal campaigns. The individual will use operational marketing principles to create positive internal campaigns targeting specific patient demographics.
  7. Gain referrals. The individual will develop a strategy to maintain and increase referrals from current patients.
  8. Create the website. The individual will manage and update the practice’s website to ensure effective and current promotion of the practice and the fulfillment of appointment and information requests. Increasingly for all surgical specialties, the Web will be the most vital portal for information and engagement with prospective patients.
  9. Develop patients’ education. The individual will design, produce, and distribute educational materials for patients customized for the local practice. Great education for patients delivers on the advertised promise to give them the best possible treatment and experience.

By paying attention to the center’s day-to-day operations as an extension of the marketing plan, your center can be sure that your paid external efforts will be maximized. Creating a role internally ensures that what is said in the advertisement actually matches the experience. Collectively, this combined marketing-operations effort will create new leads whose experiences match your promise in your advertisement.

Matt Jensen, MBA, is the executive director of Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and a certified Experience Economy Expert. He is a member of the advisory board of Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today’s “Premium Practice Today” section and serves as an adviser to numerous practices and companies. 

This article originally appeared in Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today. Click here to download a PDF version.