Since laser-assisted cataract surgery is not typically covered by Medicare or private health insurance, doctors and patients alike view it as a premium procedure. For this reason, patients who choose to undergo LACS often expect a premium experience.
How do you give it to them? In other words, what’s the best way to show your laser cataract patients that you appreciate them?
1. Keep their perspective in mind
For most patients, cataract surgery is an overwhelming, anxiety-inducing experience. Although everything about surgery day may feel mundane to you, your patients will probably remember this experience for the rest of their life.
Speak calmly. Don’t rush them. Make sure to let them know what’s happening both before, after, and during the surgery. Patients appreciate it when surgeons speak with them in depth rather than moving forward in the procedure with little explanation. Nobody likes to feel like a cog in a machine, particularly if they’re paying for a premium procedure.
2. Maintain an open line of communication
Your care shouldn’t stop when your patients leave the facility. Before the surgery, call them to make sure they understand what to expect. After the procedure, check in with them to make sure their recovery is going well. Consider sending out holiday cards, procedure anniversary cards, and birthday cards.
You don’t need to bombard them with communications, but you should let them know that you respect them and have their well-being in mind.
3. Don’t stress them out on surgery day
On surgery day, your patients are probably going to be stressed out. Consider asking them if they’d like to listen to music before or during the surgery – several studies have found that music can make cataract surgery a more relaxing experience, particularly if the patients choose the music themselves.
You should also discuss payment before surgery day. No one wants to be caught off guard by a larger-than-expected bill right before going under the knife.
4. Set realistic expectations
If you want your patients to leave your OR 20/happy, you need to make sure they have realistic expectations about the recovery period. Although some patients are lucky enough to have clear vision immediately after the surgery, others may have blurry vision for a few days post-op.
Make sure to prepare them for this possibility! Reassure them that their vision will eventually settle.
5. Make sure your staff is on the same page
When you introduce a premium procedure to your practice, it’s a good idea to make sure your entire staff is on board. Invite staff members to observe surgeries. Provide them with educational materials.
Everyone in your practice should be prepared to speak about laser-assisted cataract surgery. Just one piece of a false information can discourage a patient from feeling comfortable with the procedure.
The happier your laser-assisted cataract patients are, the more they’ll value the experience. Since word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing, you can’t afford to leave your patients feeling short-changed.