A Word from Chuck is a column by Chuck Bell, President of Bell Ophthalmic
When I evaluate whether a product is a good match for Bell, the voices of my doctors â€“ you â€“ play in my head. â€śI wish my biometer processed data a little faster.â€ť â€śMy techs love the results but hate the interface.â€ť
I hear you. And thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m excited to represent Topconâ€™s new speedy and all-in-one Aladdin optical biometer.
Aladdin combines axial length, corneal topography, pupilometry, corneal diameter and anterior length in one single instrument. This makes it the go-to device for conventional IOL power calculation, but also for choosing the right premium IOLs for each individual patient.
Hereâ€™s more on the new device:
Speed. Point and shoot. It takes all necessary measurements in less than five seconds.
Accuracy. It may be new to the market, but early adopters have already reported that Aladdinâ€™s superior Placido disc-topography system results in extremely accurate refractive measurements. This all adds up to better outcomes for you and your patients.
Ease of use. It takes three clicks to prepare and print an IOL report with the precise determination of IOL spherical power. Your techs will also appreciate the 10.1-inch color touchscreen monitor with its wide-angle view.
Combine Aladdin with the Topcon KR-800S Auto Refractor/Keratometer with Glare Testing for the ultimate cataract workstation.
Best of all, unlike other optical biometers on the market, Aladdin is supported by your local distributor. (Hint: Thatâ€™s us.) So when you invest in one, weâ€™ll never ask you to save the box, or ship it to Jakarta for service.
Schedule a demo and try Aladdin today. Weâ€™ll swing by and teach your team all the wonders it can do for your practice. 1-800-255-5929.
A doctorâ€™s ability to empathize with patients has always been a lynchpin of patient care. And, for some, the focus has been on the business benefits on the quality of the patient-doctor relationships: higher cash flow and reimbursement, and practice growth.
A new study shows that empathy also has a profound affect on patient outcomes. The analysis of care given to patients with health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension showed that more attentive care via empathy improved the patients overall health and well being.
Empathy leads to better compliance
Patients need to know that doctors understand their concerns and apprehensions. The more comfortable a patient is with their healthcare provider; theyâ€™re more likely to ask more questions about their health. This leads to patients asking more questions about their care and becoming more compliant with treatment instructions.
Carving out those extra minutes for patients is tough. That makes fast, automated and accurate diagnostic equipment critical. Other studies show that empathy in doctors declines after medical school. No sleep, stress and caring for patients the first time can do that for you.
Fortunately, empathy is a skill you can learn, relearn, or enhance.
Help is available, too. Massachusetts General Hospital, for example is using Empathetics, to help providers tune into the emotional states of patients.
Practice empathy, and it will make patients happier and healthier and help you enjoy a plumper bottom line.
Medical practices dip their toes into social media with trepidation. With good, reason, too. HIPPA regulations and professional ethics preclude you from tweeting with abandon like the Kardashians. Still, social media is a valuable tool for providing healthcare information and building your practice. Use it, but just be aware of these simple guidelines.
- Follow the standards of patient privacy.
- Donâ€™t post photos of patients or any personally identifiable information. You may want to congratulate your latest cataract patient for winning an archery contest. But donâ€™t.
- The Hillary Rule. You cannot wipe the hard drive. Once itâ€™s out on the Internet, there are no mulligans.
- Think before you tweet. Ask yourself if your post meets the same standards of professional conduct you would use in the office.
- Separate your personal and professional social media accounts, and set your privacy settings to further prevents the two from crossing.
- Do not follow or add patients on social media. This may give the appearance of impinging on your objectivity.
See the American Medical Associationsâ€™ complete social media opinion for additional information.
Itâ€™s barely Pumpkin Spice Latte season, but that doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s too early to consider the tax savings of a 2015 equipment purchase.
Section 179 allows your practice to write off the full purchase price of financed or leased equipment in the current tax year. This yearâ€™s limit is $25,000, and the equipment must be purchased and put into service by December 31.
How much can you save? On a $25,000 equipment purchase, a Section 179 deduction lowers the true cost to $16,250. Thatâ€™s nearly $9,000 back. Use this handy calculator to see exactly how much youâ€™ll save on different prices.
On the fence about buying that new Aladdin optical biometer? Think big tax savings. Questions about Section 179 or the cost of equipment? Give us a call. Weâ€™d love to help. 1-800-255-5929.
Have you used Bellâ€™s e-store to top off your Tonosafe disposable prism stash? Good news â€“ youâ€™ve done so on an award-winning website.
The new(ish) BellOphthalmic.com nabbed silver in the Aster Awards, a national healthcare marketing competition. Sure, weâ€™re proud to earn the honors, but what matters most to us is what weâ€™re able to offer you, the Bell faithful.
Find us on your smartphone
Not just a website where you can order an exam stool in your PJs and have it shipped right to your door, but one that works harder, faster, and on your smartphone or tablet. And makes it easy to find the product information you need, or schedule service, in a snap.
That being said, do you have any suggestions about ways we can improve our web home? Weâ€™re all ears.
Your retro-loving admin assistant, Veronica, might think patients love the Readerâ€™s Digest magazines from 1996. But trust us, itâ€™s purge time. Here are some tips to improve the waiting experience for your patients:
No one wants to sit on a hard piece of plastic for nearly a half hour waiting for anything, especially a doctorâ€™s visit. That doesnâ€™t mean you have to furnish your waiting area with the most expensive padded chairs, but a happy medium between comfort and affordability can make a huge difference. Need more motivation? The average patient spends 24 minutes in the waiting area versus 18 minutes with you.
Zap the â€śhospital smellâ€ť
The antiseptic that keeps doctorâ€™s offices sterile has created the â€śhospital smellâ€ť stereotype. For some, the smell alone can instantly instill fear and discomfort. Consider an air freshener to disperse around the room. Avoid harsh scents that can irritate patients with allergies. Try lavender, as itâ€™s a known de-stressor and provides several health benefits.
Update your walls to a more earthy color using a mix of blues and greens. Science says these tones provide a calm and comfortable environment. Throw in a natural de-stressor by grabbing a few pretty plants and placing them around the room. Your patients may be nervous about a possible diagnosis, so having these calming effects can only help them.
While fluorescent may be cheap and effective lighting, it can give off a bad vibe and even cause headaches. Seriously. Thereâ€™s a WikiHow dedicated to managing migraines caused by fluorescent lighting. Letting in natural light gives patients more exposure to Vitamin A, and creates a more warm and positive environment. Studies show that taking in more natural light can make you more energized and alert through the day.
Updated reading materials
Patients donâ€™t want to immerse themselves in all eye-care-related information. In fact, you waiting room is the perfect opportunity for them to read up on their guilty pleasure of celebrity gossip. Provide a variety of news, sports and entertainment publications to satisfy all of your patientsâ€™ tastes. Take advantage of subscription services that provide low cost package subscriptions for doctorâ€™s offices.
A patientâ€™s wait is just as important as the time they spend in the exam room. A positive experience can ensure happy patients and be the perfect word of mouth marketing strategy.