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    Why patients are choosing eyecare apps over you

    5 ways you can get your patients to start choosing you over the apps

    It's raining “eyecare” apps. Just for a second, I'm going to embrace the hate because we can use it to help lead us to a better understanding of the situation and ultimately to a solution. In our technologically enhanced world there seems to be an app for everything—including for eye care. Let’s assume that people will embrace vision care apps and online programs and that they will perceive you—as their eye doctor—with significantly less value.

    Why would anyone want to get a prescription for the same contact lenses with which they are doing fine? Or why would anyone think that an online refraction would be as good as your care?

    Related: Will optometry's fear of disruptive technology backfire?

    The answer is simple: Patients don't value your care or the experience they have in your office more than they value online programs and apps. In fact, they are telling you that they would rather do business with them than you. You can say, “Well, they just want the prescription, and they don't care about their eye health.” Yes—that is exactly what they are saying.

    Why are you OK with this?

    Why are you not seeking solutions and actively making changes in your approach and practice? Most likely what you have been doing for years will still continue to work, and you will continue to do well. However, unless we create a desire in people to value our services and support us with their business, then we will be in trouble. We know specialty care is a great way to go, but what about the majority of the patients who are in need of primary care?

    More from Dr. Bazan: Managing your employees' social media use

    It starts with what we can control—the level of care we provide and the experience we give them. I'm tired of hearing, "Well, at this office, they don't dilate. Well, at this office, because we don't take medical insurance, we tell them to go to a local ophthalmologist for their dry eye care. Well, at this office, patients won't pay for an Optomap." Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseum. Those are not reasons; those are excuses. Stop with the excuses and start with the solutions.

    Next: It's you

    Justin Bazan, OD
    Dr. Justin Bazan is the owner of Park Slope Eye in Brooklyn, NY. He serves as a spokesperson to the Vision Council and is on their ...

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