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This Has Happened To You: You Recommend TLC, Your Patient Goes Somewhere Else

posted Apr 12, 2015, 11:11 AM by Jen Weigel
If this hasn't happened to you, then I want to know where you practice!

Recently, an Affiliate gets a phone call from a patient with all kinds of questions about LASIK.  This is a patient that she's discussed LASIK with, but the patient had not wanted to go further in the process before.  Months later, the patient's phone call reveals a line of questions ... lots of "What if X happened after the procedure?" ... and it suddenly occurs to the Affiliate that the patient has ALREADY had LASIK ... with another provider! ... and is now over-corrected by quite a bit.  The patient is in their late 40's, sits about +1.50 OU, and wants to know what to do before having to move overseas for work in a few months.  What a situation to be in! 

We've all be in this place.  We give a TLC folder to a patient and feel that our recommendation is enough to make the patient seek Dr. Holzman's care.  Who wouldn't want to have Dr. Holzman - a surgeon who exclusively does LASIK and PRK three to four days a week, sometimes five to six days a week during the busy season - care for their most specific patients with tight time constraints?  But, despite your best intentions and education, your patient ends up somewhere else. 

This is a case for the Lead Sheet which allows you to initiate the discussion and TLC will follow up on your lead.  Here's part of the email thread that stemmed from this discussion.

Your ever-loyal PRC responded:

This is really the perfect example of why you should send in leads. It kept popping into my head the rest of the day!   Yeah, I'm going to lecture you... but, hey, it's my job!

You said you noted in the chart that she was interested in having LASIK and noted to the staff about how to charge IF she came in for the dilated exam.

So.... If you knew there was interest, did you mention that the practice works with TLC or Dr. Holzman - and you do pre- and post-op care?  If not, shame on you! : )  If so, you just needed to do the next step - "With your permission, I can have TLC send you some information, and I highly recommend that you go there for a free consultation.....".  Ideally, you would then walk your patient up to the front desk and have them call TLC to make the appointment OR send in a lead sheet with the patient's info and TLC would call to follow up.  We can just send info and not call her too.

Anyway, the point is, if she had TLC in front of her in some way, she would have at least had a fighting chance of using us!

As I always used to say in my practice management lectures to ODs:  Never underestimate the power of "I recommend".  You are her eye doctor and she looks to you for her options. If you aren't recommending a surgeon or laser center, she's going to do it on her own-and she did.

End of lecture!  : ) 

Your favorite pain-in-the-butt PRC!

Ha!  Can you guess who wrote this?  Joan Reich ... I can't tell you how much I have learned from Joan over my years at TLC Tysons!  Love it .. and her!  - jw