In an optometry practice, the capture rate is one of the most crucial metrics to track for ongoing business success. The capture rate is calculated by dividing the number of patients who fill their new eyeglass or contact lens prescription in-house by the total number of patients given a new prescription after their exam. This percentage indicates what portion of potential revenue is actually captured versus lost to outside vendors. For a profitable optometry business, maintaining a high capture rate is essential.
Low capture rates represent missed opportunities in both revenue and delivering complete vision care to patients. When patients take their new prescriptions elsewhere, the optometry practice loses out on eyewear sales and dispensing fees. This directly impacts the bottom line and profit margins. Poor capture rate can signify issues in patient experience, gaps in product selection or affordability, and inadequacies in practice marketing strategy. For small businesses like independent optometry practices, every source of revenue matters.
High in-house capture rates also foster patient loyalty, retention, and positive word-of-mouth marketing. By providing exceptional service and education during the dispensing process, practices strengthen relationships with patients and establish their value. When patients obtain both their exam and eyewear from the same provider, it leads to a seamless experience that keeps them coming back. Tracking capture rate metrics over time enables an optometry practice to identify issues and opportunities to enhance the business.
How to Improve Capture Rate
With capture rates typically between 50-55% for most eye clinics, there’s lots of room to improve. Here are several key strategies a small business or private practice can implement to boost capture rates.
Educate staff on the latest lens options and new frames
It’s essential for both optometrists and support staff to stay up-to-date on the latest lens technologies, coatings, and frames. Patients want to understand all their options. Investing in continual education for staff enables them to make personalized recommendations tailored to each patient’s prescription needs and lifestyle. Knowing the newest progressive and photochromic lenses, blue light options, and high-index materials is key. Regular training from frame vendors and continuing education provide knowledge on new styles and customization opportunities. Educated staff improve capture rate through informed recommendations.
Smooth doctor-to-dispensary handoff procedures
A seamless transition from the exam chair to the optical dispensary can directly impact the capture rate. Establish standard procedures for the eye care professional or assistants to walk patients to the dispensary and introduce them to the optician. Brief handoff conversations can give opticians helpful context on prescription details and patient needs to guide the selection process. This warm, personalized handoff sets the stage for a positive eyewear shopping experience.
Prescribe specific optical solutions for patient needs
Generic prescriptions may leave patients unsure of what lenses would work best for their prescription and lifestyle. Doctors should take time to explain specifics, like recommending progressives for emerging presbyopes or describing which materials accommodate stronger prescriptions. Prescribing customized solutions rather than just sph/cyl/axis numbers shows patients their doctor understands their needs and has their best interests in mind, building trust and loyalty.
Address patient price concerns and affordability options
Understanding and alleviating patient concerns about cost is essential to keeping their business. Asking patients open-ended questions can uncover price objections before they walk out. Having affordable package deals and highlighting value helps overcome cost barriers. Bundling premium extras like blue light coating and anti-reflective treatment into packages at savings improves perceived value. Communicating flexible payment plans and insurance coverage also helps minimize sticker shock.
Offer deals/packages to incentivize in-house dispensing
Promotions like “buy one get one half off” on glasses or discounted contact lenses when buying an annual supply give patients financial incentives to complete their eyecare purchase on-site. Bundling premium add-ons into packages at a savings also persuades patients to take advantage of the value. Friendly reminders about current deals and savings can nudge patients off the fence.
Follow-up reminders and assistance for filling a prescription
For patients who don’t make a decision or need more time, following up shows the practice cares about them as more than just a prescription. Call or email reminders about their outstanding prescription, along with limited-time savings opportunities, give them a friendly nudge. Offering to assist with insurance questions, fit adjustments, or other barriers to filling the prescription can also help get them back in.
Ensure efficient checkout and fast service
Long wait times between selecting eyewear and checking out can lead patients to second guess and walk out. Streamlining administrative steps enables quick, seamless checkout. Having opticians handle insurance verification while patients are selecting can speed up the process. Patient convenience should be prioritized over operational workflow.
Create a warm, welcoming dispensary environment
The optical dispensary space and atmosphere directly impact the patient experience. Invest in comfortable seating, attractive displays, and good lighting to create a relaxing, upscale eyewear showroom. Keep frames well-organized for easy browsing. Offer refreshments and hospitality. Having dispensary staff greet existing and potential patients warmly and attend to them immediately sets a positive tone. A calm, welcoming environment puts patients at ease and encourages purchase.
The BPO Advantage for Boosting Capture Rate
Optometry practices that partner with a business process outsourcing (BPO) provider can optimize their business operations, physical layout, and staff workload to increase capture rate revenue. By leveraging dedicated operations support, clinics create an environment tailored for keeping patients on-site to fill prescriptions.
Outsourcing administrative tasks like scheduling, billing, and customer service to a BPO frees up space formerly dedicated to back office functions. Eliminating crowded work areas provides room for a more expansive frame and lens inventory selection within the optical dispensary. With access to a larger variety of styles and brands, practices can accommodate diverse patient needs and preferences. This broader product selection, paired with a thoughtfully designed dispensary layout, helps capture potential revenue.
Streamlined workflows and procedures for essential operations are a major advantage of partnering with a BPO. Smooth patient booking, intake, and checkout processes minimize wait times and create a relaxed, stress-free environment. Patients have the opportunity to browse potential frames calmly after their exam when not rushed. This patient-centric efficiency results in higher capture rates.
More Dispensary Space for Selection
The space savings from outsourced operations also enable reconfiguring the practice layout to optimize the capture rate. By expanding the dispensary into a comfortable yet convenient eyewear showroom, practices facilitate positive selection experiences. The larger area allows for intelligent displays and easy access to inventory so patients can view options with minimal barriers. Thoughtful seating, lighting, and flow between exam rooms and dispensary keep patients progressing toward their eyewear selection. This frictionless environment pays dividends in capture rate revenue.
Staff Focused on Service, Not Administration
Additionally, outsourcing administrative tasks to a BPO enables staff to devote their energy completely to delivering exceptional service, not juggling clinic operations. With the BPO managing functions like insurance claims processing and customer service, opticians can provide attentive guidance during the frame selection process. Doctors have time to explain prescription details and recommend customized solutions rather than rushing exams. Unencumbered by operational duties, the team can focus wholly on the patient experience, including eyewear education. This level of service enables smart prescription fulfillment.
The BPO partnership advantage stems from optimized space, workflows, and workloads to create an environment primed for capturing potential revenue. By implementing dedicated operations support, practices remove friction and barriers to patients purchasing lenses and frames on-site after exams. The result is recaptured revenue through higher capture rates.
Realizing Your Eye Care Practice’s Potential
This article has covered the essential importance of capture rate to the success of an optometry practice. While various strategies for improving capture rate exist, partnering with a business process outsourcing provider enables comprehensive operational optimization to boost this metric. By outsourcing administrative tasks, the optometrist or business owner can expand frame inventory selection, streamline workflows, reconfigure layouts, and empower staff to provide attentive service. This environment transformation unlocks an optometry clinic’s potential for higher capture rates and revenue. To explore how outsourcing with our dedicated BPO can positively impact your bottom line through recaptured prescription fulfillment, please reach out today. The potential growth for your existing practice lies in optimizing operations for the patient experience.