Is Your Office Sending the Wrong Message to Your Patients?

We’ve all heard the phrase, “First impressions are everything.” It applies in nearly every situation, from conversations with those we just met to searching for a house to buy. And yes, it even applies to your optometry or ophthalmology office.


Jay Binkowitz, president of GPN, recently shared with Dispensary Viewpoint that “the appearance of your office sends messages to patients that either increase or decrease their trust in your practice.” Do you currently have an idea of what message your patients are receiving when they come into your office? If not, Binkowitz suggests practitioners ask themselves the following questions:


– Are you comfortable with patients seeing the lab or back office?

– Do you use cheap trinkets to accent frames and other merchandise that cost considerably more? Or, do you use items that help tell the story and value of the product and brand?

– Are there boxes behind the desk employees must step over in order to reach their stations? Are there stacks of paper throughout the office?

sending the right message to patients

Caption: Would you want your patients to see a back office like this?
Source: sideshowmom via morgueFile

To really evaluate whether your office is sending patients the right message, Binkowitz suggests having all staff members exit the building and re-enter pretending to be a first-time patient. Then, you can ask them, “Would you want to be a patient here based on the initial look and feel of the office?” While it might be hard to hear some of the responses, it will be extremely valuable in revealing ways to improve your office’s interiors. Binkowitz has witnessed practices use this strategy to make positive changes that resulted in improved capture rates, patient experience and retention. This is because a well-designed office shows patients that their business is valued and ensures them they are about to receive high quality care.


We also recommend that while you are improving the look and feel of your practice’s office, you consider the following: Is it visible to patients when they enter what services are available to them? For example, is information about the latest technology and diagnostic devices, such as optomap, posted in a highly visible location?  Keeping that information visible is a great way to show patients your commitment to using the latest technology to provide quality care.


What tips or strategies do you have to share about making sure your office sends the right message about your practice? Share with us in a comment below!