As you know, remakes are costly. When a lens or frame doesn’t satisfy a patient the effort required to create a remake hurts the production flow of the lab, causes difficulties for the practice, and inconveniences the patient.
The cost of a lab bill can significantly impact the bottom line of the practice. A major factor in controlling costs is controlling remakes. Each time an order is remade the cost of goods increases and chair time for you to see other patients is lost.
The amount of remakes for your practice should be a small percentage. If you are seeing a high number of remakes think about your policies, processes, and people to see where there is a problem. The way you handle the issue might say everything about you, your practice, and the care you provide for patients. Taking care of the needs of the patient is always the number one priority. The benefit of keeping a patient is obvious, they are the ones that keep you in business.
5 tips to reduce remakes:
1. Create a Prevention Plan
Prevention, not elimination, is key. It’s nearly impossible to eliminate all remakes, but focusing on creating a prevention plan is a great start to reduce the amount of remakes. In order to have a successful plan in place the entire staff needs to be on board. This should be an ongoing effort and a hot topic in staff meetings. Explain why it’s important, set goals as a team, and provide incentives that are personal for each individual.
2. Write a Remake Policy and Stand by it
If you don’t already have a policy in place for remakes then write one down. Having a policy that you can print and hand to a patient will help avoid anyone abusing the services you provide. Being protected from abuse will also save you money on your lab bill because you will have the control to align regulations from the lab to your policy.
3. Reduce Controllable Remakes
Control what you can. When dealing with a patient who is indecisive about what frame to buy suggest the idea of taking pictures with their phone and sending them to a spouse or friend to get a trusted opinion. If a patient comes in wanting new lenses because of a scratch, review records and make sure it’s still under warranty. Most importantly, take your time. Have a second pair of eyes review the prescription and the order for accuracy.
4. Use Reports
Without knowing your weaknesses it’s hard to know what needs to be improved. Track your remakes internally because it’s always best to have your own records and information. Also, call your lab and ask if they can provide a remake report so you can compare the two. You will see how your lab tracks the process, which costs are passed onto you, and where opportunities for improvement are. Some of the most common causes for remakes are; doctor error, optician error, optician damage, and lab error.
5. Educate Patients
Often because of unrealistic expectations some people will just have issues. Show how much you care about your patients by explaining the benefits of choosing the right frame. Review the adjustments that are being made or how a metal frame, compared to a zyl frame, might feel different to them. Hold patients responsible by teaching them to clean and care for their glasses. When they have more responsibility in their hands they will tend to take better care of what they have. Remember, you’re the expert so you’re more than capable of giving advice without forcing your option on the patient’s decision.
- Know your lab. Know the warranties, costs, and other factors involved. There’s no free lunch with any lab and it’s not healthy to be dependent on labs that offer unlimited remakes. Cost and quality should be your main determining factors when choosing a lab.
- Experiment, don’t be afraid of new technology. Try something different for a patient. By doing so they will be able to make a comparison between an old pair of glasses and a new pair. Only then will you know that the patient is truly happy with what they have.
- Show how much you care about your patients by listening to them, solving any problems, and providing great customer service.
- Find a balance with patient satisfaction and employee satisfaction. Remakes take money away from your practice that could be shared with staff members in the form of a bonus or raise.
- Keep remake numbers in a conservative ballpark. If those numbers climb you might be too liberal with how the process is being handled.
- Make good habits and try your best to have you and your staff order the job correctly the first time.