How patient education directly influences practice turnover

In optometry, it is vital for the patient to understand their specific conditions and how to manage it going forward. There are various ways to educate patients about their general eye health and conditions. The most likely method is in the examination room; the optometrist will inform the patient of his/her findings and possible treatment methods. An additional process during the examination is educating the patient through digital acuity software. Digital acuity software allows the optometrist to explain the patient’s condition and prescribed lens ads-ons using visual images, creating a better understanding and overall positive visual experience. Through this method, the patients can understand their eye care needs and what are the costs associated with their prescribed lenses. Patients are inclined to spend more if they know what they are paying for and the benefits thereof. This method of informing the patient in the testing chair does work; however, it can be overwhelming to process all the information at once and remember what the optometrist is suggesting.

Automated communication is another way of communicating with the patient once they have left the examination room. This medium reinforces what was discussed between the patient and optometrist. The patient will receive this communication in the form of online patient mail, which can be in the form of an email or sms.

An added benefit of the patient receiving the information after the examination, allows them to read up the information at a time convenient to them. The patient mail will also explain their eye condition and lens add-ons in more detail as the optometrist time is limited, this ensures that the patient does not search the internet for more information that may be misleading or incorrect.

Patient mail is an efficient method of distributing information to patients, and another added benefit is that in the process of the mail been sent to the patient the data stored in a recall system software. This software stores both the patient’s diagnosis and products prescribed to the patient making the process of recalls more slimline. The software will then send a reminder out for when the patient’s supply of, i.e. contact lenses is nearing an end so that they can order more. The recall system will also inform patients annually or biannually depending on their condition when they are due for their next appointment. The software allows the optometrist to edit the information should the optometrist be concerned about the patient’s eye health and would want the patient to return sooner than the system’s minimum prescribed time. The above factors ultimately affect the patients visual experience and bears impact on patient’s spend having a direct influence on the practice turnover.

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