How to create a multicultural-friendly environment in your practice

Eye care professionals provide a service that gives the world sight. If you live in a metropolitan area or large city, you probably examine patients with diverse ethnic backgrounds on a daily basis.

The fact is that we live in a diverse world. To establish long-term relationships with different cultures, one must develop a skill called cultural competence which can be defined as “the ability of systems to provide care to patients with diverse values, beliefs, and behaviours, including the tailoring of health care delivery to meet patients’ social, cultural and linguistic needs.”

Implementing small changes can make a big difference. So what actions can you take right now to make your optical practice multicultural-friendly?

1. Reduce or remove language barriers between you and your patients

There are a couple of ways to achieve this: Inside the consultation room: Spectrum (click here) has a language feature which allows you to instruct the patient in their preferred language. Outside the consultation room: Ocumail (click here) has different language options to educate patients regarding their conditions and visual needs. Most patients will appreciate that you are trying, which will instantly set you apart from the competition.

2. Pay attention to your frame selection

Ensure the selection caters for the patients you service, their optical needs, and their facial features. Offering a frame collection with styles and colours to suit patients' skin tones and facial features is imperative. Not all eyewear is created equal. Some patients require a universal fit, wider frame styles, or longer temples.

3. Use multicultural imagery

When patients see various ethnic imagery around and within your practice, they will feel more comfortable. Ask your suppliers for marketing material with diverse models. If they do not, suggest they consider this factor during their next campaign.

Closing the communication gap between you and your multicultural patients is essential to provide them with stellar vision care. Embracing innovative technologies like Spectrum and Ocumail reduce language barriers. Using multicultural imagery makes your patients feel more at home. These minor alterations will make your patients happy, leading to word-of-mouth recommendations, which still is the most cost-effective marketing method.

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