One of the many attitude changes resulting from the pandemic has been an increased desire on the part of patients to be in control of their healthcare. Some of this stems from a distrust in the government and the healthcare system at large due to the way the recent health crisis has been handled. By contrast, patients continue to trust and value their individual providers as much, if not more, than ever before. These circumstances present an opportunity, if not an obligation, to revamp your patient education platform. It’s also incumbent upon you to make your patients aware that you are committed to providing the information they seek to make intelligent choices about their eye health and vision.
New Resources for Patient Education
Of course, you’ll provide education to each individual patient during visits to your office. Beyond that, it has now become important to enable patients to access information remotely and at their convenience. This means at least providing quality, timely education on your website and social media platforms. Consider going a step further to allow HIPAA-compliant individual questions and answers through the patient portal as well. Lastly, work with local media outlets to present education globally in your area. When possible, include some video content in your education. If you don’t want to prepare a video yourself, look to your vendors for content.
On your website, always have an area dedicated to the latest advancements in eye care. Place this content at the beginning of your education section and refresh it at least monthly. With the pace of advancement in our industry, there’s always something new and interesting to report. The rest of your content should be reviewed regularly and updated at least quarterly. There are many other areas that are of interest to your patients. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Travel should come back strong this year. Write about the “Do’s and Don’ts” for eyes and vision when traveling.
- Blue light concerns are in the news. (Lots of folks are still working from home!) Advise your patients how and when to protect themselves. Discuss products with the Eyesafe label.
- List common eye emergencies and provide information on first steps to take. Specify when it’s necessary to be seen in your clinic and why.
- Ocular allergies. Review the signs, symptoms and treatment options. Describe how contact lens wear is affected. Again, specify when an office visit is advised.
We’ve all become more comfortable getting things done online/remotely over the past couple of years. Now is the time to make sure that your practice stays current by giving patients the opportunity to engage and do business with you in ways that are most convenient and empowering for them. Providing remote education outside of office visits is a valuable addition to an online presence. This education gets more eyes on it when your practice enables and promotes the ability to update patient histories, book appointments, access records, order contact lenses, and/or perform virtual try-ons online. Make this the year you implement some or all of these patient-centric experiences. Patients have never been more receptive and appreciative.