Article Date: 10/1/2013

Next Level Education
patient education
TECHNOLOGY

Next Level Education

Use technology to convey important information to patients.

images

APRIL JASPER, O.D.

The utilization of technology in patient education demonstrates value to patients, as they tend to equate high tech with high value, while also increasing patient compliance to our directions.

Here, I describe where we can use technology to facilitate patient education.

Online

Patient education begins with the patient’s first encounter with your office, which is often your practice website.

Your web presence should include the following:

▶ Basic information about your office, such as the address, and the products and services you provide.

▶ Descriptions of basic eye conditions, such as glaucoma or AMD, as well as links to manufacturer websites that contain additional information on the products you sell.

▶ Animations and personalized videos with you describing services offered in the office and/ or eye conditions.

Pre-exam

Install flat screen TVs that can project the information you want to teach your patients, including services, products and even videos that introduce your staff to patients. To acquire these services, visit the vendors at optometry conferences, see what they have to offer and evaluate which are appropriate for your office.

Also, a few companies sell animated patient education software that can be accessed online or loaded on a computer to use prior to the exam. In most cases, you can even select the products and services you are most interested in promoting to use as a loop while the patient waits for you.

E-mail animations to your patients that explain the conditions you discussed during the examination.

In the exam room

Many diagnostic and special testing devices, such as topographers, digital cameras and OCTs, come with viewing software that can be used to educate patients. This software can be installed in all exam rooms so that you can bring up the patients’ images that were captured that day, and explain the findings and the condition for which you are screening or treating.

In addition, you can show patient education software to patients during or after the exam, as videos are displayed based on the diagnosis that is documented in your EHR.

In the optical

Opticians and frame and lens specialists can continue the education process with high-tech measuring devices that include builtin patient education tools. These can be used to discuss frame and lens options and to demonstrate the products that you have prescribed for your patients.

After the examination

E-mail animations to your patients that explain their conditions. For example, if a patient has ocular hypertension (OHT), you can e-mail him/her a personalized note with animations attached that explain OHT and glaucoma, as well as the reasons for return visits.

A well-rounded approach

The most successful practices I have seen utilize patient education technology throughout the practice.

In addition to facilitating patient education, such technology creates an efficient and profitable practice. OM


DR. JASPER IS IN PRIVATE PRACTICE IN WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. E-MAIL HER AT DRJASPER@AESWPB.COM, OR SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.



Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: October 2013, page(s): 52