Research confirms what many suspect: Patients are not always forthcoming with health care providers. In fact, a recent study, published in the JAMA Network (https://bit.ly/2rmc6Ye ), shows that the most common reasons for not disclosing information arise from the patient’s desire not to be judged or hear how harmful a particular behavior is. With regard to contact lenses, the theme of the January issue of Optometric Management, the fear of judgment might apply to patients who are reluctant to disclose they sleep in their contact lenses or top off lens solutions.
A suggestion from the study, and echoed by some experts, is to gain a deeper grasp of the issues. One tactic might be to avoid questions in which a “yes” response from the patient may be judged as harmful (“Do you ever wear your contact lenses when you sleep?”), and instead rephrase the query to reduce the risk of possible embarrassment to the patient (“How often do you sleep in your contact lenses?”). This approach might minimize patient anxieties and, perhaps more important, yield more accurate information on which the doctor can base a specific plan of patient care.
BUILDING SUCCESS WITH CONTACT LENSES
This issue of OM offers several perspectives on how to build a successful contact lens portion of an optometric practice. For example, in the article “Customize Contact Lenses” (p.14), Harry Landsaw, O.D., offers a five-step patient-centered approach to the contact lens selection process, which allows “both patients and the practice to thrive.”
A key characteristic of an advanced contact lens practice is possessing “the right attitude and passion,” writes Jason Miller, O.D., in “Develop an Advanced Contact Lens Clinic” (p.20). This advice applies to doctors and also the staff, who spend much of their time with patients.
Dr. Claudio Lagunas offers further insights into the staff and contact lenses in the feature “Start with the Staff” (p.24). By attending vendor demonstrations, Dr. Lagunas’ staff members experience new contact lens technology firsthand. This engaged staff then becomes a “source of encouragement and information” for patients.
What can you do to reduce the rate of contact lens dropouts? For Chris Wroten, O.D., one answer lies in managing contact lens complications. In “Increase Contact Lens Success” (p.16), Dr. Wroten urges readers to be proactive in managing common complications, a practice that can keep patients healthy and enhance “the likelihood of successful contact lens wear.” OM