It’s important to build an understanding of who your patients are. Learn about their needs, what they do, who they are and how they spend their time. Knowing all of this helps you provide the best eye care solutions.
Understanding how your patients use their eyes helps you, by extension, understand what their needs are and the best solutions for them. By taking the time to communicate, bond, and extrapolate you are poised to provide better care and better address the needs of your patient roster.
Find a Bond with Patients
The goal with each patient should be to find a commonality. Relate to them and create a bond that builds trust, helps them relax and makes it easier to share symptoms. Start up a conversation that goes back and forth, ask questions and share if you have a similar eye care need such as astigmatism.
Stay consistent with the conversation, don’t dive into an exam and let the conversation die down. Explain the “why” behind your procedures and recommendations. Focus on educating the patient so they understand what you are doing, and ultimately why you are recommending changes to prescriptions or multiple pairs of glasses.
Find Out How They Use Their Eyes
Your conversation and questions should be centered around how patients use their eyes. Dive right into their lifestyle, their work, their hobbies, their sleep patterns. Asking easy questions can help you extrapolate the information you need, which is especially important for tough-to-diagnose problems like digital eye strain.
A few questions you can ask to start out:
How much do you use a computer for work?
Do you use multiple screens?
Do you have trouble falling asleep?
What are your hobbies?
How often do you use your phone or computer at home?
Are you outside a lot?
How much do you drive?
Do you travel and to where?
While these are basic questions, you’ll be able to add more and tailor them to your local demographics. You can quickly find out what their needs are and can use their answers to help educate them on why working on multiple monitors 12 hours a day is creating digital strain, or why using their phone up until they go to bed is causing sleep trouble.
Making Eye Care More Efficient
Now that we know what questions to ask, make this process more efficient with a questionnaire included in your standard paperwork. It takes them a few extra minutes and allows you quickly get to the core of their needs, helping you have more meaningful conversations during an exam.
Growing a Practice Through Understanding
Your patients begin to drive your growth through referrals and word-of-mouth. You’ll see your practice grow and begin to understand what your local demographics are.
As a good place to start, download our digital eye strain questionnaire. It’s a template of questions to ask your patients focused on lifestyle that lets you easily connect the dots between symptoms and screen time.