To dovetail on my last blog post, "Envision Eyecare's Approach to Customer Service," this entry will describe how our philosophy on customer service extends into the realm of patient care.
Working in several practices before starting my own, I came to recognize consistencies in patient complaints about their past care. They centered on not understanding their particular diagnosis, feeling rushed through the exam or feeling like they received inadequate care. Several comments kept surfacing: "My last eye doctor told me I have cataracts. Well, Doctor, what are cataracts?" "I felt like the last place I went tried to do my exam as fast as possible so they could move onto the next patient." "The last eye doctor never did this test on me."
If Envision Eyecare truly cares about serving its patients at an elemental level of its organizational philosophy, how can care be delivered so patients don't walk out after the exam confused or feeling unimportant and underappreciated? What does that look like to you? What do you need in your own care so you not only feel satisfied; but so you feel gratified to a level that leads to loyalty?
Well, first it seems obvious to ask questions with enough attention to detail to get to the core of the patient's concern. Second, listen to the answers; spend enough time with the individual to truly understand his or her eye health or vision concern. The next step would be to spend sufficient time explaining the findings of the exam so the patient has a firm grasp on his or her diagnosis and treatment plan. Lastly, make sure the exam is sufficiently thorough by using the most advanced diagnostic equipment available to uncover any conditions that damage a patient's eye health or vision now, and down the road.
Sounds like a simple recipe for happy patients, right?
To help us accomplish this task, we have our patients fill out a thorough health history about their eyes and their systemic (entire body) health. In addition to this, we have them fill out a lifestyle questionnaire. This information helps us customize each patient's care to his or her unique situation. From start to finish, we engage our patients by asking the right questions based on their concerns. After explaining our findings (we train our team to use nontechnical words so patients understand what is being related) we ask our patients if they understand what we have said and if they have additional questions. After all, it's all about serving our patients and an important part of that is being effective with our communication.
I recall that I knew very little about the eyes before I studied the subject in depth for 4 years in Optometry school, so I make no assumptions about what my patients may or may not know about their eyes. Since our patients trust in us to take the best care of their eyes possible, we have a responsibility to be up to date with the most advanced technologies and treatments available to care for their eyes. Throughout each year, the entire team undergoes training in various forms to develop our skills and improve our knowledge base. Because technology moves at the speed of light, we have and will constantly be adding the latest equipment to treat and manage eye disease.
On the home page of our website, we say "We are not your typical eyeâ€“check-and-a-pair-ofâ€“specs Optometrists" and we mean it!
Stay tuned for later blog entries that will cover how Envision approaches eyewear products we have chosen to provide for our patient's best sight correction.