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Patient Education – Survey Results!

Posted by Elliot Franz | Posted on October 23, 2015

    Earlier this month, I reached out to our contacts and asked a series of questions concerning how they handle patient education.  Some things I wanted to know were:  how much time is spent educating each patient on average, what means are most commonly used to communicate information to the patient, and how confident are care providers that the patient fully understands.  I also inserted a “free response” question asking respondents to list any unique tips and tricks which had given them success.  Here are the results:  

How much time do you spend explaining treatment options to a patient or answering their questions?

How much time do you spend explaining treatment options to a patient or answering their questions?

Which medium do you use to communicate the information to the patient?

Which medium do you use to communicate the information to the patient (you may choose more than one response)?

To what extent do you agree with the statement: "The patient leaves the office with a complete understanding of their condition?"

To what extent do you agree with the statement: “The patient leaves the office with a complete understanding of their condition?”

    There were 33 optometrists and ophthalmologists who completed the survey.  Most respondents spend an average of 5-10 minutes with each patient.  They use their voice, an eye model (hopefully a Gulden Eye model!), or a pamphlet to educate the patient.  Of the 33 respondents, a little over 50% say that the patients leave with clear understanding and 36% say that this is somewhat true.  

    There were many good suggestions (19 of them) listed in the open response question.  Here are some of those tips:  use computer simulations to explain the condition, follow up by email or phone the day after the appointment rather than immediately, avoid jargon, and communicate with genuine interest in the patient.

    Thanks to Marcos Cunha, Gregory G. Kautz OD, Lonny Harrison OD, William B Neusidl, Steve Rubinstein, and all others who participated in the survey!

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