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The Patient Experience

By Andrew Karp: Group Editor, Lenses + Technology

View a pdf of The Patient Experience

NEW YORK—What do eyecare patients expect when they visit their eye doctor or optician? Excellent care, top notch service, a good selection of top quality products and reasonable prices usually top their list of priorities.

Yet fulfilling those basic requirements may no longer be enough to attract and retain patients. In an information-intensive, 24-7 world where we’re constantly online and connected with smartphones, tablets, mobile apps and GPS, many patients now expect their eyecare experience to be just as technologically advanced as they are.

“People demand that you have technology these days,” observed Scot Morris, OD, a private practitioner based in Conifer, Colo. “In many cases, technology runs their life, and they expect their doctors to have it, too.” Dr. Morris’ observations underscore a major change in the way eye-care and eyewear is being delivered. He and other eyecare practitioners say patients are seeking a high-tech, high-touch experience that engages and educates them.

Consequently, a growing number of ECPs are investing in technologies that help patients learn more about their ocular health and better understand their treatment options and product choices. Today’s ECPs are using advanced technologies to create a more involving, personalized eyecare experience—employing everything from iPads that play videos explaining the latest cataract surgeries to diagnostic systems that display close-up retinal images to recall systems that text patients about their upcoming appointment to sophisticated dispensing systems.

ECPs are also employing new tools and strategies to minimize patients’ wait time and maximize the value of their consultation with the doctor. Their goal is to elevate the level of patient care while improving the efficiency and, ultimately, the profitability of their practice.