With the rise of modern equipment and newer innovations in the mobile and computer world, eye care was left struggling to keep up ten years ago. But with the advent of femto, and further evolution of lenses, optics has taken eye care to the next level.
Now, with the craze of 20/20 aka 6/6 and ophthalmologists striving to keep abreast with high expectations from the public, the actual concept of health care and delivery of the same seems to be fast vanishing from the field.
To add further fuel to the fire, corporate health care is ruled by ‘targets’ forced upon doctors from the administration demanding more investigations and surgeries to be advised from the ophthalmologist’s side.
Amidst all the ruckus, can we really reach out toward true patient satisfaction? I have seen quite a number of smiles from patients with post operative vision of 6/12 and numerous complaints from those with a perfect 6/6 toward which I’m sure my colleagues will corroborate.
6/6 DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN HAPPINESS.
Here are some very simple ways to ensure patient – satisfaction:
1. USE A KIND TONE OF VOICE: most patients other than those with refractive errors, belong to the geriatric or senile age group. They usually yearn for attention, which sometimes their own relatives fail to provide. Befriending them, will give you a huge advantage in the treatment aspect, because faith in the doctor is the first step to a full cure.
2. BE PATIENT TOWARD PATIENTS: You may be late for an appointment, but just waving away the patient’s complaints and writing a prescription will not set you a positive impact. If you are running late, politely ask the patient whether he/she could come back later for further investigation.
3. ALL YOUR PATIENTS ARE V.I.Ps: a very simple and efficient point to follow if you want your patients to spread good word of mouth about your services. If you would not advise unnecessary investigations, medications or pose any surgical risks on your mother, then the same goes for your patients.
4. BE HUMBLE WHEN GIVING THE GIFT OF SIGHT: Vision has become a very underrated gift during these days, and one method to change this way of thinking is to personally remove eye dressing after surgery, instead of relying on paramedical staff or juniors to do the same. You operated on the patient – so make sure that you give him/her the gift by removing the eye pad yourself.
5. TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED: as doctors we are not immune to illness and need to visit other specialists for general health care. We need to treat our patients just as we expect other doctors to treat us.
From the moment a patient steps inside, imagine how your actions and words look like to him/her. Going by this rule greatly improves patient care two or three – folds.
6. KNOW WHEN TO PAMPER AND WHEN TO BE FIRM: There are situations when the patient needs to be consoled and reassured, and others when you have to put your foot down, to ensure success of treatment.
For instance, pampering a patient who did not use his anti glaucoma medication properly (however important he may be) and being strict toward a poor patient presenting with pain & tenderness are both roads to disaster.
7. SATISFACTION OF THE HEART: Work for the joy of working rather than for the joy of money, fame or power. The day you realise patient care is more important than the no. of patients or tests done, is the day you will truly relish success.
This by far, is the best way to improve your practice and stay far ahead of everyone else in the line.
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