As a doctor, your patients’ health is your top priority. You educate your patients on the fact that chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity are the leading causes of death and disease in this country. You teach patients that prevention and a healthy lifestyle are key to reducing risk.

But do you also know that your patients aren’t just paying attention to what you say, but what you do – or don’t do? Research shows that doctors who practice healthy habits play a key role in helping their patients adopt healthy lifestyles. Here’s eye-opening evidence that doctors’ health has an impact on their patients’ health.Read More

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act defines health literacy as the “degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions,” and unfortunately, low health literacy is a growing problem in today’s health care climate. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 22 percent of adults have only basic health literacy and 14 percent have below basic health literacy. And because health literacy is a strong indicator of health status, low literacy is linked with poor health outcomes and higher rates of hospitalization.

It is up to health care providers to ensure that patients with low health literacy are identified and given the tools they need to understand their options. But what can you do to overcome these obstacles and better communicate with your patients? The answer is effective and easy-to-understand patient education.

Lucky for you, we are here to help. October is health literacy month and the 2016 theme is “Be a Health Literacy Hero.” To help you be a hero to your patients, we have gathered together six tips to educate your patients and overcome the obstacles posed by low health literacy:

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If they don’t work in factories or play contact sports, your patients may not think about eye injuries or how to prevent them. Yet thousands of Americans are treated each year for serious eye injuries, nearly half of which occurred at home, according to a recent public survey conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma. Other misconceptions about eye injuries abound. Given that October is Eye Injury Prevention Month, this is a great time to educate your patients on eye injury facts and best practices.Read More

Good doctor-patient communication is the cornerstone of high-quality health care. Everything from establishing trust to ensuring positive surgical outcomes hinges on how well providers and patients communicate. For doctors of pediatric patients, however, there are some unique challenges. Talking to parents of patients brings with it issues of health literacy, culture, and privacy. Here’s a look at some of the issues doctors who treat children and teens face, and how a thoughtful approach to patient education can help.

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School is back in session, and you know what that means: it’s time for students to visit the doctor for vision and hearing screenings. If that’s not your first thought when you hear “back to school,” you can be sure it’s not your patients’ either. That’s why proactive patient education is especially vital at this time of year. After all, undiagnosed vision and hearing problems can profoundly impact a child’s learning. And because of technology use, certain health issues affecting the eyes and ears are on the rise. What you need to let your patients, and their parents, know.

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Guest post by Cuinn Merrigan, COO at FastTrack Marketing

As Jerry Maguire said: “Help Me, Help You!”
When your practice invests in promoting key services, it is the refractive coordinator who turns these campaigns into successful patient interactions. It does not matter how many patients you bring into your practice if they don’t understand why they would book out-of-pocket surgeries. There are many tools you can employ to help the refractive coordinator show patients the benefits of these elective surgeries.

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