Guest blog post by Dr. Paul Karpecki, OD, Koffler Vision Group.

Having knowledge and communicating knowledge can be two separate things. This is possibly most evident in the medical profession. Doctors can make a diagnosis and treatment recommendations, but one critical step is to educate the patient effectively. This will positively affect compliance to the treatment options and have a positive effect on patient satisfaction and subsequent word of mouth growth potential regarding your practice.

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is an accurate saying because showing patients what is occurring via animations, images or videos is far more effective than simply trying to explain it with words. For example, suppose someone has glaucoma. Trying to explain the optic nerve and pressure causing damage is extremely difficult with words alone. In fact, many patients are not sure of where the optic nerve is located in the eye.

Many times, patients confuse cataracts with glaucoma, and I believe the reason is due to difficulty is orientation of the various ocular structures combined with a very foreign language in medical terminologies. Furthermore, the less the patient understands, the more of the doctor’s time will be required to adequately explain.

But by showing the patient an animation of the eye, such as with the Eyemaginations software solution, the process becomes easy for the doctor and most importantly, for the patient to understand. The doctor can show the location of the nerve within the eye as the animation zooms in through the pupil to the posterior segment image.

This is then followed by a sequence of animations that show how glaucoma damages the nerve as well as the patient point-of-view of glaucoma as it progresses, followed by treatment options. This one minute explanation via video leaves the patient with more understanding of their condition than 10 minutes of verbal explanation as I had done in the past.

So my final advice? Don’t just speak to your patients, show them!