Too many practitioners, whether an M.D., O.D., Optician, Contact Lens Technician, or Ophthalmic Technician, overlook a very important tool that I am convinced contributes to successful patient satisfaction – at least it did in my practice. These days we all feel the pressure of insurance reimbursement and the evolution of the Affordable Care Act. The demand is there to use our time more effectively and efficiently.
With that being said, I would like to introduce you to a very valuable five minute exercise that I implemented in my practice back in Massachusetts. It’s called a Lifestyle Questionnaire. Don’t laugh, it’s a valuable tool!
Most patients expect to fill out paperwork at healthcare appointments, so an extra five minutes to fill out a questionnaire shouldn’t be too inconvenient for our patients. The practice of implementing a questionnaire gives the practitioner insight into the eye-care needs of his/her patients. Some questions relating to glasses would be: Do you currently wear glasses? Do you currently have or use protective sun wear? When was the last time that you updated the frame for your glasses? Do you struggle with night vision? Do you use hobby or sports glasses? And so on. You can see where this is headed can’t you? Questions similar to the above not only raise the patient’s awareness of his/her eyeglass needs, but also gives the eye-care practitioner a touch of personal insight into the wants and needs of each patient.
In my practice, I modified the lifestyle questionnaire and utilized it to assess my patient’s needs and wants regarding contact lenses! Example questions for a contact lens fitting include: Do you suffer from late day dry eye or contact lens related dry eye? Are you interested in learning about new contact lens technology that is available? Have you been told that you can’t wear contact lenses? Would you like to be fitted with custom contact lenses made especially for you? Are you 40 years of age or older? If yes, are you having trouble seeing up close? If yes, are you interested in custom contact lenses that can enable you to see all distances? You get the idea, right.
Every practice is unique in its own way, and therefore a Lifestyle Questionnaire can be tailored to meet the needs of each practice. The information derived from the Lifestyle Questionnaire is invaluable as it assists you in recommending the best options for your patients’ eyes and their personal lifestyle vision. Everyone benefits, so make sure to take five and consider implementing the Lifestyle Questionnaire before fitting custom contact lenses in your practice.
Do you have questions about the Lifestyle Questionnaire? Would you like to chat? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Davis, LDO, ABOC, NCLEC
Scott Davis, a licensed dispensing optician from the Massachusetts area, is a part of the SpecialEyes team and brings with him 45 years of experience within the contact lens industry.