Guest blog post by Dr. Scot Morris, OD, FAAO Eye Consultants of Colorado.
You can learn a lot about your patients in a short amount of time if you know how to ask the right questions. Not only will you learn about their vision history and current problems or concerns, you will also get a better overall picture of their habits, hobbies and work demands that will influence the kind of eye wear they will need.
What questions are you asking your patients? Are they effective as they are, or do you need to tweak your approach?
By spending four minutes asking your patients these eight questions, you can significantly increase both your capture rate and your second pair sales. Plus, you may also be able to identify medical conditions that could be easy to miss otherwise.
A Clearer Picture of Vision History & Habits
- Which of the following do you currently wear… (for example: reading glasses, contact lenses, sun wear, occupational wear, etc.)? This is a good ice-breaker question to help you determine what eye wear patients are using right now. It gives you a starting point for discussion and gives you direction for other visual options that the patient may need.
- What do you dislike about your current visual solution? How patients respond to this question will inform you about the areas of their current visual solutions that you need to fix or alter, as well as provide a reason to prescribe a new solution. For example, if a patient reports difficulty reading on a computer screen, you will know to explore options that will address this problem.
- Do you have any special vision needs for your hobbies or occupation? This question will give you valuable information about a patient’s habits. For example, a patient who spends his free time building intricate models of ships will have different needs than a patient who spends long hours driving for her job.
- Do you suffer from any of the following: eye strain, dry or irritated eyes, itchy eyes, fluctuating vision, headache, or red eyes? Knowing a patient’s vision history is important to be able to diagnose any problems and prescribe the right vision solution. This question will pull out visual issues that many people do not associate with allergies, dry eyes, accommodative issues or convergence issues.
- How many hours a day or night do you use a computer? Computer usage has increased dramatically in recent years, both for work and leisure, and this is an important factor for determining a patient’s near point needs and potential need for occupational eye wear.
- Do you have trouble focusing in the distance after reading or using the computer for more than 10 minutes? A “yes” response to this question can help you identify accommodative or early presbyopia problems in a patient.
- Do you have trouble with glare from oncoming headlights or trouble reading street signs at night? Nighttime glare issues are dangerous and easy to remedy. If a patient is experiencing these symptoms, you can suggest anti-glare eye wear that will fix the problem.
- Will you be purchasing eye wear, sun wear or contact lenses today? Use this as your final question. If patients say, “Yes,” then you can move easily into examining visual solutions and completing the sales process. If they say, “Maybe,” then you can make the transition into looking for prescription changes.