Ways to Use Patient Education in the Cataract Care Journey

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From increasing premium IOL conversions to improving post-op outcomes, Rendia can help

Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the world, as well as one of the safest. Of patients surveyed after cataract surgery, 75% said if they had known how much better they would see, they would have had the surgery sooner. This means patient education around cataract surgery is imperative. 

Used throughout the care journey, patient education can be an effective way to get patients in the door, increase premium IOL conversions and ensure patient adherence and satisfaction after surgery. Here are several ways to use Rendia with cataract patients in your practice. 

 

Before the visit

For such a common condition, there is quite a bit of misinformation surrounding cataracts. 

Patients may not understand that a cataract is not a growth that covers the iris, but rather a cloudiness of the crystalline lens inside the eye. Showing them a video that illustrates this can be helpful. This will also clarify the misconception some patients have that eye drops can “dissolve” cataracts. Many patients don’t realize that since cataracts are not a substance, topical treatments can’t help them, and they will never “grow back” after surgery.  

Many patients fear cataract surgery because they don’t know what it entails. Alleviate their worries by hosting a webinar, e.g., “New, Painless Options to Treat Cataracts.”

But you don’t have to wait for patients to come to you before educating them. Consider hosting a webinar about cataract surgery to engage prospective patients. Many patients fear cataract surgery simply because they don’t know what it entails. Medical videos they might turn up in a web search can scare them further. You can alleviate their worries by hosting a webinar titled “New, Painless Options to Treat Cataracts,” for example. These events give doctors a chance to share their expertise and get new patients in the door. Showing high-quality animations during patient education webinars sends the message that your practice embraces technology and is an innovator in your field. 

When new patients are referred to you, send them an email introducing the practice, the provider(s) and an informational video or two about cataracts and cataract surgery. This can also help reassure anxious patients who may be hesitant to discuss surgical treatment options. In advance of the visit, get patients to start thinking about IOL consideration by asking them about their lifestyle and broader vision goals. Sending educational videos that can be accessed online also allows patients to share them with family members or caregivers. 

Lastly, don’t overlook social media as a way to proactively educate prospective cataract patients. You can share messaging around the idea that while cataracts cannot be prevented, there are several things you can do to slow their progression, such as wearing UV-protected sunglasses, eating a healthy diet, and taking nutritional supplements. You might also target messaging to higher-risk patients. Research shows that cataracts are more likely to occur among women, smokers, and people with diabetes.


During the visit 

Once a patient comes in for a consultation, visual aids can be helpful in explaining concepts like different types of cataracts, the progression of cataracts over time, procedures like laser-assisted cataract surgery or YAG capsulotomy, and even how vision will be impacted by different IOL options. Rendia’s Outcome Simulator is the most advanced vision simulator on the market, allowing you to show patients customized “before and after” views of their unaided vision and how they might see with various treatment options. 

With Outcome Simulator, you can show patients with residual astigmatism what their vision will look like with various options: monofocal vs. Toric vs. Trifocal Toric.

This has the benefit of helping patients visualize their outcomes with various lens options. For instance, you may have an astigmatic patient who’s a strong premium IOL candidate, except that she enters your practice intending to only get what’s covered by Medicare. Using Outcome Simulator, you can show her what residual astigmatism will look like with the monofocal lens compared to the Toric. You can further show her potential vision with the Trifocal Toric—comparing three options so she can see the impact of the most advanced lens on her daily life.

 

After the visit

Patient education is also an important part of the pre-op and post-op process, and has been shown to improve safety and quality of care. For many people surgery causes stress, which limits their ability to think clearly and remember new information. Fierce Healthcare recommends sharing patient education that provides actionable next steps and keeps health literacy in mind. “Think of what works on TV and social media: short video clips, engaging messages, less text, more visuals.”

Patients who are provided with quality education are more likely to have successful recoveries following surgery.

Consider what patients, and caregivers, will need to know: directions to the ASC, where to park, how to fill prescriptions, physical limitations following surgery, etc. “Studies have shown that patients who are provided with quality education are more likely to have successful recoveries and adhere to care regimens,” reported Fierce Healthcare 

Rendia makes it easy to integrate high-quality, visual patient education into every step of the care journey. To find out more, join the Rendia Connection to stay up-to-date on the latest patient engagement insights and trends.

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