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Cover Stories | Jul 2010

Educating Your Patients: Beyond the Office’s Four Walls

Today's educational materials for patients strengthen and expand the practice's message.

A practice’s educational materials serve many purposes. Not only can they provide clear, concise information to patients about their ocular condition and possible options for treatment, but they can also reinforce patients’ perception of the practice.

According to Jeff Peres of Eyemaginations, Inc. (Towson, MD), educational materials should enhance the continuum of doctor-patient communication. “We believe that as we move toward the future, communications between practices and patients will continue to be deeper and more robust,” he said. “Today patients are extremely well informed before they even come into the ophthalmologist’s office, and this trend will only continue.”

Educational materials offered by Eyemaginations help practices facilitate and direct the communications process with their patients. “Our platforms allow patients to see and hear simplified explanations of diseases and treatment options,” Mr. Peres said. “Orientation, or how the eye works, and disease progression are two important concepts that are not easily communicated. This is where our tools are particularly useful.”

Eyemaginations’ products assist with adding graphical information to the practice’s Web site so that patients can search areas of interest and learn about options for treatment before their office visit. “Within the four walls of the practice, our Luma platform further educates patients on pertinent topics,” Mr. Peres said. “Video loops and movies can be used in the waiting room. The Exam Advisor tool lets the doctor, medical technician, or patient counselor show patients pathology, detailed anatomy, and disease progression, making it great for outlining treatment options.”

Another application is the Home Tool, which enables the practice to send messages to patients before and after their visits. “These messages are personalized and provide additional information about the specific issues discussed in the office,” Mr. Peres said. “Patients then have the opportunity to review additional materials, graphics, and animations with their family. They are also encouraged to call the office if they have more questions.

Mr. Peres emphasized that Eyemaginations’ integrated system reinforces the spectrum of doctor-patient communication, before, during, and after the visit. “All of our software products complement each other, which keeps the dialogue between the eye care practitioner and the patient—inside and outside the office—as consistent as possible,” he said. “We seek to put control of communication in the hands of the practice so that they can efficiently facilitate meaningful conversations with patients.”

Jeff Peres is the president and CEO of Eyemaginations in Towson, Maryland. Mr. Peres may be reached at (410) 321- 5481; jeff@eyemaginations.com.

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