What Does Patient-Centered Care Mean for Optometry Practices?


  • Patient-centered care is a growing trend in optometry, encouraging an individualized approach to eye care services. 
  • Patient-focused care means considering your patient’s needs, values, and preferences when deciding on eye health assessments and treatments.
  • Patient-centered treatment can improve outcomes, boost patient satisfaction, and increase patient loyalty at your practice. 
  • Implement patient-centered care with digital intake and communication tools at your optometry practice. 

Patient-Centered Care Definition: Patient-centered care is a healthcare approach that prioritizes individual patient preferences, needs, and values and involves patients as active partners in their own care and decision-making.

More optometry providers are adopting patient-centered care (PCC) practices to improve the quality of patient services. PCC fosters deeper patient engagement and satisfaction, often leading to better health outcomes.

As part of our 7 Trends in Optometry Management series, we’re taking a closer look at patient-centered care in optometry. Understanding what PCC really means, its key goals, and how it uniquely benefits eye care will help you implement it effectively in your practice.

This patient-centered focus can enhance patient satisfaction and improve treatment results, positioning you as a forward-thinking, patient-centric eye care professional.

What Is Patient-Centered Care?

Over the last decade, patient-centered care has emerged as a preferred strategy in healthcare. Moving away from the traditional one-size-fits-all medical methods, PCC promotes customized treatments for each patient.

This ensures that care decisions are made with the patient’s best interests in mind rather than defaulting to what’s most convenient or standard for the provider.

Goals of patient-centered care include:

  • Personalized treatment. This approach customizes healthcare for each patient, considering their health history, lifestyle, and preferences. This ensures that the care provided is effective and relevant to the individual.
  • Patient empowerment. PCC motivates patients to take an active role in their healthcare. Providers educate them about their conditions and treatment options, enabling them to make informed choices about the care they receive.
  • Increased patient satisfaction. By focusing on individual needs and preferences, PCC leads to greater satisfaction among patients. A personalized experience can impact how patients perceive their care.
  • Better health outcomes. Tailored care plans, patient involvement, and clear communication often lead to more effective treatments and faster recoveries. For instance, a 2023 study found that PCC improved the quality of care and overall outcomes in patients with cancer who participated in a national survey.

showing patient centered care by fitting glasses on a patient

The Value of Patient-Centered Care in Optometry

Patient-centered care in optometry helps providers meet changing patient needs and provide well-rounded, individualized eyecare. This is essential in optometry, where 38% of people don’t have an eye doctor and 48% only see a provider once per year.

PCC offers the following benefits for eye care practices:

  • Individualized vision products. By understanding each patient’s unique visual needs and lifestyle, you can recommend highly specific vision products, such as custom lens treatments, frames, or protective eyewear, to suit their daily activities and preferences.
  • Improved patient engagement. Patients actively involved in their eye care decisions are more likely to follow through with preventive screenings, treatments, and follow-up visits. PCC fosters this engagement through education and communication, leading to better adherence to eye health practices.
  • Early eye condition detection. 90% of sight loss can be prevented with early detection and treatment. PCC’s emphasis on listening and addressing individual concerns helps identify conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma sooner.
  • Boosted patient loyalty. PCC in optometry creates a trusting relationship. Patients who feel understood and cared for are more likely to return and recommend your practice to others.

How to Incorporate Patient-Centered Care into Your Practice

Wondering how to practice patient-centered care at your optometry clinic? Here are a few patient-centered care examples to help you get started.

Take Detailed Patient Histories

During patient consultations, document their daily routines, work settings, and visual symptoms or issues. This helps you gather information to create a highly indicated treatment plan. To streamline this process, implement digital patient intake forms that allow patients to submit their details before their visit, enabling you to prepare in advance.

For instance, when a patient mentions regular computer use on their intake form, it cues you to ask specific questions during their exam to gain a better understanding of their vision concerns. Knowing their circumstances allows you to recommend suitable solutions, like computer glasses.

Provide Personalized Education

Offer personalized educational content based on each patient’s specific condition, using tools like diagrams or models for in-person explanations. For example, in the case of a patient with cataracts, use visual aids to demonstrate how cataracts impact vision and discuss the benefits and risks of different treatment options.

Consider developing educational emails or videos on eye health topics to distribute to patients. For instance, you could upload a video on the importance of routine eye examinations to your social media platforms or send a targeted email newsletter to a specific group of patients, providing tips on managing digital eye strain.

Obtain Patient Feedback

Establish a feedback mechanism for patients post-appointment. This could be a simple comment box in the waiting area or conducting a follow-up call after their visit, asking for input on their experience and any improvements they’d like to see.

You can also increase patient engagement using SMS texting and email or feedback surveys. This lets you talk directly with patients to ask about satisfaction with their experience and where you can improve.

Some optometry practice management software, like RevolutionEHR, allows you to store and use each patient’s preferred contact method, so your communications are more likely to be read.

optimetrist making patient centered care a priority with a child patient

RevolutionEHR is Your Patient-Centered Care Partner

RevolutionEHR is an optometry EHR platform ideal for optometrists committed to providing patient-centered care. The all-in-one platform acts as a partner in PCC, giving you features that improve practice efficiency and patient experience:

  • Streamlined workflow. With features like integrated optical Rx creation and customizable exam encounters, RevolutionEHR’s system simplifies day-to-day administrative tasks. This frees more time for optometrists to focus on direct patient care and in-depth consultations.
  • Digital intake. Our add-on service RevIntake streamlines the patient intake process. Patients can conveniently fill out their medical history and current eye health concerns from home, letting you gather their history electronically before the consultation begins.
  • Partner integrations. Platforms like smartFLOW offer seamless management of supplies and patient orders, reducing the time spent on logistics and enhancing overall patient service. With RevolutionEHR, you can connect seamlessly with dozens of vendors and software apps for better patient service and less work for your staff.
  • Patient communications. RevConnect enables effective communication with patients, from sending automated appointment reminders and getting feedback to providing essential follow-ups, sharing educational content, and fostering ongoing patient engagement that leads to fewer no-shows along with improved patient satisfaction and retention.

Deliver Patient-Centered Care to Your Patients: Try RevolutionEHR Today

RevolutionEHR transforms how optometrists manage their practices, prioritizing patient-centered care. By streamlining administrative tasks and improving patient communication, it gives you the freedom to focus on what truly matters — caring for your patients.

Schedule a demo today to see how RevolutionEHR can redefine your practice and elevate the care you provide.

join the revolution