Patient Engagement in Optometry: Benefits and Best Practices


  • Enhancing patient engagement in optometry offers multiple benefits, including improved patient satisfaction, better treatment compliance, and potentially better clinical outcomes.
  • Effective use of technology, improving patient education, and fostering a culture of active listening and empathy can improve patient engagement.
  • Integrated practice management software can facilitate better communication between optometrists and patients, streamline intake, and provide feedback to improve patient engagement.

Like many healthcare professions, optometry is undergoing significant transformations in response to patients’ evolving needs and expectations. It is now more critical than ever to promote patient engagement in optometry practices, as the patient’s active participation in their eye health care not only enhances the quality of care but also fosters trust and builds strong patient-provider relationships.

Patient engagement in optometry means empowering patients with the knowledge, skills, and willingness to take ownership of their ocular health. It entails providing education about eye health, fostering open communication about diagnosis and treatment options, and encouraging regular follow-ups and adherence to prescribed treatment regimes. This shift from a provider-centered model to a patient-centered approach acknowledges patients’ role in their eye care management.

The Importance of Patient Engagement in Optometry

Patient engagement enhances the patient experience and improves overall care in optometry. It refers to actively involving patients in their eye care journey and addressing their specific needs.

According to 2021 research from the American Optometric Association (AOA), 61% of patients are more likely to visit their healthcare provider if they receive a personalized communication experience. They also found that 71% of patients desire healthcare experiences as convenient as other aspects of their lives, such as online shopping. Optometrists can use integrated practice management systems for contact lens ordering and eyeglass selection to meet these expectations.

The AOA also found that convenient communication channels, including secure text and patient messaging, are essential for maintaining a positive patient experience. Additionally, patients expect their healthcare providers to have access to their complete medical history, emphasizing the importance of interoperability among healthcare professionals.

Keeping up with evolving patient expectations and using available tools are vital to catering to patient preferences in eye care.

The Benefits of Patient Engagement in Eye Care

When patients actively participate in their eye care journey, it creates a collaborative and patient-centered approach that leads to better treatment outcomes, higher patient satisfaction rates, and increased patient loyalty in eye care practices.

Improved Eye Health Outcomes

Increasing patient engagement may result in more positive healthcare outcomes. Engaged patients tend to be more compliant with treatment plans, medication regimens, and lifestyle modifications, leading to improved management of eye conditions and better overall health.

Their increased participation in decision-making ensures that treatment plans align with their preferences and goals, enhancing treatment adherence and effectiveness.

Increased Patient Satisfaction and Retention

When patients feel empowered and involved in their care, they experience a higher level of satisfaction with their eye care providers. Engaged patients feel that their concerns are heard and addressed, resulting in greater trust and confidence in their providers. This fosters loyalty towards the healthcare practice, encouraging patients to remain engaged and continue to seek eye care services from the same provider.

patient engagement in optometry while fitting glasses

Recent Research in Patient Engagement for Medical Practices

Recent research on patient engagement in medical practices has highlighted the importance of involving patients in their healthcare journeys.

A 2022 study examined the adoption of patient engagement strategies in physician practices across the United States, analyzing data from the National Survey of Healthcare Organizations. Areas of focus included health information technology functionality, screening activities, patient responsiveness, and the adoption of patient engagement strategies such as shared decision-making.

The study highlighted the association between practice capabilities, including chronic care management processes and routine screening, with higher rates of adoption of patient engagement strategies.

A crucial part of patient engagement is patient activation. Patient activation measures an individual’s competence level and willingness to participate in their care protocols. High patient activation levels are typically associated with better health.

A 2022 cross-sectional study assessed patient activation among multimorbid primary healthcare patients in Finland. The results showed that patient activation was generally low among the participants.

Older age, obesity, loneliness, and poor perceived health were associated with lower activation scores. Patients with low activation had poorer physical activity, diets, adherence to care, and health-related quality of life.

Additionally, they reported worse perceptions related to self-management and support from healthcare providers and close individuals. Understanding patient activation levels in multimorbid patients can help tailor care to better meet their capabilities and needs.

Effective physician-patient communication strategies are vital in improving patient engagement. Better communication leads to higher patient trust and facilitates a collaborative approach to treatment. Electronic Health Records (EHR) software and tools offer an efficient way to assist healthcare staff in communicating with patients.

A 2021 study found that physicians and staff reported improved patient-clinician communication when using digital EHR tools. The study concludes that EHR tools have the potential to enhance patient engagement, support clinicians, and influence long-term communication behaviors in primary care practices.

Effective Strategies for Improving Patient Engagement

Effective patient engagement promotes positive health outcomes and improves the overall patient experience. It involves actively involving patients in their healthcare decisions, enhancing communication, and providing them with the necessary knowledge and tools to participate in their own care.

The following strategies can help you improve patient engagement in your practice:

  • Effective communication. Clear and open communication between healthcare providers and patients is essential. It involves active listening, empathy, and ensuring patients understand their diagnoses, treatment options, and care plans.
  • Patient education. Providing patients with comprehensive and easily understandable information about their conditions, treatments, and self-management techniques empowers them to make conscious choices about their treatment and actively participate in their care.
  • Shared decision-making. Collaborative decision-making, where patients and healthcare providers discuss treatment options and make decisions together, encourages patient engagement and ensures that care aligns with individual patients’ preferences and values.
  • Health literacy. Promoting health literacy through simplified educational materials, visual aids, and plain language explanations helps patients better understand health information and actively engage in their care.
  • Patient portals and mobile apps. Using patient portals and mobile applications allows patients to access their health records, schedule appointments, communicate with healthcare providers, and access educational resources conveniently.
  • Remote monitoring and telehealth. Innovative technologies like remote monitoring devices and telehealth platforms enable patients to actively manage their health from the comfort of their homes, improving access to care and fostering continuous engagement.
  • Personalized care plans. Tailoring care plans to patients’ individual needs and preferences enhances their sense of ownership and engagement in their healthcare journey.

patient engagement in optometry child exam

Best Practices for Adapting Optometry Practices

Adapting optometry practices need to implement patient engagement best practices to ensure improved accessibility, convenience, patient satisfaction, and efficient delivery of high-quality care. This involves using electronic health records and telemedicine technology, enhancing patient communication through secure messaging and portals, implementing patient-centered care, and optimizing practice management.

RevolutionEHR optometry practice management software offers several features for implementing best practices for adapting optometry practices, including the add-on service RevConnect. This patient engagement platform simplifies communication with patients via text and email. It includes features like appointment and recall reminders, optical order status updates, birthday messages, and performance-tracking dashboards.

Watch the short video below for an overview of the features of RevConnect.

RevConnect Campaigns also allows targeted email messaging to specific patient groups. Optometrists can use this platform to provide patients with educational resources, like webinars, brochures, blogs, and journal articles on their condition.

To streamline the registration process and improve patient satisfaction, optometrists can use RevIntake, a mobile patient registration and scheduling platform. RevIntake allows patients to complete registration procedures before their visit, saving time and improving efficiency.

RevIntake also provides post-appointment patient surveys and online review requests to gather valuable feedback, helping to understand patient experiences and improve satisfaction. These practices promote patient engagement, enhance efficiency, and provide a more personalized and convenient experience for optometry patients.

Watch a brief overview of RevIntake below.

Prioritize Patient Engagement for Optimal Eye Care Outcomes

Patient engagement plays a crucial role in optometry practices by improving patient satisfaction, treatment compliance, and overall clinical outcomes. By empowering patients with knowledge, fostering open communication, and utilizing technology, optometrists can enhance patient engagement.

What’s more, adapting optometry practices to incorporate patient engagement best practices, including electronic health records, telemedicine, and patient-centered care, can further enhance accessibility, convenience, and the delivery of high-quality care.

Tools like RevolutionEHR’s RevConnect and RevIntake can streamline communication, provide educational resources, and improve the overall patient experience. By prioritizing patient engagement, optometry practices can ensure better eye care outcomes and foster long-term patient loyalty.

Empower Your Patients With RevolutionEHR

Contact a RevolutionEHR Specialist to schedule a demo today and learn how integrated cloud-based practice management software can help you engage patients for a collaborative approach to eye care that gives you the freedom to focus on improved patient outcomes.

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