Practice Metrics

How Many of Your Patients Know What Digital Eye Fatigue Is?

You have some digital eye fatigue syndrome education to deliver to patients. Seventy-two percent of patients are not even familiar with the term “digital eye fatigue,” according to The Vision Council’s VisionWatch Digital Eye Fatigue Syndrome report. Those patients with children will also need an education on the impact of the condition on their children’s eyes, as 37 percent of patients with children say they are not concerned about it. Interest in digital eye fatigue syndrome in children, however, may be growing. Forty-seven percent say they are somewhat concerned about the condition affecting their children and 16 percent say they are very concerned.

“Seventy-two percent of patients are not even familiar with the term ‘digital eye fatigue.’” This is clearly a communication problem. Great communication is central to getting our patients to complete the treatment plan we prescribe for them. We can learn from President Obama’s State of the Union addresses how to better communicate with our patients.

According to The University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics analysis of the last 70 State of the Union addresses using the Flesch-Kincaid test to determine readability, President Obama’s three speeches have an average grade grade-level score of 8.4. The other 67 addresses by 12 presidents had an average grade score of 10.7. Whatever you think about him politically, you must agree that President Obama is a very smart man. He knows his audience. He communicates very well with his speeches.

There are two action points we can take from President Obama’s State of the Union addresses:

1) Review your verbal communication to patients. Record and listen to your case presentation. Make sure you are not talking over the heads of your patients. Learn from President Obama by using shorter sentences with monosyllabic words. The more complex your sentences and the more syllables in your words, the less likely patients are to understand what you are trying to communicate.

2) Review all written communications from your practice to patients. Check your web site, your treatment protocol handouts, your recall communications … make sure everything is built to communicate in a clear an effective manner. Simplify.

Now, does it really surprise you that 72 percent of patients are not familiar with the term “digital eye fatigue syndrome?” Wouldn’t this be better communicated to patients as: “Do your eyes get tired when you spend time reading on your tablet or phone?”

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