For those who are patients of Dr. Mozayeni, Founder & Surgeon of Providence Eye & Laser Specialists in Charlotte, NC, this announcement will come as no surprise. The organization Best Doctors®, who recognizes the top 5% of physicians in the country after extensive peer review surveys, asked Dr. Mozayeni to guest blog about how to provide superior patient care. Dr. Mozayeni’s answer: communicate, communicate, communicate. Performing LASIK eye surgery since 1995, Dr. Mozayeni has provided improved vision and most importantly, met the expectations of tens of thousand of patients. He attributes his excellent reputation and happy patients to the way that he communicates with them.
From patients to doctors to the general public, Dr. Mozayeni’s guest blog offers an insightful read to the vital role quality communication plays in patient interaction.
Two-Way Communication: The Key to Superior Patient Care
When you buy a house, they say location, location, location. When it comes to patient care, I say communicate, communicate, communicate. And to be clear, I mean two-way communication.
I spent nearly a decade studying to be a physician and, more specifically, a cornea-trained Ophthalmologist. But in all those classes, labs and clinics, very little time was ever used to discuss, let alone, teach “communicate.”
Today as the founder and surgeon of Providence Eye & Laser Specialists, an 11-year-old LASIK eye surgery practice in Charlotte, North Carolina, I know more than ever that communicating with patients is the key to providing excellent patient care.
As a physician practicing in today’s challenging medical world, we are all pushed to see more patients in the same eight-hour day. And this does not take into consideration the additional demands that have been placed on physicians such as EMR implementation, documentation, and HIPPA requirements.
“So why should I take the time to communicate with my patients,” one may ask, “and how does that provide excellent medical care?”
5 Reasons Why Two-Way Communication With Your Patients is Important
- Build Trust – Chat with your new patient for a minute or two; it will pay off. This is a very important relationship and it needs to begin with trust. Trust can only be built slowly and needs to start with some friendly communication.
- Learn their Motivation – Listen and learn what is motivating your patient. With this bit of information you and your staff can articulate benefits that the patient cares about. For example, if their motivation is to improve their golf game, they may not be concerned about their near vision as much as their distance vision. Or, if they are an avid reader, they may be more concerned with near vision correction.
- Educate – Hopefully, your patient has elected to visit you because they feel you are an intelligent, excellent doctor. You should still demonstrate that to them while understanding they are looking to you for answers. Don’t assume they know everything just because they read your website or saw it on YouTube. Teach them about their specific situation, in their terms.
- Set Expectations – Be clear and reasonable about expectations. LASIK eye surgery has become so popular for some it is considered foolproof and the experience is same for everyone regardless of age, prescription, astigmatism etc. This could not be further from the truth. Every person’s eyes are different and LASIK can be extremely successful for most people, but you must clearly articulate what the patient should expect and when. For example, patients with high prescriptions will see an immediate improvement when they sit up from the laser. Those with a lower prescription may expect the same but that is not the case. You don’t want your LASIK patient to ever be disappointed, so tell them what they should expect throughout the entire process.
- Keep in Touch – Just because your patients have left your office, and they may even be “done” with their eye surgery procedure, does not mean you should stop communicating. If you care, I mean really care, about them, ask for their opinion, read it, and act on it if necessary. There are several ways you can do this. For instance, you can send a simple e-mail or receive feedback through a survey.
If you’ve built trust by communicating with your patient and have met their expectations, it is now time to ask for them to tell others. Encourage patients to visit your social media pages, write feedback and reviews and tell their friends and family. If you’ve done your job as a great doctor and a great communicator, your patients will take pleasure in telling the world how great you are. Just think of the return you will get all just by taking a few extra minutes to communicate.