Eye clinics play a critical role in investigating, diagnosing, and treating eye conditions affecting patients of all ages. It’s imperative they remain accessible to every single patient. If need be, eye clinics should consider taking the help of patient whiteboards for hospitals, which are known to facilitate communication between patients and hospital providers. The whiteboards assist physicians and ancillary staff with communication, improve patients’ awareness of their care team and admission plans, and significantly improve patient satisfaction. Honestly, it is necessary for healthcare professionals to accommodate patients’ individual needs from the moment they cross the threshold, especially for people who are looking to get treatment for laser vision correction, cataracts, glaucoma, etc since they can have blurry vision.
This means following the proper precautions to keep every premises safe, welcoming, comfortable and convenient for those affected by impaired vision or blindness. What does this involve?
1. Staff Must be Trained to Deal with All Patients
Staff working in eye clinics are sure to be busy on a daily basis. They may become frustrated, tired, and short of temper — but this should never interfere with their ability to provide patients with professional, compassionate care.
Front-desk staff should be more diligent about the registration, scheduling, and admission processes to minimize billing and accounting risks as well as negative impacts on patient satisfaction. The importance of collecting accurate, complete information at each appointment should be stressed. The information about coverage and insurance should also be verified to avoid unpleasant surprises regarding cost and patient liability and to assist medical billing companies like Gryphon Healthcare (if you have hired one) in processing the claims and receiving reimbursements more quickly.
Therefore, all members of staff should undergo effective training that equips them with the skills to do that. Patients may be challenging to deal with at times, especially if they’re frustrated by long waits or miscommunication, but staff must know how to handle these situations when they arise.
2. Consider the Role of Color in the Clinic Decor
It’s easy to overlook the importance of color when designing and decorating an eye clinic, just as with any other public site. But the wrong choices can lead to confusion and difficulties for people living with sight-related problems.
For example, think of the bathrooms in your eye clinic. Are the walls white? Are basins white? Is the ceiling, stall doors and flooring all white? If so, this could make using the bathroom incredibly tough — and potentially dangerous.
That’s why contrasting colors are important to help different surfaces and areas stand out to those with visual impairments.
3. Use Smartphone Technology for Audio Assistance
Patients who arrive at an eye clinic alone, without knowing how to reach the right reception desk or testing room, could be late for their appointment. In turn, this may have a negative effect on the rest of their treatment.
Take advantage of current smartphone technology by investing in an indoor orientation solution. RightHear works with sensors installed throughout the clinic to provide audio directions, helping users find their way in even the most complex interior safely.
RightHear is an ideal way to improve accessibility in eye clinics while increasing patients’ independence.
4. Make Steps Safe
Stairs can be dangerous for patients with low vision: if they’re unable to see individual steps clearly, or at all, do something to help them.
One cost-effective example is to apply bright paint or tape to the edge of each stair, ideally in a color that contrasts with the steps strongly enough to make them easily stand out. Do not forget to make sure all handrails are secure, smooth to the touch and span the entire flight of stairs.
Every patient’s wellbeing, safety and overall experience at your eye clinic is paramount. Increasing accessibility for people living with impaired vision or blindness will leave patients more satisfied after visiting your venue than ever.
Do you have any other ideas for increasing accessibility? Share them below!