3 Communication Habits That Drive Your Eyecare Patients Crazy

Posted by Jeff Rezabek on Mon, Oct 07, 2019 @ 08:10 AM

When your patients are in the exam room chair, they want to be sure that their concerns are being heard and that you are listening with full attentiveness.

Even though administering quality patient care is your number one priority, poor communication habits may be telling your patients otherwise.

Here are a few communication behaviors you should shake before you drive patients away from your optometric practice.

Poor Communication Skills That Destroy The Doctor-Patient Relationship

Not Listening

Communication is a two-way street. If you don’t actively listen you could wind up in trouble. Jumping to conclusions or making assumptions not only inhibit you from making decisions, but it could also lead to an unnecessary diagnosis.

Not listening can also damage the trust of the patient. Asking questions that don’t pertain to what the patient said, or incorrectly paraphrasing the chief complaint signal to the patient that you weren’t listening. Try using some of these active listening skills to improve your patient-doctor communication.

  1. Face your patient
  2. Don’t interrupt
  3. Monitor your body language
  4. Give full attention


Ok, multi-tasking is hard to eliminate. After all, you need to document the eye exam. However, constantly clicking the mouse, typing results, or turning your back from the patient to use the computer can get distracting for both you and your patient.

How do you overcome this? It’s surprisingly easy.

Using a modern, cloud-based EHR and practice management software with clinical decision support, digital connectivity to connect to pre-testing solutions, or voice recording capabilities make it easier than ever to record the information you need without losing focus on the patient.

Using Complex Language

The way you talk to your peers in the medical community should be different from the way you communicate with your patients. Using complex language makes it difficult to connect with your patients, which can decrease trust.

When communicating with your patients, use clear and straightforward dialog to avoid confusion. As you diagnose serious conditions, use diagnosis-based patient education material to help facilitate the discussion and remind the patient that they can access the material securely at home using their patient portal.

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Editor's Note: This post was originally published on February 2017. It has been updated for relevance and richness of content in October 2019.

Tags: Customer Service

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