‘Best practices’ is a term that came into vogue in the 1970s as manufacturers actively sought procedures to improve performance while curtailing costs. The concept itself dates further back, but its application to all professions is now nearly universal. In other words, every industry and business has now adopted ‘best practices’ to guide the delivery of services and goods. ‘Best practices’ is an accepted term for actions that provide superior results.
The most important thing to note about best practices in optometry is these guidelines are not left up to each physician. There is a professional organization, the American Optometric Association, that creates guidelines for the practicing eye-care doctor and their team of support professionals. Standards are research-based and use the most current scientific evidence for the recommendation of patient diagnosis, treatment and outcomes.
Overall, however, the following best practices should be evident in the offices of the optometrist you choose to visit for your eye care.
Creates a positive and welcoming atmosphere that confirms to the patient you are concerned about their vision and overall comfort.
Model proper patient interaction for the staff at all times. Do not allow any member of the team to treat patients with anything but the utmost care and concern. (In other words, we suggest everyone behave at all times as if someone is videotaping your practice for placement on the internet. This has become more of a norm that most professionals understand.)
The practicing optometrist and staff should be members of related organizations that will allow them to interact with others in their field. This type of networking ensures a broader exposure to current practices and shared knowledge.
Confirm that your optometrist and their staff take part in regular trainings and continuing education coursework. Today it is more important than ever to be a life-long learner. Technology and the information explosion have changed the way that all businesses operate and all professionals conduct themselves. It is just common sense – and best practice – to continue to learn about research and investigations related to the field of vision care.
We here at Sea Island Eyecare invite you to make us your eye care professionals. A visit to our offices will ensure that best practices are in evidence in all aspects of our services. We look forward to serving you.