How to get teacher feedback about a child’s vision

Looking after the vision of children is a good way to grow an optometry practice. However, children are often unable to give reliable information about their symptoms; so it’s important to understand the signs of a possible vision problem. Optometrists routinely ask parents what they have noticed, but often some of the best observations will come from the child’s teacher.

The website linked below has a handout that can be given to parents for them to pass along to the teacher. We can then gather more information about how a vision problem is affecting the child’s behaviour and school performance.

TIP: Print the handout and make copies for the consulting room. When a situation arises where a prescription would be given only if warranted by the signs & symptoms, give a form to the parents to pass on to the teacher for them to record their observations. The form is then returned at a follow-up assessment when a more informed decision can then be made about treatment.

Click here to go to the page: Then scroll to >Patient Education

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Click here to view the download.

A survey of new patients by an optometrist

Advertising is expensive, so it’s important to understand what is actually working. If we measure the facts we will know where our new patients are really coming from.

The website in this link includes a download of a short survey for new patients to complete in the waiting room. It only takes one minute for each patient, but the combined results will be very informative. It is also a good idea to repeat the survey over time, to see how the results change when different types of advertising are used.

TIP: Print the A5 survey and make photocopies. Place these on a clipboard and invite patients to give their feedback when they arrive for an appointment. A sample size of 50 completed surveys should give a meaningful result.

Click here to go to the page:  Then scroll to >Forms & Misc

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Click here to view the download directly.

How can an optometrist attract more patients

The most common complaint from optometrists in many countries is that they do not have enough patients. They say that they are trained, equipped and ready, but that their challenge is that they are not busy enough.

The website linked below has a free download that is a practical plan to be implemented by the practice owners and staff. (The worksheet plan is also supported by a separate discussion paper on the same subject, on the same website).

* This plan was originally published in the book What Patients Want

TIP: Print the worksheet plan and discuss it with all practice staff. The results are designed to be measurable, so assign appropriate tasks and then monitor these to the completion of each step.

Click here to go to the page:  Then scroll to >Practice Growth

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Click here to view the A4 download.

How to print a visual acuity chart

It can be very useful to be able to print a Snellen Visual Acuity chart on a standard colour printer. They can be used for home visits for eye tests, school vision screenings, or by GP doctors for use in their rooms.

This website of optometry resources includes downloads for two versions – one on A4 paper for use at 3 metres (10ft – ideal for a local doctor’s consulting room) and a standard 6 metre (20ft) version to be printed on A3 paper.

TIP: Print copies of the 3M version on A4 paper with a colour printer. Then laminate these, or get them laminated at a colour copy centre. Use the finished charts as a handout when you introduce yourself to local doctors (GP’s).

Click here to go to the page:  Then scroll to >Clinical Aids

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Click here to view the A4 download for use at 3M(10ft).