Re-Envisioning Eye Care

10 Aug 2004|Steve Diller

I had the dubious pleasure of some laser eye surgery last week. The design of the experience of eye enhancement has undoubtedly come a long way in the last few years.

The Nob Hill boutique I went to, plush in a mid-century style, seems designed to simultaneously create feelings of comfort and trust. That’s less easy than it seems. After all, comfort and technological sophistication often appear to be near-opposites, with tech’s focus on dymamism, and comfort’s cushier, slower style.

The curvacious public spaces, together with brightish colors and natural materials, manage to reconcile the two emotional needs pretty well. The doctors and staff reinforce the whole thing by spending more time with a patient than one can ever hope to expect at the their “primary care physician.”

One aspect of the process disrupts this effective approach- one can sit in the waiting area and watch surgery on the TV screen in real time. This isn’t an issue for the person undergoing the procedure, but I can tell you, if your significant other is sitting there waiting for you, watching your eye being worked on doesn’t exactly reassure them. While the process is almost ideal for the patient, for the person who’s going to take you home, it can be pretty tough to take.

It may be too much to ask doctors to think about the experience of non-patients (just focusing on patient experience seems like a huge advance), but re-envisioning the experience to include everyone who’s involved, seeing them as being served as well, can only help.

prev next