• 5 Easy Ways to Use EyeSmart in Your Practice

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    Whether you are new to practice or several years in, your patients need access to eye health information that they can trust. The Academy’s EyeSmart® program provides just that, with thousands of pages about diseases and conditions, features like Find an Ophthalmologist and Ask an Ophthalmologist as well as Spanish translations in the OjosSanos section.

    Here are five ways you and your patients can get the most out of these resources.

    1. Use Promotional Materials for Eye Health Observances

    Each month, the Academy focuses its public education efforts on one or more topics, such as Fireworks Eye Safety Month or Healthy Vision Month.

    To help you support these campaigns and spread awareness in your community, EyeSmart has prepared customizable template communication materials. These include press releases, newsletters, blog articles, social media posts and more.

    2. Link Your Own Website to EyeSmart

    With the use of a text link — or web button — you can connect your own personal or practice website to any EyeSmart page on the Academy website.

    You might be asking yourself: Isn’t sending patients off my website a bad idea? According to the Seattle-based marketing firm Moz, these concerns are largely unproven. Linking is not only a common practice, it’s also an easy way to make your site a more valuable and relevant resource, with little work on your part.

    Here are a few examples:

    3. Download and Print Free Posters

    EyeSmart offers a number of free and downloadable patient education posters for your office, practice or workplace.

    These materials highlight risk factors for specific eye diseases and conditions as well as the importance of wearing proper eye protection during sports and other activities.

    You can download posters in both English and Spanish. The Academy Store also offers printed versions of most English posters.

    4. Embed EyeSmart Videos on Your Website

    EyeSmart has a large collection of videos available in both English and Spanish that you can add to your website using the embed code on each video’s YouTube page.

    Popular videos include “Contact Lenses: No Prescription, No Way,” “How Do I Treat a Broken Blood Vessel in My Eye?” and “How Do I Get Rid of Floaters?

    To see how one retina physician uses videos in his own practice — and for tips on how you can follow suit — check out EyeNet’s “Patient Education in a YouTube World.”

    5. Follow EyeSmart on Social Media

    Be sure to share EyeSmart’s Facebook and Twitter posts with your own followers. This is the quickest and easiest way to connect your patients and colleagues with all of the eye health information that the Academy offers.

    “I ‘retweet’ and ‘like’ a lot of EyeSmart posts as a way to educate my followers, friends and family about eye care,” said Purnima S. Patel, MD, chair of the Academy’s YO Committee. “The graphics in posts like the cataract vision simulator are very easy to understand and really help get the message across.”

    If you need any assistance or have any additional questions about getting the most out of EyeSmart, email eyesmart@aao.org.

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    About the author: Mike Mott is a former assistant editor for EyeNet Magazine and contributing writer for YO Info.