MAR 2021

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

Issue link: https://digital.eyeworld.org/i/1344259

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Page 112 of 118

110 | EYEWORLD | MARCH 2021 P RACTICE MANAGEMENT EyeWorld reached out to ASCRS members and members of the EyeWorld Editorial Board to ask how the pandemic has changed practices a year after the historic shutdown of elective medical procedures. Are there areas of ophthalmology, in general or your practice specifically, that have improved/ gotten better in response to the pandemic? "During the shutdown, our practice rapidly adopted telemedicine, as did many others. We kept elements of telemedicine after reopen- ing. Specifically, our technicians continue to call patients prior to their appointment to take histories, shortening the in-person duration of the actual visit. This benefits patients, who perceive shorter in-office times and reduce their exposure, as well as our practice by reducing our exposure and freeing workup lanes, increasing their effective number. This efficiency boost offsets the extra time spent per patient on COVID-related safety precau- tions. We plan to continue taking tele-his- tories in the future and expect that in the post-vaccine era, our patient throughput will exceed pre-COVID levels." Matt Feng, MD Price Vision Group Indianapolis, Indiana "Wait times and efficiency seeing patients have improved. Patient histories and all prep work is done over the phone prior to the visit. Patients call when they are parked outside the office and are allowed one by one into exam- ination rooms or diagnostic areas. Attention to disinfection has been heightened as well." Nader Iskander, MD San Antonio, Texas "As a resident, I am enjoying virtual lectures, interaction with residents across the coun- try, interaction with faculty at institutions across the country, and a proliferation of free, high-quality online educational content." Patrick Commiskey, MD Resident, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania How has COVID-19 changed your practice? "Since the pandemic started, the one thing that has been improved in our practice is patient satisfaction. Not only have patients greatly appreciated the safety precautions that we have implemented in the office, but they have loved the significantly decreased in-office waiting times since our scheduling templates have been changed dramatically to ensure less crowding in the office." Bennie Jeng, MD Department of Ophthalmology, University of Maryland Baltimore, Maryland "We have enjoyed having fewer family mem- bers accompany patients during their visits. Fewer family means fewer questions, side conversations, and family members slipping in questions about their own eye problems." Kevin Miller, MD Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California "One good side of the pandemic is the edu- cational benefits from online webinars and conferences, which allowed me to attend international [meetings] from home; that was impossible for me from my country because of the costs of traveling and time needed." Dana Sultan, MD Resident, Aleppo University Hospital Aleppo, Syria "LASIK volumes through the roof" Christopher Blanton, MD Inland Eye Institute Colton, California "Refractive surgery is up about 40%. I had the busiest Q4 in my 25-year career." Louis Probst, MD TLC Laser Eye Centers Ann Arbor, Michigan "Oculoplastics and LASIK have dramatically increased by 30–40% during the COVID crisis. I think this has to do with patients working at home and having more ability to get their evaluations and surgery without being 'exam- ined' by their colleagues [or] friends." Jeffrey Whitman, MD Key Whitman Eye Center Dallas, Texas

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