Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Eye Catching: Let's Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs are an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of Ophthalmology Times or UBM Medica.
In this collaborative blog post, learn how building rapport and sharing like-minded philosophies benefits your practice and your patients. Five ophthalmologists share how to make the most of a co-managed relationship for smoother patient handoff, improved preoperative experiences, and better postoperative outcomes.
1. Do what is best for the patient
“The most important aspect of co-management is that both parties collaborate in providing the best possible care for the patient,” said Eric Donnenfeld, MD, who practices with Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island and Connecticut, and is clinical professor of ophthalmology, New York University.
One of the ways this plays out in his practice is making sure patients arrive ready for surgery.
“We have emphasized to our optometric network the importance of managing the ocular surface in patients coming in for cataract and refractive surgery,” he said.
Previously, if patients arrived for a surgical evaluation but their ocular surface was not optimized, clinicians had to defer surgery. Now, the optometric network manages ocular surface disease before referring patients.
“The patient comes in and has already been treated appropriately, whether it be with an immunomodulator, a steroid, omega-3 supplements, or LipiFlow thermal pulsation,” he said. “It is so helpful when the patient comes in for a cataract or LASIK evaluation with the best ocular surface possible.”
Dr. Donnenfeld noted the importance of the optometrist’s recommendations.
“A doctor who has been taking care of that patient for a decade is going to know a lot more about that patient’s personality, history, and vision care experiences than I can learn in a short consultation, so their counsel becomes very important in my decision as to what lens the patient should receive,” he said.