Eyeworld Supplements

EW AUG 2020 - Supported by Alcon

This is a supplement to EyeWorld Magazine.

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SUPPLEMENT TO EYEWORLD AUGUST 2020 ASCRS by Vance Thompson, MD Turning the Lights Back On Supported by Alcon Ophthalmology as a medical specialty has been hit hard in the COVID-19 pandemic, and ophthalmic practices have just started to regain their sea legs, figuring out how to steady themselves amid the safety concerns, financial hardships, and other unknowns. The 2020 ASCRS Virtual Annual Meeting, which took place May 16–17, featured a two-part special session, Turning the Lights Back On supported by Alcon, to specifically address the unique challenges and opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic presents to ophthalmology. This resource features key content from this session and additional thoughts from notable physicians. P resbyopia patients, even in this COVID-era environment, want to hear about all of the solutions for implant technol- ogy during cataract surgery. In fact, they seem, in my experience, to be even more interested now. We've been amazed at our practice because since reopening for elective surgery, the adoption rate for pre- mium implants has actually been higher than pre-COVID. People seem eager to invest in themselves and their true desires, so they've been open to premium implants, and refractive surgery has been quite popular. Since the ASCRS Virtual Annual Meeting in May, we've seen a significant return in volume. We're back to about 90% of normal, pre-COVID patient volume, and that hap- pened faster than I predicted. Will it be sustainable? That's what we all wonder. what you can do remotely and explain what you can't. The patient journey at our practice has shifted somewhat. Before the pandemic, infor- mation was mailed to patients prior to cataract consulta- tions. They were encouraged to watch an informational video, which many didn't do ahead of time. Now, in order to even set up a telehealth cataract consult, patients have to watch the video. The technician gathers information from the referring doctor for this telehealth visit, preparing a chart for the doctor as they would have if they had been in the office. If a decision is made for an IOL type during the telehealth visit, patients are reminded that this IOL selection could change on surgery day based on certain factors. With so much happening remotely, by the time we get to the surgery day, we're just double checking the numbers, doing the exam and final counseling, then going into surgery. Enhanced safety measures for in-office and OR visits Bringing back refractive cataract surgery Spacing out or blocking chairs in the waiting room and during counseling is one way to help reduce potential exposure among patients and staff. Source: Vance Thompson, MD, screenshot from the 2020 ASCRS Virtual Annual Meeting continued on page 2 While we haven't changed how we counsel patients or how we present them with premium IOL options, there is no question, some elements of "normal" clinic practice have changed—they had to. In the new "normal," pa- tients are very open to remote telemedicine and consults, enabling the doctor to educate them about cataracts and op- tions using existing education- al resources. Advanced testing and the examination, of course, can't currently be done remotely. Patients just want you to do your best. Explain

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