Lens replacement practices in ‘new normal’

Howard Larkin

Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2020

Arthur Cummings MD, FRCS

Addressing patients’ twin needs for personalised eye care and safety can improve performance of a lens replacement practice in the age of coronavirus and beyond, Arthur Cummings MD, FRCS, Dublin, Ireland, said in an ESCRS Education Forum. He reviewed key improvements his practice has adopted and plans.

Following a checklist, the patient journey begins with a short phone call at which technicians gather electronic contact information. “It frees up the telephone because all you are getting is patients’ email,” Dr Cummings said.

Emailed materials include explanations of dry eye, premium IOL features and how they can address patient expectations and needs, and a video that shows what to expect at the clinic. On the initial telemedicine visit, a technician talks with patients about their needs and explains and answers questions on the same topics.

Dr Cummings said the process has greatly improved patient understanding. It also helps patients bond with technicians. “When they come in they want to see the same person.”

He also plans to start implementing same-day bilateral cataract surgery, which now may be safer than two separate surgeries, requiring two separate visits. However, he needs to work out supply chain issues with his hospital to ensure the two procedures share no common potential infection source.

Other presenters were Thomas Kohnen MD, PhD, Frankfurt, Germany, who reviewed recent trends from ESCRS delegate surveys; Francesco Carones MD, Milan, Italy, who discussed effective patient conversations; and Detlev Breyer MD, Düsseldorf, Germany, who covered patient education on refractive IOLs in today’s new normal. The symposium was supported by an independent educational grant from Alcon (Gold) and BVI (Bronze).