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Subspecialties Cornea / Ocular Surface

No "I" in Dry Eye

When implementing any new technology into an established  practice, the more time spent educating staff prior to roll-out with patients, the greater the chance of success. This same theory applies when it comes to building a successful dry eye practice; the whole team needs to be included in the process.

Setting the stage

Staff members play varying but equally important roles in facilitating the right diagnosis, such as gathering critical information, helping to educate patients about ocular surface disease and the treatment options, paving the way for the doctor to have an efficient consultation, and following through on the physician’s recommendations. We know, for example, that most cataract patients have some form of ocular surface disease (1). But it is highly inefficient for the cataract surgeon to be the first person to discuss this with the patient or begin to investigate the extent to which it will affect their cataract surgery choices and outcomes. Instead, staff should play a key role in proactively gathering the diagnostic information the doctor requires. 

At our practice, we start every workup with a version of the Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED) questionnaire – with additional questions about allergy and autoimmune disease. Any positive results are then built into the patient’s chief complaint and lead to further testing.

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About the Author

Patti Barkey

Chief Executive Officer of Bowden Eye & Associates in Jacksonville, Florida, and the creator of Dry Eye University and co-creator of Dry Eye Access. She is a certified ophthalmic executive and ophthalmic coding specialist.

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