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Practice Spotlight: Coastal Eye Surgeons

Connecticut-Based Surgeon is Pioneer of Office-Based Cataract and Retina Surgery

Two and a half years ago, Omar Shakir, MD, MBA, and founder of Coastal Eye in Greenwich, Connecticut, made the shift to office-based surgery (OBS).  Dr. Shakir specializes in cataract, retina, and refractive surgery. He recognized early on that OBS was the future of ophthalmology, and he was ahead of the curve. Dr. Shakir and his Practice Executive, Meaghan Shakir, share how their experience with office-based surgery has greatly improved Coastal Eye Surgeons

Working with an ASC Simply Wasn’t Working for Us

I had multiple reasons for making the move to OBS, namely the limitations imposed by the ASC. Working there was limiting the growth of my practice. Surgical time was hard to come by and scheduling was often a nightmare. At the same time, we were experiencing an increase in patient volume, and I was wasting valuable time traveling to and from another facility. I knew there had to be a better way, and I found it with OBS.

“My goal was to take control of the surgical process from beginning to end. I couldn’t do that in an ASC.”

It’s Better for My Practice

With nearly 10,000 patients, one ophthalmologist, two optometrists, and a large staff, my practice needed room to grow, and OBS just made sense. I routinely perform custom vision correction, laser cataract surgery, and floater removal in our surgical suite that accommodates them all. I choose my own surgical team and my own equipment, and I’m not held back by the limitations of an ASC. Instead, my OR is available 24/7, 365 days a year, and it’s right down the hall instead of miles away.

“With OBS, all of our surgical revenue stays within the practice, so I’m able to invest in more cutting-edge equipment and technologies.”

It’s Better for Our Patients

My patients experience less stress and anxiety when their surgery is performed in a place that’s familiar to them by a team they know and trust. I get to know my patients better, so I can tailor my approach to address all of their questions and concerns.

There are no crowded waiting rooms, no waiting to be scheduled, and no surprises when it comes to cost. From initial consultation through post-surgical care, everything’s in one place. And that’s a comforting thought for new and existing patients.

                    “Our patients feel valued, cared for, and supported the minute they step through our doors.”

Practice Executive, Meaghan Shakir, is a Huge Proponent of OBS

I wear many hats here at Coastal Eye Surgeons, including Practice Executive, Surgical Counselor, and Surgical Scrub Technician. Our practice has always been patient-centered, and I’ve seen a huge difference in continuity of care since we made the move to OBS. Patients are less anxious and better informed when surgery is right here in the office. OBS is a safe, convenient, and affordable  choice that’s truly changed the scope of our practice.

“OBS is setting the standard in retina and cataract surgery, and we’ve never looked back.”

We Save So Much Time In So Many Ways

Our patient-centered surgical suite, completed in 2021, is the first of its kind in the area. Since implementation, surgery time has been considerably less than at the hospital or ASC. Recovery time is faster, too, since there’s rarely a need for IV sedation. We’ve eliminated the expense of an anesthesiologist and the added stress of finding one with the shortage we’re experiencing.

Our patients are scheduled quickly, and we work with their schedules. I see more patients daily, and I save travel time to and from the ASC. In short, OBS streamlines the surgical process and I can do it my way without all the paperwork and confusion.

“Our average turnaround time went from 45 minutes in the ASC to 15 minutes in my office. And that means I get to spend more time with my patients outside of surgery.”

Emergencies are Rare with OBS, But They Do Occur

Recently we treated a 47-year-old male patient suffering from retinal scarring and detachment. As a result, his vision was severely impaired. OBS allowed me to pivot quickly and safely, and I was able to perform temporary pupil closure without missing a beat. I couldn’t have done that in an ASC.

And I Couldn’t Have Done It Without iOR

In just 6 months, iOR facilitated a seamless transition to an office-based, state-of-the-art surgical suite. That included everything from space planning to build out and billing assistance. They trained my staff, ordered my equipment, and handled safety and compliance. And they provide day-to-day support for billing, materials management, and general OBS expertise.

“iOR handled it all, start to finish, and that let me focus on my patients and my practice.”

We set out to revolutionize the surgical experience here at Coastal Eye, and in doing so, we transformed both the patient experience and mine. OBS is no longer the future, it’s here now, and it’s here to stay. I’d encourage any ophthalmologist with a growing practice to not just consider it, but to make it happen in their practice.

Find Out More:

It’s never been easier to make the move to OBS. iOR invites you to a consultative feasibility analysis to see how your practice can benefit.

Coastal Eye Surgeons

Greenwich, Connecticut; Fairfield, CT and Westchester, NY counties.


social: @coastaleyesurgeons