Pre COVID-19, most patients undergoing surgery experienced some level of anxiety, ranging from mild unease to severe panic attacks. Now, as practices reopen and surgeries resume, there is increased anxiety with concerns over safety. This health crisis presents an opportunity for physicians to rethink how they can improve surgical practices in the future. How can you better ensure the health and safety of staff and patients while providing the most personalized patient care?
For many ophthalmologists, this rethinking should include the role of office-based surgery (OBS) as an alternative to the hospital or ASC. In a recent article in Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today, Lance Kugler, MD discusses how OBS facilities allow for tighter control of the surgical process from start to finish, including the patient experience, infection control protocols, and schedule density – all important factors during the COVID era.
An OBS setting can provide reassurance to patients as they are in a comfortable environment with a familiar staff. There is also more control over scheduling and flexibility to create space between patients in the office. Alison Tendler, MD explains how she creates a personalized experience where patients are usually unaware of other patients in the practice.
Even with reduced scheduling, there are ways to increase efficiency and workflow. Office-based cataract surgery allows you to cut out an additional visit to an ASC or a hospital making it more efficient for the practice and patient while minimizing exposure. Young Choi, MD explains how he plans to increase conversion rates on premium procedures as people are looking for solutions that make them less dependent and help to simplify life. Bilateral refractive procedures are one way he can increase workflow while following extreme social distancing.
We discussed these topics and more in a recent webinar: Office-Based Surgery: In Current Times & Beyond.