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Across the Pond | Apr 2017

Across the Pond


Laser Cataract Surgery and Practice Growth

By A. James Khodabakhsh, MD

As a firm believer in the early adoption of new technologies, Dr. Khodabakhsh’s practice was one of the first in the United States to get a LenSx Laser (Alcon) in 2011, followed shortly afterward by a Catalys Precision Laser System (Johnson & Johnson Vision). In his practice now, nearly 50% of his monthly cataract surgical volume is performed as laser-assisted cataract surgery (LACS). A key factor in increasing patients’ acceptance of LACS procedures, he says, is to give patients simple and straightforward choices. The three flat-rate packages that he offers are:

• regular cataract surgery;
• astigmatic correction; and
• presbyopic correction.



Digital Communication

By Steven M. Christiansen, MD

Did you know that more than 85% of millennials own a smartphone? That 18-to-29-year-olds send or receive an average of 88 text messages daily? Or that 30-to-49-year-olds and 50-to-64-year-olds, respectively, send or receive 27 and 11 text messages daily? This all boils down to one thing: that patients across generations are increasingly using smartphones to communicate. According to Dr. Christiansen, one way to break through the clutter of email campaigns is to try text messaging. Whereas only 23% of emails are opened, 98% of text messages are.


Mine Your Own Business

By Cynthia Matossian, MD

In her article, Dr. Matossian provides four examples of companies that offer different types of data-mining services potentially useful to ophthalmologists. Among them is Market Scope, whose market research allows benchmarking of practices’ surgical volumes and conversion rates; Conclusn, which uses data science and analytics to increase conversions to premium IOLs or other cash-pay services; Brevium, which automatically searches every patient’s history nightly to identify who has been lost based on criteria selected by the practice; and Moore Solutions and Eye Care Leaders, which uses sophisticated pivot systems to create customized reports.


Enhanced Consent

By John A. Hovanesian, MD

Informed consent is a process, not a document, Dr. Hovanesian says. People retain information in different ways, he points out. Because verbal communication alone works best for only about one-third of the population and visual cues work best for the other two-thirds, practitioners should consider using several approaches to informed consent. Presenting information in a multimedia format is one way to enhance understanding. Dr. Hovanesian uses MDbackline (MDbackline), an automated, cloud-based system that sends patients emails that link to videos and/or text-based learning materials.