You’ve seen it before, and chances are you’ll see it again soon. As the end of year draws near, patients who are looking to use up their flexible spending and other available healthcare fund dollars start booking appointments for refractive and cataract surgeries. Unfortunately, some of them will be disappointed to learn that they need an ocular surface tune-up, which may cause them to miss their fiscal deadlines. But while you probably won’t be able to save every last-minute consult from disappointment, you can likely help improve most patients’ chances of being ready for measurements as well as the likelihood that they’ll be more comfortable post-op. Whether you’re working in an optometric practice or a surgical center, you can help prepare patients who express an interest in surgery—beginning the moment they call your practice to make an appointment.
Unless you’re in the extreme minority of eye care providers offering same day surgical consultations, chances are there will be days—if not weeks—between the time that patients first call the office and their initial appointment. Use that time to help patients get ready. Your office staff can email a list of ocular hygiene products, or a hygiene kit, that patients can start using right away to increase the chances that they won’t experience long lag times before surgical measurements can be collected.
Another common scenario is the patient who comes for their regular comprehensive eye exam and suddenly decides that they’re ready for that cataract surgery you’ve been nudging them toward for the past decade. Chances are you’re not going to collect measurements the same day, so why not send these patients home with a pre surgical prep kit, containing at-home products that will help clean up their lids and optimize the ocular surface.