Patients definitely love their doctors, but it’s not unconditional love. When the relationship is on, they perceive you as brainy and empathic with the ability to leap small hospitals in a single bound.
But patients need and want to believe that their doctors and the results from their tests are infallible. And when they get news they don’t want to hear, things can get ugly fast. Granted, this is a subset of patients–The same ones that will write a bad review on Google if they have to wait 15 minutes for an appointment.
The key to healing this trust is a true doctor-patient relationship. And yet, our medical system mitigates against it. Churning through 30-plus patients a day doesn’t leave you much time for conversation about the context surrounding their condition.
Visiting the doctor these days is like running the gauntlet, starting with medical forms, unavoidable waiting, and testing, poking and prodding by assistants. Any of these can trigger any negative underlying emotions that some patients have about doctors.
There are no easy solutions. One way to show that you’re not aloof and infallible is to admit mistakes and apologize; it shows that doctors are human just like everyone else.
Breaking down obstacles to patient relationships is still worth the time for better clinical outcomes, and a healthier practice.
You didnâ€™t grit it through a decade or more of training to get mired in accounting. We get it. But dealing head-on with the profitability (or lack thereof) of your practice may seriously affect your professional sense of wellbeing. Altruism only puts food on the table for so long.
A good place to start is with yourself. Are you fairly compensated compared to other ophthalmologists? Check out these salary surveys. Are you within an acceptable range, or are you drifting to the lower end of the scale? Why? Are you plowing too much of your salary back into the practice? Are you staffed correctly? What part of your business is bleeding red ink?
This may sound counterintuitive or selfish, but you need to pay yourself first. Thatâ€™s how successful entrepreneurs do it. And like it or not, youâ€™re a member of the â€śEâ€ť club.
What part of your business is bleeding red ink?
Itâ€™s doubtful that you have the time to immerse yourself in the intricacies of a profit and loss statement. Thatâ€™s why accountants were created. A good one can determine if you are within industry ratios for expenses and revenues, and group your services into lines, like Cataract and LASIK surgery. Youâ€™ll have the information you need to direct your marketing for the best return, and to allocate your time to the most profitable parts of your practice. This helps you along by giving you data to inform decisions.
Staffing is the biggest expense of most ophthalmology practices, so work with your accountant to assess productivity. What is the role of every employee in contributing to profitability? At the very least, youâ€™ll gain insight into the types of employees who can grow your practice. You can be a compassionate and altruistic doctor and still enjoy the financial rewards of your work. So, if you donâ€™t have an accountant, you have time right now to hire one.
Everything you want in a perimeter available in one streamlined device, Haag-Streitâ€™s Octopus 900 gives you full field static and kinetic perimetry, 100 % fixation control, easy-to-read analysis software and easy integration into your practice workflow.
Whatever your perimeter needs, Bell can help you find the solution thatâ€™s perfect for you and your practice. Call us at 800.255.5929 or email us to learn more!
Ah, summer, when thoughts turn to time off, beaches, margaritas and oyster shooters. But an ouchy sunburn, an unexpected food allergy or worse can turn your hard-earned vacation into a less than wonderful experience. But donâ€™t worry, this is the 21st century. Thereâ€™s health tech available to ensure your vacation goes off without a hitch.
Spending some time on the shore or by the pool? Aquatic Safety Concepts iSwimband wearables are worn on the wrist and come with a free companion app that will sound an alarm on your chosen device after being submerged for 20 seconds. Perfect for anyone who might not be the strongest swimmer on the boardwalk. And of course, this doesnâ€™t replace your vigilant supervision.
Protect your skin from sunburn with wearable patches like these from Lâ€™OrĂ©al. Theyâ€™ll monitor the amount of UV you are absorbing and let you know when itâ€™s time to get out of the sun. Sorry, kids, it looks like it might be time to head inside and take a nap!
Between the rum-based drinks and the sun, itâ€™s easy to get dehydrated while vacationing. Make sure youâ€™re getting all the H2O you need with the LVL, a hydration wristband that measures hydration, heart rate, and activity. It alerts you to how much fluid you need and what type of performance boost you can expect by using an infrared light to measure water. Or you could just make sure you have one of those handy-dandy reusable water bottles with you at all times.
Most vacations mean taking a break from the usual diet, as well. If youâ€™re trying to stay gluten-free, the Nima gluten-sensor can tell you if your food contains gluten within a couple of minutes
If youâ€™ve been stricken with a weird insect bite or unexplained rash, check out tele-dermatology services like FirstDerm, SkinMDnow, and iDoc24 which connect patients to a dermatologist online for consultation within a short period of time. Usually, people can load up their photos of the affected area on a specific platform, and the dermatologists give advice based on it.
And if the an emergency does happen, be prepared with the Welloh medical app that helps you locate an urgent care, pharmacy or hospital within 30 miles of wherever you are.
Look around at everyoneâ€™s wrists. Fitbits, Apple watches and hosts of other activity monitors have replaced bling-y wristwatches and bracelets. These little data-gatherers are monitoring and collecting data every minute of the day, from steps walked, to hours slept. And with every new generation of device, the list of health data they can collect gets longer, including heart rate, blood pressure and more.
SUBHEAD: How will all this personal data be distributed and protected?
Some of these devices could even provide patient data to doctors, leading to cheaper, more efficient care. But that will take separating useful and accurate devices and data from superfluous ones. The clinical accuracy and privacy of many devices are still unproven. Unlike medical devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, there’s no approval process requiring the makers of consumer electronics designed for “personal tracking” to meet a medical-grade quality standard.
Another concern is patient privacy. How will all this personal data be distributed and protected? The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides protection for data collected through FDA-approved medical devices but doesn’t say anything about safeguarding information from consumer health trackers. Without privacy and security provisions for data collected through consumer electronics, companies are free to profit from the data.
These devices will only become more sophisticated as the technology develops and itâ€™s likely they will be integrated into most everyone’s health care in the not-too-distant future. But reliability, security, and privacy will have to be factored into the adoption in order to have the best possible impact.
Recent research, including a study published in the Journal of Glaucoma, is exploring the connection between dental hygiene and glaucoma. Evidence suggests that excess bacteria in the mouth could be a catalyst for the development of open-angle glaucoma and that maintaining good oral health could reduce the risk.
In addition to glaucoma, cataracts have also been linked with oral health. Toxic elements in mercury fillings have been found to cause the formation of cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, iritis, color-vision issues, and other eye conditions.
The body is a system and scientists are still working out how various microbiomes in that system can affect the body as a whole. So while you may not want to start passing out toothbrushes to patients at every visit like the dentist, information about how oral hygiene might affect their eye health could prove valuable.