Sightpath Medical’s technologists have been all across the country, so we’ve seen firsthand some of the common issues facing cataract surgeons. We spoke to Bill Baker, Mobile Operations Manager, and Phil Kraling, Senior Director of Operations, East Region, to determine the top five problems plaguing cataract surgeons in 2018.
Did your issues make the cut?
1. They need specific equipment
Surgeons can’t always get the equipment they want, whether due to bureaucratic red tape, cost concerns, or any other number of reasons.
“As a general rule, ophthalmologists want the best technology for their patients,” explained Kraling. “But they need a good compromise with cost-effectiveness and quality of care.”
Sightpath can provide that compromise. We help ophthalmologists access the latest and greatest equipment at a fraction of a price.
Sometimes, surgeons have exactly the equipment they need at their home facility – but not elsewhere. Thankfully, Sightpath can help with that, too.
“We speak to our surgeons to figure out what kinds of supplies they need and which ones they already have,” said Baker. “We also observe the doctor at their home site so that we can match up exactly what they’re using elsewhere.”
And when surgeons need to use different equipment, we make sure to keep things as consistent as possible.
“With the newer (phacoemulsification) machines, settings are transferrable,” says Baker. “All our technologists have their doctors’ settings backed up on a thumb drive. That way, should a different technician cover cases and need to bring in a different Phaco machine, they can be sure their equipment is as consistent as possible from one site to another.
2. They want more efficient turnover times
Most surgeons want their OR to be run as efficiently as possible. Problems with patient turnover, however, keep them from meeting their goals.
“Since we work with cataract surgeons all over the country, we know what tends to work regarding turnover efficiency,” said Baker. “When we observe case days, we can say ‘hey, have you considered this? Have you tried this?’”
Sightpath’s certified surgical technologists also help improve efficiency.
“They help with patient position, take out the trash, open up the instrument packs… anything that’ll help move the case day along,” said Baker.
3. They want to do more cases
Do you ever dream about increasing your patient volume? You’re not alone.
“Sometimes, doctors come to us and wonder why the surgeons down the street are seeing more patients than them,” said Baker.
Sightpath offer a marketing program, Sightpath Creative, that is specifically designed to help ophthalmologists see more patients.
If speed is an issue – in other words, if surgeons aren’t doing more cases because they don’t have time – we’ll help them with their turnover efficiency.
4. Their staff is inconsistent
Doctors who work at a hospital might find themselves working with different people every day. If you’re working with someone who isn’t familiar with your methods, your case day might not go as smoothly as you’d like.
“Since cataract surgery follows pretty much the same steps every time, I’ve found that surgeons like having a consistent staff,” said Baker.
With Sightpath, you always know who you’ll be working with each day. And you know they’ll have experience with eyes.
“When surgeons work with us, they don’t need to lose sleep wondering whether their staff members can troubleshoot a phaco,” said Kraling. “And they don’t need to worry about working with someone who doesn’t regularly do ophthalmology.”
5. They’ve got too many things to do
On case day, multiple things can go wrong that have nothing to do with the surgery itself. For instance, you might realize that you’re missing certain IOLs, or that your phaco requires maintenance.
“In my experience, surgeons want to take care of patients and do their cases,” said Kraling. “They don’t want to have to worry about inventory concerns, maintenance problems or tech consistency.”
Thanks to Sightpath, our surgeons can focus on what they do best: treating their patients. We take care of maintenance costs, inventory management, and any other issues that might pop up during case day.