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VIEWPOINT

IT’S ALL ABOUT CARE

IS IT MEDICAL CARE OR VISION CARE? THE ANSWER IS “YES”

THE SURGEON, writer and public health researcher Atul Gawande, M.D., recently discussed the value of familiarity between patients and their primary care physicians. In The New Yorker article, “The Heroism of Incremental Care,” Dr. Gawande writes, “Studies have established that having a regular source of medical care, from a doctor who knows you, has a powerful effect on your willingness to seek care for severe symptoms.”

Studies have also shown that failures in the doctor-patient relationship can lead to a greater risk of malpractice suits. As medical care is the theme of this month’s issue of OM, it’s helpful to keep in mind the importance of nurturing patient relationships in the delivery of care.

NO NEED TO SEPARATE CARE

While some might perceive the delivery of medical care by optometry as separate from vision care, Chief Optometric Editor Scot Morris, O.D., urges optometrists to “stop segregating.” In this month’s “O.D. to O.D.” column (p.2), he writes, “People! It’s all medical care!”

John Rumpakis, O.D., agrees it’s time to stop treating medical and vision care as separate entities. In “Coding Strategy” (p.49), he also identifies trends that point to potential for growth in medical services.

To help take advantage of these trends, this month’s OM presents content on the management of the dry eye (pps. 22, 34 and 40), allergy (p.16) and glaucoma (p.36). In addition, the issue covers premium IOLs, (p.28), anti-VEGF drugs (p.30), lab tests (p.38), blue light protection (p.42), and starting out in medical eye care (p.53). For tips on communication, a foundation of any relationship, see “Read the Signals” (p.43) and “Yes, We Take Care of the Red” (p.52).

Turning to practice management, this month’s offerings include practice acquisition (p.24), adding an associate (p.47) and staff development (p.50). Of course, our medical content also contains a good measure of management information. That’s because we’d prefer not to look at practice management, medical care and vision care as mutually exclusive. After all, they are all a part of your practice. OM