Article Date: 9/1/2001

INSTRUMENTAL STRATEGIES
Analyzing Visual Fields
Yesterday's perimeter is . . . yesterday's. Here's what's new in the field.
BY GREGG OSSIP, O.D.

The concept of perimetry is certainly not new. In the past, our eyes and those of our patients would glaze over at the prospect of performing a visual fields test. So why am I writing about it in a new technology column? Because just as our glaucoma diagnosis and treatment legislation has advanced the way we practice, the technology of perimetry has advanced as well.

Ensemble software, which will interface with this month's featured instrument, the FDT, in the future.

Assisted patient education

Now, Zeiss Humphrey takes visual field analysis a step further with its new software program, Ensemble. With it, you can educate your patients about their visual field defects in the exam room.

The Ensemble program is a clinical analysis and communication software package that allows you to analyze patient data from many types of Zeiss Humphrey equipment, including topographers, lens analyzers, autorefractors and autokeratometers. Ensemble produces compound analyses and a bigger picture of patient test results.

Testing visual fields

Roughly 67 million people worldwide have glaucoma -- and half of them don't even know it. A simple 30-second screening test on the Zeiss Humphrey Frequency Doubling Technology (FDT) Visual Field Instrument can reveal glaucomatous field loss quickly and accurately.

No set up is required, so I can screen every patient -- even the young and the elderly. We include the cost in our exam fee, but other practitioners charge a separate fee of $5 to $15. Either way, the cost of not having it is much higher!

 

What You Need to Know

 

Typical reimbursement rate: varies according to insurance, location, provider fee schedule, etc.

Typical reimbursement frequency: minimum once or twice per year depending on patient condition and physician protocol

CPT codes: 92083 for threshold testing; 92082 for screening, multi-stimulus presentation; 92081 for screening, single presentation

Dimensions: 19 lbs; 10"x19"x17"

Warranty and service policy: 1-year warranty

Cost: $6,950

Company contacts: (877) 486-7473; www.humphrey.com

FDT benefits

The FDT performs supra-threshold screening in only 45 seconds, and full threshold testing in under 4 minutes. With three-touch operation, no special training is necessary. The FDT is compact enough to fit anywhere in your practice, even in pre-testing areas. And, it automatically occludes the untreated eye and conducts the test in normal room lighting.

Products for a better practice

If you're thinking that the perimeter you bought years ago will hold out for a few more years, think again. Perimetry isn't going away. Ensemble allows you to educate your patients in the exam room and hopefully increase compliance with your treatment plan. The FDT makes performing visual field analysis much easier. So what are you waiting for? Check out these two products.

DR. OSSIP IS IN GROUP PRACTICE IN INDIANAPOLIS. HE'S LECTURED EXTENSIVELY AND HAS WRITTEN NUMEROUS ARTICLES ON PRACTICE MANAGEMENT. YOU CAN REACH HIM BY E-MAIL AT GOSSIP2020@AOL.COM.


Optometric Management, Issue: September 2001