What’s hidden in this issue?


What's Hidden In This Issue?

OM's editorial sleuths uncover valuable pearls for your practice.

Jim Thomas

Recently, I started driving with less of a lead foot. It's a sign I'm getting old, say friends. My wife thinks I'm setting an example for the kids. The kids think I'm being careful, as the car is somewhat new (and I'm getting old). My mother assumes that I need an updated eyewear prescription because, she tells me, her son is getting old.

To keep the peace, I smile and ask for a glass of prune juice. But the explanation for my driving is this: There's a gauge on the dashboard of the new car that displays my miles per gallon. It's like a game in which the object is to get the MPGs as high as possible. It replaces the old game, "Push the Speedometer," and it's far more rewarding. The gauge shows the savings that correspond to my easing up on the accelerator. These savings are no longer hidden.

Hidden treasure

That ability to find valuable tools and information that are often hidden is a recurring theme in this issue. For example:

► In our cover feature on comanaging glaucoma, beginning on features, author Charles Aldridge, O.D., illustrates through case studies, the need to look beyond a single set of measurements or assumptions before deciding whether to refer a patient to a glaucoma specialist.
► Dry eye disease often confounds clinicians, as patients may present with this complaint, but show no signs of the condition. A possible explanation could be non-obvious mebomian gland dysfuntion — that is, MGD that exists in the absence of infection and/or inflammation of the lids or glands, as Drs. Caroline A. Blackie and Donald R. Korb explain in their article.
► Our feature on how to prevent theft and embezzlement reveals the reason why embezzlers are successful: The devil (or thief) is in the details, which are often hidden from the practice owner.
► Often, uncovering information requires a massive effort. For example, to truly understand your practice's costs per patient, it would require you to follow staff and patients with a stopwatch, and then perform numerous calculations. And while it may sound incredible, that's exactly what Scot Morris, O.D., did to create the foundation of his report, "The Real Cost of Doing Business". His findings may surprise even those who keep meticulous financial records.

Coming full circle, I invite you to share your comments with us (e-mail me at We rely on your input to continue uncovering hidden pearls that benefit all OM readers. OM