Article

VIEWPOINT

PRACTICAL MEDICAL CARE

The PMO series again explores how to expand the medical side of the practice

This issue of Optometric Management marks the start of the second year of our “Practicing Medical Optometry” (PMO) series. One overriding theme echoed throughout the series is the opportunity to serve a growing patient base. Specifically, the number of people who have AMD, our May PMO theme, is expected to increase to 22 million by 2050 in the United States. From 2010 to 2050, the number of people in the U.S. with cataracts (October’s PMO theme) is projected to double to about 50 million. Rates of dry eye disease (July’s PMO) are also expected to increase, driven by factors such as an aging population and a reduced blink rate due to screen use.

A CLOSER LOOK AT GLAUCOMA

In the introduction to this month’s PMO section on glaucoma, Austin R. Lifferth, O.D., F.A.A.O., cites that the estimate of those with this disease, age 40 to 80, rises worldwide to 111.8 million in 2040 (see p.18). To serve these patients and your practice, OM offers a plan, beginning with “O.D. to O.D.” (p.2) where Chief Optometric Editor April Jasper, O.D., F.A.A.O., demonstrates how to use SMART goals to increase glaucoma care.

Shannon L. Steinhäuser, O.D., F.A.A.O., discusses an organized approach to diagnostic equipment in “Integrate Devices Efficiently” (p.20). Dr. Steinhäuser notes, “Advancements in early detection should increase our confidence in identifying and monitoring patients.”

To treat patients whose glaucoma continues to progress, the article “Progressing Glaucoma” (p.22), by Michael J. Cymbor, O.D., shares steps for determining whether to add a second drop or refer. “Referring does not necessarily need to be the default,” Dr. Cymbor writes.

Katie Gilbert-Spear, O.D., J.D., M.P.H., notes that every activity, including glaucoma care, involves risk. In “Glaucoma’s Legal Pressures” (p.28), Dr. Spear discusses five protocols to help minimize the risk of being sued “while providing stellar care” to glaucoma patients.

Beyond the PMO section, Justin Schweitzer, O.D., F.A.A.O., discusses how to co-manage patients who undergo minimally invasive glaucoma surgery in this month’s “Glaucoma” column (p.40).

A final note: Each author makes a strong case for expanding medical services related to glaucoma care, which, Dr. Jasper, notes, “can have life-changing results for those patients and their families.” OM