Reviews Supplements ECR Vault March 2014 : Page 1

THE NEXT by Burt W. Dubow, OD, FAAO • IN THE UNITED STATES , as many as 11 million people have some form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and that num-ber is expected to double to nearly 22 million by 2050. 1 The complexity of this disease makes it necessary for eye-care professionals to embrace emerging assessment tools and tests to truly benefit our patients now and in the future. In my office, we deal with a variety of patients, and we do the best we can for them. We care a lot about our patients and we try to do everything we can to preserve their vision for their lifetime. I have been in practice now for 39 years, and I have always seen patients with macular degeneration. I’ve followed the literature, listened to lectures by experts and have done the best I could, but I always felt helpless and hopeless; like there was nothing I could really do for those patients. In years past, we were led to believe that there was nothing that patients could do to reduce their risk of macu-lar degeneration, other than possibly supplementation. Unfortunately, we didn’t know what supplements to rec-ommend, why to recommend them, when to recommend them or even how to track it all. We also didn’t know the effect of diet, but thanks to great research, we now understand where risk comes from better than we used to and we understand what we can do better to rebuild or preserve the macular pigment (e.g., proper diet, sun protection, blue light protection, not smoking). We also understand the pro-advertorial WAVE IN AMD CARE gression from dry AMD to wet AMD better, and we have the great technol-ogy that’s available now to track mac-ulas that are at higher risk and catch any change before it becomes disas-trous, and to save that first eye and not let it go blind. So, there has been a confluence of great science, research, supplements and technology to catch progression and manage it better. And when this protocol-driven software system (AMD iManager, powered by ECR Vault) came along, it really offered the private practice optometrist a great opportunity to do better. Any average optometrist can grasp this concept of patient-focused, patient-oriented care to help them do better at preserving their vision for their lifetime. However, how to it is to adopt this great assessment tool by explaining how I did it in my own practice. AMD iMANAGER AMD iManager is the easiest and most well-developed program to drop into a private optometry practice and have it work, not only to connect the practice to patients in a medical way, but also to give the practice the anchor from the medical perspective that it needs to remain viable. You need to have a blueprint to fol-low, and the process gives you that blueprint. Once you have that, you can customize it for your own prac-tice. When I decided to start using AMD iManager in my practice, the first thing I did was sit down with my key staff people and review what I learned about the system. I shared the training I had gone through, the manual, the statistics, and I explained that I thought it was a great idea for our patients and our practice. I also made it clear that I needed their help if we were going to implement it, and luckily, they were all on board because they got it. And they quickly became as passionate about it as me. So, as a team—and that’s the key— we worked hard for about seven or eight months until we became effi-cient with it in our practice. Staff involvement is really critical for optometry. When I first started prac-ticing, staff didn’t do much more than fit glasses, but now, optometry staffers are trained professionals with a career, With AMD iManager, you can give patients choices that they didn’t have before— plus an opportunity to be involved in their own eye health care. Between 53% and 65% of patients who convert from dry to wet age-related macular degeneration lose legal vision in the first eye. AMD iManager provides a single source for manag-ing patients at risk through identification, education, diagnosis and treatment. do it—and do it effectively—is key, especially in the current health-care system that is more and more focused on increasing efficiency and spending less time with patients. In the follow-ing pages, I’ll show you just how easy Sponsored by REVIEW OF OPTOMETRY MARCH 2014 1

Next Page

Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here