Dr. T'Sani Watson discusses optometrists and surgical care and co-management in this video interview.
When it comes to making referrals, communication, patient education, and having a relationship with the surgeon to whom you are referring to is key.
Even though we are not performing the procedure ourselves, it is critical that optometrists have a marked understanding of the surgical procedure and process, and take an active role in pre and post surgical care when possible.
Any time you refer a patient for surgery - you should take time to explain the procedure and give your patient an idea of what they can expect from an initial visit for consultation to the surgery itself. The more your patient knows what they will likely experience, the better. This builds trust with your patient, and reinforces to them that you fully understand what it is you referred them for and who you referred them to!
Being involved in pre and post operative care is an excellent way to build trust and confidence between you, the patient, and the surgeon.
Optometrists are more capable than ever before to take on a large role in pre and post operative care. Being able to provide pre and post operative care for your patients is an excellent way to ensure they have the best experience, and additionally gives you the opportunity to develop a strong working relationship with your local ophthalmology groups.
When it comes to finding a surgical group to co-manage with, Dr. Watson suggests you visit the surgeons in your area. Call them, ask them if you can come in and introduce yourself. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions, and not only understand if they are a group you want to work with, but gives them an opportunity to become familiar with you and refer patients to you for various services.