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Automated Tools for Communicating with Patients About Astigmatism

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What is the best way for refractive surgeons to get the astigmatism message across to patients? Cynthia Matossian, M.D., FACS, ABES, founder and chief executive officer of Matossian Eye Associates in Hopewell, NJ, shared best practices during OSN New York 2018. 

Education is vital, explained Dr. Matossian, and good education starts with an adequately-trained staff. Still, educating patients can be challenging. The good news is that communication tools have evolved over the years. Modern communication tools allow the surgeon to “touch” the patient at multiple time-points before, during, and after the visit. Moreover, during the visit you can reach patients with the appropriate message in the reception room, exam room, and during the patient’s discussion with both the surgeon and surgical coordinator.  

The best type of communication tool is automated, allowing for reinforcement, more productive chair time, fewer callbacks, and revenue potential from conversations about premium IOLs. 

Dr. Matossian said she uses MDBackline, a patented, cloud-based, secure software for patients before and after the visit. The program: 

  • Collects information on patient history.
  • Delivers educational material before the first visit.
  • Reminds patients about important events, such as starting drops, or taking out contact lenses.
  • Provides post-surgery feedback.
  • Solicits online reviews from patients.

The most significant benefit of the software is its ability to be a bidirectional educational tool, she explained. It has the capability of automatically connecting with the electronic medical record; is accessible on phones, tablets, and computers; and contacts patients by email with customizable messaging.  

Matossian C.  Communicating with patients about astigmatism correction: Tools for better understanding and outcomes. Talk presented at: OSN New York 2018; September 28-30, 2018; New York.

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