By providing localized heat therapy, in conjunction with manual expression, the TearCare System has proven to significantly reduce the symptoms of dry eye disease caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)
. Implementing TearCare into your practice provides another powerful tool in the fight against evaporative dry eye disease. Follow these steps to ensure success.
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1. Assess your practice’s needs.
It is important to have a clear idea of how your practice will generate patients and which patients you plan to treat with TearCare before bringing in the technology. However, it is not only beneficial to assess your current patient volume and demand but to evaluate your current dry eye practice
overall, including criteria and modes of testing.
Start with these questions:
- At present, does every patient fill out a dry questionnaire?
- Does your practice use the ASCRS algorithm to identify those patients that might benefit?
- Is testing on all preoperative refractive and cataract patients standard?
- What tests does your practice currently administer (staining, tear osmolarity, meibography, InflammaDry)?
- Do you have a dedicated dry eye schedule?
- If not, would the practice benefit from a set dry eye clinic?
Answering these questions will enable you to be intentional and strategic when implementing the TearCare System
2. Deputize your team and allow them to create ownership.
Your team members are often the first point of contact for patients and will play a pivotal role in the success of a new treatment
. In many instances, they will implement the dry eye questionnaires/tests and help you perform the procedure. Therefore, it is critical before the rollout to educate your staff on the technology’s role within the treatment regimen and how it will improve patient outcomes.
Educate them on dry eye disease, meibomian gland dysfunction, the impact of both on overall ocular surface health, plus the significance of this health as it relates to refractive and refractive cataract surgeries. Galvanize your team
around this treatment by giving them a deeper understanding of the value of an optimized ocular surface.
Also, allow your staff to take ownership of the procedure and create the best possible patient experience. Encourage them to design a comfortable space that is creatively equipped with things like aromatherapy or relaxing music. If you do not have a designated physical space, this can be done with a mobile cart that houses the TearCare unit.
3. Take time to educate your patients.
In addition to educating your team, set aside time to educate your patient
on evaporative eye disease and how enhancing meibomian gland function will alleviate symptoms and boost their ocular health. Explain how an unstable tear film can lead to their fluctuating vision. The deeper the understanding of how advantageous the service can be, the more likely they are to be eager to participate in the treatment.
And, as a picture speaks a thousand words, use images/video whenever possible to show
them the difference between normal and abnormal meibomian glands
and where they fall in the spectrum. Utilize TearCare's unique ability to be performed at the slit lamp by taking slit lamp photos of the patient’s eyelids before and after treatment, then presenting them for comparison. Filming a video of the actual expression process is also an incredible method for offering positive reinforcement. Visual proof coupled with the abatement of aggravating symptoms will instill a sense of trust in the patient, which leads to practice loyalty.
4. Follow up on the results.
In order to gain objective findings on the success of the procedure, schedule a follow-up visit with the patient within a few weeks of the initial treatment. In addition to taking a history to reassess symptoms and appraise subjective improvement from their perspective, perform another round of dry eye testing to document improvement. Again, utilize images (meibography
, topography, slit lamp photography) to demonstrate progress.
As a practice, track and keep your own data on results to share with staff, colleagues, and patients. Collect and keep detailed patient cases for educational purposes.
5. Take a multitactical approach.
Dry eye disease
is multifactorial and must be treated as such. It is essential to focus on each of the components of dry eye disease, including tear quality, tear volume, and ocular surface inflammation.
To gain the best overall results, use a three-pronged approach. TearCare does an excellent job of addressing MGD by relieving obstruction to bolster tear quality and restore the normal lipid layer. However, it is also imperative to increase tear volume and decrease inflammation. So, along with TearCare, consider utilizing temporary collagen punctal plugs. To combat inflammation, prescribe an anti-inflammatory like LOTEMAX SM.
In general, use all of the treatments at your disposal and adjust accordingly until you achieve the desired results. TearCare, used in tandem with other treatment strategies, will yield the best outcomes.
In closing, by implementing the TearCare System, you can empower your practice to better treat meibomian gland dysfunction
leading to more positive patient outcomes. Following the guidelines above will make the addition of TearCare a seamless and successful one.