With 2017 soon drawing to a close, it’s only natural to start thinking about things we could do differently—or better—in 2018. And, as the grains in the hourglass dwindle, our thoughts turn to what might be our most valuable resource: time—specifically how much time we have and what we intend to do with it.
In this month’s issue of Review, the concept of time—in particular, how you can make the most of it in your practice—is the common thread that runs through our articles.
In Associate Editor Liam Jordan’s feature on the lost art of patient communication, almost every expert on the subject, physician and practice-management guru alike, emphasizes that it’s not just the amount of time with a patient that matters, but what you and your staff do with the time you have with each person. Quality trumps quantity: Explaining every detail of the eye is less-effective than pinpointing a patient’s concerns and addressing them fully, yet efficiently.
Then, in Senior Associate Editor Kristine Brennan’s article on navigating the murky waters of disability insurance, the specter of time hangs over the entire discussion, since the concept of such insurance acknowledges that today might be your last one in practice. Make the most of it. In addition, if the unthinkable happens and you find yourself unable to work, time again emerges as a key factor: How long will you be out of the game and will your policy cover you during that time?
Finally, Senior Editor Christopher Kent sits down with glaucoma experts and parses out the features of visual field and optical coherence tomography instruments to help you make the most of them when tracking the progression of the disease.
In the article, Duke University professor Felipe A. Medeiros, MD, PhD, highlights how important it is that ophthalmologists make the most of the time they spend with their glaucoma patients, because the number of visits is almost always limited. In the real world, constant follow-up often isn’t possible, even though it might hasten the detection of progression. “It’s important to remember that having a patient come in three or four times a year for testing might be a significant burden for [him],” Dr. Medeiros says. “That has to be balanced against the need to detect progression.” In effect, ophthalmologists are exhorted to get the most accurate, artifact-free imaging and visual field tests they can—and then study them. Make those precious few follow-up visits count.
This Editor’s Page deals with the idea of maximizing your time at work, but there’s a whole other side of the discussion that addresses how to make the most of life’s moments with spouses, family and friends.
To tackle that question, though, I’m going to need some more time.
Happy holidays from everyone at Review!
—Walt Bethke, Editor in Chief