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    Managing the growing burden of glaucoma

    Chicago—The number of patients with glaucoma will rise dramatically in the future because of growth in both the size of the aged population and in demographic groups at high-risk for the disease.

    Ophthalmology, however, is not equipped to handle the increasing demand for services considering workforce projections and current models of care.

    Delivering the Robert N. Shaffer Lecture at AAO 2016, George A. Cioffi, MD, proposed potential solutions and offered some testable hypotheses aimed at addressing the problem of glaucoma population management.

    Related: Managing ocular surface disease in patients with glaucoma

    “There are a lot of people thinking about ways to solve the question of how will we handle the increasing number of patients with glaucoma who will be coming our way, and I think there are some novel ways that can enhance practice efficiency,” said Dr. Cioffi, Edward S. Harkness Chairman and ophthalmologist-in-chief, Department of Ophthalmology, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, New York. “However, those can only go so far, and we have to think about different models of care.”

    More: Similarities seen in ocular protein deposits in glaucoma, dementia

    An eye on enhanced efficiency

    One way to increase practice efficiency is based on an alternate approach to using electronic medical records (EMRs).

    Dr. Cioffi said he has started a mantra within his institution “to get the doctor out of the EMR.”

    “EMRs bring a lot to the table, but we all hate being in the record because it takes so much time,” he said.

    Recent: Sustained-release topical rings promising for glaucoma

    In the system he discussed, physicians would access their patient list for the day on their smartphone.

    For each patient encounter, they would be instantly taken to a recordable, HIPAA-compliant system that links them with a human transcriber who directly enters the visit information into the EMR.

    “EMRs are not going to disappear, and so we have to figure out how to use them effectively,” Dr. Cioffi said.

    Results from one study

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