The opportunity to improve glaucoma care

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March 24, 2021

2 min read

Biography:

Bacharach is co-director of the glaucoma division at California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, and founding partner at North Bay Eye Associates, Sonoma County, Calif.

Disclosures: Bacharach reports he is a consultant/advisor to Aerie, Allergan, Bausch + Lomb, Eyepoint, Eyevance, Glaukos, Humphrey-Zeiss, Imprimis, Injectsense, Iridex, New World Medical, Ocular Therapeutix, Omeros, Osmotica/RVL, Santen, Topcon and Vertical; receives lecture fees from Aerie, Allergan, Bausch + Lomb, Bryn Mawr Communications, Evolve, Iridex, Sun and Vindico; receives grant or research support from Aerpio, Biorasi, Equinox, Eyepoint, Glaukos, Injectsense, Insite Vision, Kala, Lexitas, Nicox, Novartis, Ocular Therapeutix, Oculis, Oculos, Ocuphire, Ora, Orasis, Osmotica/RVL, Perrigo, Salvat, Santen, Sight Science, Sun, Surface, Tarsius and Trefoil; and has equity/stock ownership in OnPace.


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So much of the world has changed because of COVID and yet some things remain constant.

The pandemic has placed incredible demands on eye doctors, calling on all of us to be creative and adapt in real time to a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime public health threat. After many of us were forced to close our clinics for a brief period in the beginning phases of the pandemic, we reopened to a new reality, one in which the spirit of innovation had to be adapted to figuring out how to keep patients, staff and ourselves safe. The one thing that did not change is that we are still expected to provide excellent care to our patients with glaucoma, regardless of the circumstances.

At this latter phase of the ongoing COVID pandemic, we are starting to regain a sense of normalcy in the things we are able to do, and there is hope on the horizon that we can all return to the activities we enjoyed prior to 2020. But what, really, does that mean? More importantly, do we even want to roll back the clock to 2019 and before when it comes managing glaucoma?

Jason Bacharach

From my perspective, it is my hope that whatever our “new normal” may be, that it is not a return to the same old way of doing things. The very concept of a “new” normal suggests an opportunity to find more efficient, more patient-friendly and, frankly, more business-friendly ways of caring for patients’ needs because of the lessons we have learned. More succinctly, shouldn’t we strive for a “better” normal, instead?

This brings me to the purpose of this blog. At one level, I intend to use this this space to explore nuances in how clinicians can use medications, procedures and diagnostic platforms to better serve patients. But while discussions about safety and efficacy are exceedingly important, that kind of information is available in other forums. And so, what I really want to accomplish in these brief reports is to dig deeper on the question of why the tools we use were designed in such a way, why the new approaches suggested in the field might make sense, and why (and how) new ways of thinking about serving patients, addressing unmet need and improving our practices can be better for patients, improve quality of life (for both patients and providers) and result in financial success.

I like to think about motivation (what keeps me going to the clinic each day) and inspiration (what keeps me dialed into the glaucoma field) as two slightly different things. As far as motivation, the feeling I get when I know I have helped a patient with a problem he or she is having is enough to keep me going. On the other hand, what piques my interest, what really gets me asking new questions, is the fascinating intersection of science and business as it crosses over with opportunity — and that is really what I am after with this blog. I’d like to think that sense of curiosity, to go beyond the data and to explore why and how diagnostic and treatment equipment function in a clinical setting, is something innate to each of us.

Instead, much like we did during this strange period in our collective history, we can see the opportunity that exists in answering challenging situations. For our patients with glaucoma, their eye disease is a constant, looming threat to their sight. And if this blog — where I hope to take a deeper look at how and why innovation improves care — can serve even a small part in reaching that laudable goal, then I will certainly count that as a successful outcome.

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Kathy Laura

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