INTRODUCTION:Nancy Davis, OD, a WalMart Vision Center leaseholder in Roanoke, TX, has one of those model practices that others seek to emulate. We had an opportunity to visit with her recently to see best practices in optometry at play.
Q: Tell us a little about Roanoke Family Eyecare.
I owned a private retail practice and due to life changes, I moved to a corporate modality practice in 2004 and have been here ever since. I try not to get into the ‘location’ aspect of our practice as patient care is patient care and we offer care second to none. We are a medically oriented practice and I especially enjoy the interface my practice has developed with neurology and rheumatology.
Q: How did you come to incorporate medical services into your practice?
Being in the same location for 14 years, my patients are aging and their medical health is changing. I need to grow and change in order to continue providing the best care possible, and I think technology has led the way. New equipment forces you (and I welcome the new challenges) to approach patients in more and more integrated and sophisticated ways. I find the medical part of my role to be almost more of an art than science, something you feel as well as think about.
Q: Any special patient cases you wish to share?
This is a great example where technology, specifically Diopsys® visual electrophysiology, has provided insight well beyond my expectation. When I was studying to be an optometrist, my professor told us that if we were lucky, we would catch or discern one orbital tumor during our career. When I installed the Diopsys system, I caught two tumors in 9 months! Both are extraordinary and important events and today, I am extremely focused on this as a rule out with my patients.
Q: What was your decision-making process around purchasing a Diopsys® system? What problem were you trying to solve?
Diopsys visual electrophysiology was the natural evolution of technology in my office. It helped me advance my medical services and become better at those I already had. It also helped to ‘brand me’ by adding technology to my practice that could not be found in other offices in my area.
I really have appreciated the functional focus of Diopsys. Evaluating functional loss, and even functional weakness, has given me profound, early insight into my patients' concerns and disorders of the eye.
Q: How has using Diopsys enhanced your diagnostic work? What about follow up?
Visual evoked potential (VEP) and electroretinography (ERG) are not my primary tests, unless the patient has a neurological issue. Visual electrophysiology is usually a tertiary test that complements and confirms other testing I am conducting. Diopsys gives me a direct link into neurology and rheumatology, making optometry part of the holistic care team.
Since visual electrophysiology detects functional changes earlier than nearly all other modes, it has allowed treatment intervention or modification of treatment prior to the development of visual deficits, or in the case of a patient with an established diagnosis of glaucoma, further progression of the disease. These comments not withstanding, to be able to share with patients the fact that I have a technology that can detect damage in the eye long before initial damage occurs and prior to further disease progression, contributes significantly to the art of practicing optometry and reassuring patients. The ability to provide patients this reassurance is paramount to their psychological as well as their ocular health.
I am fortunate to have a solid volume of patients and my practice has grown a reputation in medical ocular care. Technology can be a big investment, but I tend to focus on the improvement in care a piece of equipment makes as when that happens the money naturally follows. We like to think that ‘care’ is the currency in our practice. I can say that this ideal has been supported by my Diopsys investment.
Finally, we often do not think about service as an aspect of the equipment we buy, but it is as much a part as the on and off switch. Diopsys provides excellent customer service. Their team has been prompt and helpful every step of the way and has allowed me to grow with this system.
- Nancy Davis, OD
Roanoke Family Eyecare, Roanoke, TX
The Diopsys® NOVA™ is an electrophysiology device that generates photic stimuli, and records, processes, and analyzes the resultant signals to provide information about the visual system. This article represents the experiences and opinions of Dr. Nancy Davis. Physicians should make medical decisions based on the individual facts and history of each patient.