• Choosing Wisely: Five Things Ophthalmologists and Patients Should Question

    February 2013

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology has released a list of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” in ophthalmology as part of the Choosing Wisely® campaign, led by the ABIM Foundation.

    To ensure that ophthalmic patients work with their physician to make the best care plan, the Academy has identified five common tests and treatments that ophthalmologists and patients should discuss:

    1. Preoperative Medical Tests: Don’t perform preoperative medical tests – such as an electrocardiogram or blood glucose test – prior to eye surgery unless there are specific signs indicating a need for them.
    2. Imaging Tests: Don’t routinely order imaging tests when there are no symptoms or signs of significant eye disease.
    3. Antibiotics for Pink Eye: Don’t prescribe antibiotics for pink eye that is caused by an adenovirus.
    4. Antibiotics for Eye Injections: Don’t routinely provide antibiotics before or after injections into the vitreous cavity of the eye.
    5. Punctal Plugs for Dry Eye: Don’t treat dry eye by inserting punctual plugs before attempting other options, such as medical treatments with artificial tears, lubricants and compresses.

    For more details, read a full description of these five items, including sources and an explanation of how the list was created under the guidance of the Academy’s Health Policy Committee and medical director of health policy. 

    Executive Perspective: David W. Parke II, MD, on Choosing Wisely

    The facts driving the Choosing Wisely effort are well known: the current way we deliver health care in America contains too much waste in the form of inappropriate tests or procedures that not only do not benefit patients, but also may actually cause harm.

    In a brief video, Academy Executive Vice President and CEO David W. Parke II, MD, discusses why the Academy became involved in the Choosing Wisely program.

    “The Choosing Wisely program encourages ophthalmologists to carefully consider and discuss with patients tests and procedures that may not be necessary and to make wise decisions about the most appropriate care,” Dr. Parke says. “Physician decision-making, based on specific clinical circumstances, remains the ultimate clinical judgment. However, this list is based on good science and should stimulate a discussion between ophthalmologist and patient.”

    Public Service Announcement: How to Discuss Tests and Procedures with Your Ophthalmologist

    Additional Resources

    Visit the Academy’s EyeSmart® website to learn how consumers are being educated about the five ophthalmology items in the Choosing Wisely initiative. Also, the Academy issued a press release about its participation in Choosing Wisely.

    What do you think of the Academy’s “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question,” or of the Choosing Wisely effort? Are there other ophthalmic tests, procedures or treatments that you think ophthalmologists and patients should be discussing? Share your comments with Dr. Parke and the Academy’s Health Policy Committee.

    Learn more about Choosing Wisely and read all 27 lists released to date at www.choosingwisely.org.