October 10, 2014
1 min read

Do not destroy refractive records — give copy to the patient

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To the Editor:

Cataract surgery today provides our patients with the ability to have several refractive choices in terms of correcting vision. As surgeons, we go to a lot of trouble to inform our patients of the latest technology and use premium lenses in order to provide the best outcome. The inability to obtain past medical records on refractive patients negatively impacts the potential outcome of the patient.

Monica L. Monica, MD

Monica L. Monica

It is troubling to try to obtain past records on patients who have undergone refractive procedures and discover the records no longer exist: “Oh, that procedure was done in 1999, and the record has been destroyed.” It is incumbent upon us as ophthalmic surgeons to provide patients with a copy of their refractive record in order to protect future outcomes for the refractive patient who needs cataract surgery.

Electronic records may help but not provide absolute care. Ideally, patients should be given the surgical protocol and executed plan on a CD so that the record will be mobile and follow them. Our ability as ophthalmic surgeons to deliver excellent refractive surgical outcomes, whether with cataract surgery or other procedures, requires us to protect outcomes for all patients, whether patients remain in our practices or end up with another surgeon.

Monica L. Monica, MD, PhD
Gretna, La.