Kuntz, MD, recognizing a problem with patient communication in his Seattle-based cataract surgery practice, decided to create a resource to help patients make better informed decisions regarding their surgery options.
As lens and refractive options became more diverse, patients were regularly coming in without the information needed to make an informed decision and he was spending more time counseling them without feeling as if he was truly getting through to them.
“I felt like patients were coming in without any idea what their potentials were and what they could achieve with cataract surgery,” Kuntz told Healio.com/OSN. “People were setting up clinic appointments and trying to make fundamental decisions about the window they would be looking out of the world with for the rest of their lives.”
In addition, many clients were not aware that some of their options included a cost.
“They come out making snap decisions on important issues regarding technology that they should not have, or they neglect considering technology that they should,” Kuntz said. “They were making incredibly important decisions with no preparation, no consideration and being blindsided by questions of money.”
In order to combat this issue, Kuntz designed and created the website CataractSurgeryDesign.com, which is aimed at giving patients a way to educate themselves on choices before a clinic appointment.
With sections on astigmatism correction, presbyopia correction and sight simulators, the website allows users to design their post-cataract vision goals and understand their options before a clinic appointment.
Since he began asking his patients to use the website before coming in for consultations, Kuntz has seen a dramatic increase in his patients’ knowledge and understanding about cataract surgery and refractive options.
“The benefits have been huge. People are so much more thoughtful about their options and my counseling was just icing on the cake rather than starting with a blank state,” he said.
Kuntz would like to see more surgeons recommending the site to their patients and is adamant about it remaining advertising and marketing-free so users can make decisions on what is best for their lives and personalities.
“It really needed to be not for profit. One of the biggest problems on the internet is that information people get is often trying to sell them something. It is really important in cataract surgery that the patients have the ability to learn without being sold to,” he said.
Kuntz would like to see CataractSurgeryDesign.com become a more collaborative, crowd-sourced project in conjunction with fellow ophthalmologists and is looking for contributors to the website and blog.
“There are a lot of good ideas out there that need to be shared,” he said.
Kuntz intends to evolve the website “as a home” for his ophthalmology colleagues to share insights as contributors to the site blog or as contributors of content to the site itself. – by Rebecca L. Forand
For more information:
Christopher A. Kuntz, MD, is based in Seattle, Washington, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure: Kuntz reports no relevant financial disclosures.