The Times They Are A Changing


by Bob Dylan & Bob Watson

Come doctors and lawyers
Please hear the call
Don’t keep patients waiting
Don’t block up the hall
Don’t gather your patients
Around old DVDs
Informed Consent Online
Will put them at ease
The old ways are rapidly agin’
For the times they are a-changing.

In preparation for an exciting new product launch we’re planning for November, my staff suggested I write an article about how I got into the ophthalmology business and where my passion for patient education began. I had RK surgery in 1982. I was miserable with extreme light sensitivity and had to be driven to work for the first two weeks. My vision was blurry both near and distance for a month. I thought I was the stupidest person in the world for having Radial Keratotomy.

Two months later, all was better and I approached my ophthalmologist with the idea of creating a video that covers not only the benefits, but the risks and side effects of Radial Keratotomy. Had I known and understood more about RK, I would not have been so mad and scared that I had screwed up my eyes for the rest of my life.

He loved the idea and suggested we put a True/False test at the end of the video to document that patients understood the information presented in the program. Word got out about my video and by the late 1990s, there wasn’t an Ophthalmologist doing RK that did not use my informed consent video.

As time passed, Ophthalmologists wanted more consent videos, so anytime a new refractive procedure came along, I’d produce a new informed consent video. I introduced cataract informed consent videos in 1991. However, with cataract informed consent videos, I had a number of doctors tell me, “I don’t want the True/False test at the end. Old people don’t like to be tested.” So, we offered that video with and without the test. (By the way, I know that is true because I am an “old people” now).

THAT is how it all started. Since developing my first informed consent program, I can’t tell you how many times doctors and their lawyers have called me thanking me profusely for providing them with a tool that saved their bacon. That always makes my day because it confirms that my programs do make a difference and that they are appreciated more than I can imagine.

So what’s “The Times They Are A-Changing” about? TODAY it’s about TIME, SPACE, and DOCUMENTATION. It’s about CONVENIENCE, PATIENT FLOW, ENGAGEMENT and COMPLIANCE. It’s 2015 (almost 2016) and my passion for constantly helping to improve the informed consent process continues. In the next several weeks, PEC will be launching a truly new and innovative approach to informed consent that will, no doubt, change the way ophthalmology practices will be doing informed consent for the next 30+ years! STAY TUNED!

The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
For the times they are a-changing