Opening Lines


For Gopita Patel, OD, the road led to Magruder Eye Institute

Gopita Patel, OD, remembers the first time she put on glasses as a child. With her vision finally clear, the then 5-year-old realized she wanted to help others achieve clear vision. By working hard — and smart — she achieved her vision and became an optometrist.

After completing her first year at the New England College of Optometry in 2011, Dr. Patel (then a student) sought a job where she could continue to gain ophthalmic experience. She returned to her home state of Florida where she became a technician at Magruder Eye Institute, a multi-specialty ophthalmology practice in Orlando.

Margie Brill, practice administrator (left), with Gopita Patel, OD.

“It was the first year the practice was implementing EHR,” says Dr. Patel. “The practice had to get through workflow efficiency issues posed by the implementation, and I assisted wherever I could.”

Margie Brill, practice administrator, noticed Dr. Patel’s work ethic and soon promoted her to scribe. While she worked as the main scribe for Michael P. Graham, MD, it wasn’t unusual for Dr. Patel to work an eight-hour shift with Dr. Graham and then work with another doctor after that shift. After gaining a year of hands-on experience and establishing strong relationships, Dr. Patel went back to school in July 2012.

After receiving her Doctor of Optometry degree in 2015, Dr. Patel completed a residency in Primary care and Ocular Disease at the William V. Chappell Jr. VA Hospital in Daytona Beach, FL. During this time, she stayed in contact with Magruder Eye Institute. “During holiday seasons, I would come back home and make a trip to the practice to catch up with the staff,” says Dr. Patel. “Dr. Graham would remind me to let him know when I was done because they were looking to add an optometrist eventually.”

In August 2016, Dr. Patel joined Magruder Eye Institute once again, this time as a licensed optometrist. She performs comprehensive eye examinations and oversees diagnosis and treatment for conditions such as dry eye and ocular irritation, and fits patients with different types of contact lenses. Most recently, she was instrumental in establishing the practice’s dry eye clinic, which opened in May.



Optical Coherence Tomography and OCT Angiography: Clinical Reference and Case Studies

This is an exciting time in ophthalmology with the emergence of optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography (OCTA).

As with all new technology, it is imperative that allied ophthalmic personnel (AOP) have resources at their fingertips that aid knowledge about the images they are directed to acquire. The AOP’s goal should be to obtain excellent quality scans that result in meaningful data, so that the ophthalmologist can use the data to diagnosis and treat their patients appropriately.

“Optical Coherence Tomography and OCT Angiography: Clinical Reference and Case Studies” (Bryson Taylor) is a new resource written by Darrin Landry, CRA, OCT-C and Amir H. Kashani, MD, PhD. This book provides an easy-to-read and digestible primer for understanding OCT, enhanced-depth imaging (EDI), and OCTA that all personnel involved in performing OCT should read.

This book contains a plethora of images, definitions of terminology, instructions, and hints that AOP can use to become better at obtaining OCT scans. The authors divided the book into three sections. Section one includes an introduction, pattern recognition, anatomy of the OCT image, OCT artifacts, EDI, full-depth imaging, volumetric OCT, and OCTA. Section two, the largest section, comprises an atlas of images and disease pathology. Section three includes 41 case studies.

I found many useful tips that I have already implemented in my daily use of the OCT. I highly recommend all AOP who perform OCT to add this book to their reference library.

Tips for delegating tasks

Delegating work to other staff members can empower them to become better at their jobs. However, managers and administrators often struggle with “letting go” — even when buried by their workload.

Here, two experts weigh in on how they’ve learned to delegate and provide tips on when and how to divvy out responsibilities.

Martha C. Tello, BGS, COMT, OSC, ophthalmic technologist and clinical research coordinator, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, FL.

“What is stopping you from sharing your responsibilities? You are a leader, and you might think that only you create great results. However, keep in mind that leaders empower others to shine. Don’t let assumptions prevent you from achieving your goals. You have control over which chores to delegate and when.

Identify the right people for the delegated task or project by matching the qualities needed to succeed. Also — without micromanaging — engage in occasional monitoring of assigned tasks to gain and give feedback. By getting different viewpoints on a subject, you will get fresh ideas to incorporate into your desired outcomes.

Delegating is a challenging task; you can start by accepting the idea of getting input from others, knowing who to trust, and praising great progress. Wouldn’t it be great to use teamwork, support, and trust interchangeably?”

Traci Fritz, COE, executive director, Children’s Eye Care in Michigan

“I’ve been in management roles for almost 25 years, but I didn’t become a leader until I learned to incorporate delegation into my work process.

Over the past five years, I’ve found it helpful to delegate tasks that traditionally fell mostly to me, because others were afraid to push their comfort zones. For example, I performed almost all written communication tasks.

Whether it was simple educational documents for patients, business plans to insurance companies, or letters to medical directors to appeal claim rejections, I always wrote for others. So, I gave my management staff many writing examples and made them start making the original attempt at the communication, then I would edit it. This has allowed them to develop stronger writing skills and took that burden off me.”


OCULUS Pentacam update

Belin ABCD Progression Display is a new, free tomographic keratoconus progression display for all OCULUS Pentacam models. It is based on the ABCD keratoconus classification by Prof. Michael Belin, MD. The display independently grades the anterior corneal surface, posterior corneal surface, corneal thickness, and visual acuity.

PASS receives upgrades

PARx Solutions added three enhancements to its Prior Authorization Support System (PASS): the ability to submit prior authorizations for multiple physicians under a single log-in, chart note upload functionality, and e-signature capability for HIPAA Business Associate Agreements.

Besse Medical acquires PODIS

Pharmaceutical supplier Besse Medical, which offers the CubixxMD inventory management system, announced the purchase of Physician Office Drug Inventory System (PODIS), a cloud-based inventory and billing reconciliation system. In retina practices, the cloud-based CubixxMD system is used to manage the inventory of anti-VEGF drugs. The PODIS system uses barcode labels to track every dose of medication used in practices and interfaces with the practice management system.

ASOA’s online benchmarks

The American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators (ASOA), in partnership with BSM Consulting, announced the ASOAnalytics online benchmarking database for ophthalmic practices. The database will be built through practice surveys (starting with five benchmarking surveys over the next year) and will deliver real-time practice management data to ASOA members.

Topcon starts research foundation

The Topcon Research Foundation will support studies sponsored by independent investigators and institutions that utilize Topcon products. Researchers and institutions can apply for grants from Topcon by submitting funding requests and study details at .