OCT 10, 2014
Providing postoperative eye care until a patient has recovered from his or her surgical experience is integral to patient management. The operating ophthalmologist should perform those aspects of the postoperative care that are within his or her unique competence. “Unique competence” of the ophthalmologist includes services that non-physicians are not permitted by law to perform, but it does not include services that physicians or non-physicians are legally entitled and professionally trained, experienced, and qualified to perform.
Because ophthalmologists have special training and competence in medical and surgical care of the eyes, it is usually in the patient's best interests that such care be provided by an ophthalmologist. An issue in doubt should be resolved by the determination that the best interests of patients are served. If arrangements cannot be made that are appropriate and acceptable to the patient, the ophthalmologist should not perform the surgery (except in emergencies).
There are, however, valid reasons and circumstances that may warrant a departure from the preferred practice of the operating surgeon providing postoperative care; these alternative postoperative care arrangements are typically termed co-management.
The materials and information below are presented for user education and for the development of educational activities.