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Sharp Health News

An eye on improving cataract surgery experience

Oct. 12, 2017

An eye on improving cataract surgery experience

The doctors and employees of Sharp Rees-Stealy consistently look for ways to streamline care and improve the experience for patients. In that spirit, Sharp recently launched a new mobile application for patients receiving cataract eye surgery.

A multidisciplinary Sharp HealthCare team developed the Sharp Health Companion app, using an Apple CareKit health platform, with the focus on providing patients with all the relevant instruction and support they need before, during and after their surgery.

Sharp Health Companion can take the place of paper instructions patients receive as they prepare for their surgery. The app also helps ensure patients don’t have surgeries cancelled because they forgot necessary steps, such as stopping blood thinners or following dietary restrictions.

“The genesis of our app came from years of feedback from patients and care team members from the frontline who simply did not want to continue with the status quo of our current process,” says Dr. Tommy Korn, an ophthalmologist with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group. “Our team approached the project from the perspective of the patient. What would we want if our own beloved parent was about to undergo cataract surgery?”

With the app, a patient can learn from tutorial videos and instructions, as well as follow easy-to-navigate checklists for crucial to-do items. It also contains a reminder for every step a patient needs to take before surgery — arranging transportation, picking up eye drops, avoiding breakfast for anesthesia safety, and selecting what to wear — as well as after surgery, from taking medications to administering eye drops.

In addition, there are activities to perform eye tests, dashboards to track completed instructions and a portal to connect with the patient’s physicians. There is even the ability for the patient to take a photo of the eye and send it to the care team if there are any problems or concerns. The app is compatible with all Apple technology, including the Apple Watch.

The goal of the pilot is to measure the benefit of Sharp Health Companion for eye surgeries as well as other types of surgeries, and position Sharp HealthCare as a leader in health care technology.

“Our app is helping patients feel empowered and at ease from start to finish,” says Dr. Korn. “It’s like having The Sharp Experience right in their pockets.”

For the news media: To talk with Dr. Tommy Korn about the Sharp Health Companion app for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at erica.carlson@sharp.com.

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