Going Mobile: Interfacing with ZEISS VERACITY Surgery Planner on a Tablet

1 March 2024
Image of Brandon Ayers, MD
About the expert Brandon Ayres, MD Dr. Ayres is the co-director of the corneal fellowship program at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.

For surgeons who see dozens of patients in a single clinical day, every minute counts. Saving 2 minutes per patient could mean earning back an extra hour at the end of a busy day. Further, if we can spend less time interfacing with unwieldy technology and more time educating patients, we ultimately enhance the clinical experience, become more efficient, and build foundations with our patients.

Surprisingly, a technology in my practice that was designed to maximize efficiency was actually undercutting my efforts to improve the pace and quality of my patient consultations. The culprit: an electronic health records (EHR) system. Each time I entered an exam room, I had to log into a desktop, work within a clunky interface, and hope that the software didn’t time out or stop responding. I needed a more flexible technology solution that enabled me to treat my clinic like the digital hub I had always envisioned.

That solution, it turns out, is ZEISS VERACITY Surgery Planner.

It took little time for me to familiarize myself with ZEISS VERACTIY Surgery Planner. Once I mastered the basics of this technology, I began navigating ZEISS VERACITY Surgery Planner on a tablet so that I could take my new solution from room to room without the cumbersome obligation of logging into a new piece of hardware at the start of each exam. Because ZEISS VERACITY Surgery Planner is a web-based, mobile-optimized system with an intuitive user interface, this on-the-go solution quickly became my new standard of practice.

For my clinic, turning to a tablet has resulted in a maximally efficient clinical workflow, given my patients confidence that I have all of their data at my fingertips, and allowed me to earn back precious minutes in a given day. Let’s see how it works in exams and in the OR.

Presurgical Consultations

When interfacing with patients for IOL consultations, I analyze all patient information on my tablet. After entering the patient’s medical record number, I carefully review their presurgical biometry data and patient questionnaire responses. If I need to pull particular images—say, a topography or macular scan—I can do so with a few taps. In many instances, the IOL recommendations I make are informed by the customized settings I preloaded into ZEISS VERACTIY Surgery Planner, and I spend time educating my patients about their choices so that they can make a maximally informed decision.

In routine cases, patients select an IOL after we have a conversation about their visual goals. In cases where I am tasked with troubleshooting an IOL complication, I am able to snap pictures of the patient’s IOL card and place them directly in their medical record. Gone are my days of sending physical papers to be scanned and hoping that they eventually show up in a digital record. With ZEISS VERACITY Surgery Planner, it’s as easy as snapping a picture with a tablet and dropping it directly into the patient’s profile.

Tablet Use in the OR

Just as it does on clinical days, my VERACITY-powered tablet stays by my side on surgical days. In the morning, I review the roster of scheduled surgeries to double check my surgical load, review any particular cases that require extra attention, and conceptualize how my day will flow.

When it’s time to perform a particular surgery, I pull up a patient’s profile on my tablet and reconcile all relevant details (eg, that the IOL the patient has selected is the IOL in the OR). I wirelessly transfer all data from my tablet into our ZEISS CALLISTO eye system and begin surgery. By avoiding the time-consuming and error-prone analog process of pre-VERACITY routines, I’ve improved the accuracy and efficiency of surgical days.

What My Patients Think of My Tablet Use

When patients see me carrying a tablet that contains all of their presurgical biometric and questionnaire information, they understand that I have become a human data hub specific to their needs. Both my tablet and ZEISS VERACITY Surgery Planner are unobtrusive technologies, which means that I spend less time assimilating data and more time applying the data to my patient’s specific situation.

In my experience, if nothing else, use of a tablet not only demonstrates that I’m a surgeon who embraces technology, but also a surgeon who values face-to-face time with my patients over the technocratic obligations of a maladroit technology such as an EHR platform. To my patients, this manifests as a few extra minutes of genuine, thoughtful interaction, education, and guidance.

By using a tablet to navigate ZEISS VERACITY Surgery Planner, I have set myself up for efficient, next-generation surgical practice that prioritizes patient experiences and visual outcomes. If you’re a current user seeking a more mobile solution, try turning to a tablet. You may find that you—like me—can’t imagine practice without it.

The statements of the author reflect only his personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any institution with whom he is affiliated.
The author has a contractual or other financial relationship with Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc. and has received financial support.

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