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“Replication” is key to patient monitoring

Posted by Tom Cockley | Posted on February 15, 2012

An article in the New Yorker last year dealt with the possible demise of the scientific method as we know it.  It describes the “decline effect” and how many research results are later proven un-reliable or un-replicable.

One of the principles of the scientific method is that experimental results should be replicable.  Research or experiments, in order to be valid, should be able to be repeated with the same results, given the same parameters and methods.  The key here is that the parameters and methods need to be consistent.

In healthcare, we need to be assured that our testing methods are consistent in order to draw valid conclusions and propose effective treatments.  We need to be certain that the methods for laboratory blood tests, or CT scans, or MRIs, and so on are consistent so that noted trends are valid and not just aberrations of the testing.

That also holds true, in my view, for vision screening.  How can we draw valid conclusions about a patient’s vision when we give him or her a near card that has aged, has scratched letters, or different visuals compared to a card used two, four, or ten years ago?.  Is his or her diminished vision a real, replicable result … of the effect of an aged, ratty-looking test instrument?

Dr. William McCoy, in his recently published article in Optometric Management, “Provide An Illuminating Exam,” describes the use of Gulden’s Illuminated Near Letter Card in patient examinations and monitoring.  (Click here to read the article)  He describes how this tool presents conditions that many patients confront today – backlit screens and displays on computers, smart phones, televisions and monitors, and a host of other electronic devices.  He points out that the Illuminated Near Letter Card presents replicable testing conditions in that it does not age, does not yellow, does not scratch over time, presents high resolution lettering, and is not affected by changes in exam room ambient lighting  – it presents the same testing conditions year after year.  In addition, at its very reasonable cost, Dr. McCoy states that its return on investment is almost immediate.

I encourage you to read Dr. McCoy’s article.  In the meantime, you can learn more about this new tool on our website – we know that this tool is a key to replicable patient testing and monitoring.

Tell me what you think.

Be visionary with Gulden!

Click here to learn more about our new Illuminated Near Letter Card or search 15233 on our website.

Tom Cockley is president of Gulden Ophthalmics and the third generation of the over 70 year old visionary company that brings innovative, time-saving, utilitarian products to vision and health care professionals.

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