ophthalmology

Symfony Lens Implant with Cataract Surgery

Our patients appreciate that we are leaders in cataract surgery technology.  With the recent FDA approval, the Symfony lifestyle lens implant provides an extended depth-of-focus at near, distance and intermediate.  Our surgeons are pleased to experience these wonderful results!   Gerald Balamucki shares his impression just one day after surgery.  Today he demonstrated the ability to read in the distance, intermediate and up close without glasses in the newly implanted eye.

The Harman Eye Clinic

903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223

360-474-2561  360-435-8595  FAX 360-435-5233

http://www.20Better.com

Excellence is never an accident and often takes time.

Cataract Surgery1Challenges That Occur With Patient’s Time Versus Patient Care In a Specialized Medical Eye Surgery Clinic

When you come to our Clinic, you will meet a group of heart-centered  team members with your eye surgeon   They are trained to perform in the most efficient way to value your time.

There are numerous, behind-the-scene, staff members who are also relentless in keeping our standards high with checks and balances.  From maintaining all of the specialized equipment, the secure network computer systems, the auditing of ICD-10 coding on your claim, sending and following up on claims sent to your insurance companies, the auditing of chart notes, education of possible surgical events, reminding patients of their appointments, tracking down patients with serious, sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma for timely follow-up appointments, maintaining your patient portal, responding to an average of 200 calls per day, and so much more. A staff of 25+ full and part-time people are diligently working together in our surgery center and clinic to make each patient’s visit meaningful, safe and enjoyable.  All of this is taking place while you are sitting in the comfort of your chair in one of our lanes.

We support our medical doctors/eye surgeons who specialize in ophthalmology.  Our comprehensive eye examinations and surgery consultation appointments will take from 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  Patients sometimes find this time assessment unrealistic. Our doctors have invested in advanced technical equipment to make an effective, safe and appropriate diagnostic/treatment plan designed for your specific medical needs.  To those new to ophthalmology, it may seem like an hour is enough for testing and meeting with your doctor.  Your past experience of quick exams were from a time when medicine was less complicated leaving your opportunities for best corrected vision limited. It was a time when when government documentation regulations were less.  Today, we are challenged by new strains of bacteria and viruses, we are challenged to be sure all medicines (yes even eye drops) interact well with each other, we have surgical options for your vision that we did not have before and we need to educate you on your options.  We want to give you the best and the best takes time.

Insisting that an eye exam takes about an hour, you may feel you are ignored when you have not seen your doctor within that hour, or complain that we have over-booked appointments.  A specialized ophthalmology medical facility deals with daily emergent and urgent work-ins and patients who require unexpected care while here.   Even though there are several other patients working through doctor-ordered diagnostic tests, when it comes to your care we focus on you as the only patient of the day.  You have all of our staff working to make this a reality. We love what we do and it shows!

From time to time people interested in an annual vision check, (getting a new prescription and a pair of glasses or contacts), with time restraints, would be better served to schedule with area optometrists who will refer you to an ophthalmology specialist if they were to see the need.

Our mission statement is this: We are an advanced eye surgery center where all people are treated with extraordinary care:  Patient, Doctor and Co-Team Members.  We hope these comments are helpful when you consider your time.  Please let us know how we can make you more comfortable today.

The Harman Eye Clinic

903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223

360-474-2561  360-435-8595  FAX 360-435-5233

http://www.20Better.com

 

Training Course for Ophthalmic Assistants Offered

Transform Your Thinking

We are recruiting professional people who will train as ophthalmic assistants.  These assistants complete diagnostic testing, gather medical history and review medical systems to help our doctors assess and recommend treatment plans in a timely manner.

The Harman Eye Clinic is specialized medicine. Those who are employed here are offered specialized training that exceeds what is taught in medical assistants courses.  These trainees will study the anatomy and physiology of the eye, EHR and Practice Management Programs, diagnostic equipment.  They will learn how to educate patients regarding vision defects, iLASIK, lifestyle lens implants for cataract surgery, Dropless cataract surgery.  A home-study course will be provided each trainee in anticipation of sitting for JCAHPO Ophthalmic Assistant Certification.

Within the next couple of weeks, a few eligible candidates will be chosen to enroll in this home-study and work-study training.  For more information, visit our Careers website.

This Thank You Note Warms All Of Our Staff

It may seem self-serving to occasionally share Thank You Notes on-line. When care is completed, it is most satisfying to our doctors and staff to find we have accomplished extraordinary care.  As we say, excellence is never an accident.  This current note tells us we are still successful in our mission.

Thank you, Dr. Bruce Weitharn!

Weighing The Risks and Benefits of LASIK

 

Weighing the Risks and Benefits of LASIKRecently, we received a comment on Facebook expressing disappointment for his sister who returned to glasses some two years later.  I can imagine how he felt seeing his sister in glasses so soon after surgery.

The circumstances where a patient would need to return to glasses two years after surgery is very unusual.  It is impossible to explore reasons without visiting an ophthalmologist’s office.  The most obvious thought is that the patient was in her 40’s when she had surgery and hadn’t fully appreciated the onset of presbyopia.

Forty-something patients who are nearsighted usually have progressive lenses, bifocals or take off their glasses for best near vision.  After surgery, they cannot take off their glasses and so now require reading glasses.  It is unclear, however, that this is the situation with the commenter’s sister.

It makes us wonder how well people prepare for eye surgery.  Eye procedures are certainly not on an equal plane as buying glasses or contacts.  Refractive procedures are permanent changes to the eye.  LASIK changes the shape of your cornea.  We provide very precise, wavefront, computer-driven, customized laser vision correction. Even so, it is the preliminary discussions we have prior to LASIK that give a patient the best chance of successful surgery.

The VISX and IntraLase laser technology is considered the gold-standard of LASIK. We spend considerable time before surgery to screen patients to explore if there are any factors that will impact a successful outcome.  We remind patients that we are working with each person’s individual health situation and ability to see, noting their specific lifestyle vision requirements.  Patients who are seeking surgery in their 40’s are given special counseling, for they are heading for years when they will most likely need reading glasses. From the Patient Guide for Successful LASIK:

Not all people are candidates for LASIK.  Here is one discussion we hold with all people before they make an appointment:

  • Are you able to see close to 20/20 with glasses or contacts? If answer is yes, then you may be a good candidate so far! (If no, read the last paragraph).
  • Do you consider your vision to be normal with the exception of glasses? If you answered yes you may be a good candidate so far! (If no, read the last paragraph)
  • Do you have any history of serious eye disease: glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retina surgery? Yes, you are probably not a good candidate. (Read the last paragraph).
  • Have you ever worn contact lenses? If yes, you will need to be out of your contact lenses for 2 weeks for soft lenses, and a minimum of 3 weeks for hard contacts plus additional weeks for each decade you have worn contacts, before you come in for a dilated evaluation appointment. You could come in for an initial evaluation to meet your surgeon and receive motivation to stay out of your lenses.
  • Females: Are you pregnant? Yes, you are probably not a good candidate until nursing has stopped. Your vision may change during your pregnancy and the calculations for surgery will not be accurate for the long-term. It is far better to wait.

NOT A GOOD CANDIDATE? iLASIK and PRK are designed with a healthy eye in mind. This surgery will not improve poor vision in unhealthy eyes and could potentially make your present condition worse. It may help you to discuss with your eye doctor further to uncover reasons why iLASIK or PRK may not be for you. If you are unsure, you are welcome to come for a free LASIK evaluation.

After talking with a staff member, we will ask that you come for a free but comprehensive eye exam and plan to be here a minimum of 2 hours.  During this time, our doctors will look for reasons why we should not advance toward LASIK.  All surgeries contain risks and benefits.  During this evaluation time, we will weigh risks and benefits in light of each patient’s situation.  Realistic expectations are part of our discussion.

LASIK is a procedure designed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism of patients who are over the age of 21, and have had stable vision for over a year.  It will not correct presbyopia (the need for reading glasses), but there are other refractive options that can address this situation.

We hope these comments are helpful.  For more information, please call 360.435.8595 Ext 1 or schedule a complimentary evaluation to see if any of the refractive surgery options are helpful for you and your vision needs.

The Harman Eye Clinic

903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223

360-474-2561  360-435-8595  FAX 360-435-5233

http://www.20Better.com

Great News!

Get Started Today Chalk Illustration

Clinic schedule redesigned to see more patients!

Clinic schedules have been redesigned to include routine and medical exams.  A common favorite focuses on symptoms of dry eye.  We provide advanced TearLab Osmolarity to measure the level of tear film.  It may not sound like an important feature to your eyesight, but adequate tear film will aid in great vision.

We have found the TearLab to be an important asset in helping find solutions and create a treatment plan for allergies, watery eyes, itchy and irritated eyelids.  This is the type of exam that has been set aside in addition to eye surgical evaluations.  It turns out many pre-surgery patients need to take care of their dry eye prior to LASIK or cataract surgery.

With our new schedule design, doctors can now accommodate patients within two weeks of their appointment request. For more information, please call our office  360-435-8595 or 800-755-3937, or schedule an appointment on-line, www.20Better.com (right side column)

See You Soon,

Dr. Ballon, Dr. Wietharn and Dr. Bajenova

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News Release: Cascade Regional Eye Center, Inc., PS., Under New Ownership

(July 2, 2014 — Arlington, WA)  DSC_0272 Cascade Regional Eye Center, Inc., PS, dba The Harman Eye Clinic, located at 903 Medical Center Drive, the premier eye surgery center in the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years, has acquired a new owner.  Bruce J. Ballon, MD has sold 50 percent of the practice to Bruce E. Wietharn, MD.  The two doctors will alternately share the role of President and CEO annually in addition to their services as ophthalmologists and eye surgeons since 2002 and 2004 respectively.

The purchase of this practice reflects a long-term relationship built over the past decade.  Each holds the gold-standard of excellence, confidence, depth and continuity in personal service.  Their partner, Natalia V. Bajenova, MD, joined the practice in 2012 and is slated to purchase one-third of the practice in 2022.

Serving patients of the Pacific Northwest since 1984, The Harman Eye Clinic primarily provides advanced customized LASIK surgery as well as Refractive  Multifocal Lens and Standard cataract surgery.   Patients are customarily referred and co-managed through area eye doctors for surgery; however, patients may seek surgical solutions for their eye challenges through appointments.

For more information about The Harman Eye Clinic and its services, visit www.20Better.com or All About LASIK, or call 360.435.8595.DSC_0273

 

Advanced Technology Lifestyle Lenses

Advanced Technology Life Style Lenses

This link leads to a presentation, a way to think about the choices in lens implants when having cataract surgery.  We hope it is helpful for you also.  The presentation is interactive in that you may advance forward, backward or even zoom into whatever interests you.  Press play and the presentation will automatically advance … your choice.  Thanks, Prezi.com!

Advanced Technology Lifestyle Lenses

 

 

For more information, Quality Life Depends on Maintaining Good Vision

Sheila McCarty, COA, MA-R

Sheila McCarty, COA

Sheila McCarty, COA

For over 29 years, The Harman Eye Clinic has sought out candidates who possessed an uncanny aptitude for service. These candidates are then trained in specific medical fields.

Sheila McCarty came to The Harman Eye Clinic from food service. She was smart, alert, able to assess situations and best of all, loved being around people. Sheila took full advantage of JCAPHO’s Home Study Course and as she trained as an ophthalmic assistant, she was authorized to perform these duties.

Last Friday, in passing her exam, Sheila became a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant as authorized by JCAPHO. She is also registered as a medical assistant.

“We have great opportunities to grow as individuals,” shared Shiela as she posed for her congratulatory picture.

Our staff’s medical and technical growth directly affects the level of care our patients receive.  Our staff excel in skill and technology, but most important, they excel in compassion, humor and service.  Sheila is a perfect example of these traits.

Recently Sheila has undergone LASIK and enjoys sharing her experience with patients who wish to know what it is really like to have LASIK.

Congratulations, Sheila!  We are so proud of you!