Kugler Vision, Top Refractive Surgery Center, Pauses Non-Emergency Operations Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Due to concerns about patient safety, and to keep medical facilities available for emergencies, elective medical procedures are being postponed.
OMAHA — Kugler Vision, a world-class refractive surgery center that draws patients from all over the Midwest and the nation, is pausing non-emergency operations and shifting to telehealth and telemedicine for the next six weeks. The move will allow Kugler Vision to provide care and guidance to its patients while also helping to protect the community and its staff. The decision was made in accordance with recommendations from the Nebraska Medical Association (NMA), the Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (NAEPS), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), and the U.S. Surgeon General.
“I’ve been watching this story closely since December – it was clear we’d need to be proactive in planning how our practice would adapt to protect our patients and our team in the event that COVID-19 was not contained,” says Dr. Lance Kugler, MD, founder and head surgeon at Kugler Vision.
The Ophthalmology practice believes that today’s economy is based on relationships, and it conducts itself with rigorous adherence to 10 corporate values–integrity and the free-flow of knowledge and ideas key among them. Kugler Vision is making its safety protocols public, and offering them as a template for other businesses and vision offices who may want to incorporate them into their own daily routines.
“I want to be clear, we’re not epidemiologists here – we’re specialists in restoring vision. That said, for the past several weeks, we worked very hard to implement safety protocols to protect patients that needed our services,” says Dr. Kugler. “We have surgeon colleagues in China, South Korea, Italy and other areas that have been affected over the past several months, and we have tried to stay ahead of the curve and learn from the policies and processes they have implemented.” Those policies included limiting appointments so that there was only one patient in the office at a time, and checking temperatures of everyone entering the facility. “We see many patients in their 60s, 70s, and beyond for advanced laser cataract surgery. Many are disappointed to learn their procedures are delayed, but they understand their safety, and the safety of the healthcare workers battling this pandemic on the front lines, are our first priority,” he says.
So far, no hospitals have expressed a need for the surgical supplies that Kugler Vision has on hand, but Dr. Kugler says he is happy to donate them if they are needed.
Through it all, Dr. Kugler and his team remain optimistic. “My grandparents were called to serve in World War II. My parents’ generation was drafted to Vietnam. If all we are called to do is stay home, increase social distance, and postpone elective procedures, I think we’ll get through it just fine,” Dr. Kugler says. “It’s the doctors and nurses fighting in the ICUs and hospitals who are truly affected by this. We are all doing our part to flatten the curve and make their job easier.”
More About Kugler Vision
Kugler Vision is a world-class refractive surgery center located in the middle of the country, making Omaha a destination for exceptional vision correction outcomes. As a patient-centric practice, Kugler Vision specializes in procedures to reduce or eliminate reliance on glasses and contact lenses. Dr. Kugler serves as the Director of Refractive Surgery for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, is a founder and the first President of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, a TEDx speaker on vision correction and the myopia epidemic, and participates in numerous FDA clinical trials.
Lance Kugler, MD, is a specialist in vision correction surgery and CEO of Kugler Vision. A proud Omaha native, he is passionate about improving lives through clear vision. Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards, and his practice is recognized internationally as a center of excellence. Dr. Kugler is one of the original founders of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, an international organization comprised of over 350 of the world’s leading vision correction surgeons; he also served as its first president. In 2019, Dr. Kugler was selected as a TEDx speaker, and delivered a talk in Omaha about the worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness and refractive solutions. Dr. Kugler is an associate professor of Refractive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute, has been published in many medical journals, and participates in numerous clinical studies to advance the field of vision correction surgery. Dr. Kugler and his wife are proud parents to five active kids. When he has a spare moment, he enjoys skiing, tennis, travel, and fine coffee.