The hand off from OD to optical is one of the most important steps in your EHR workflow. A smooth transition helps ensure an easier and more successful routine for your opticians. There are several different options for going about the patient hand off and there really isn't a proven way for what is the best solution. Your staff and your patients are all unique and will influence how you handle the pass off.
We want to explore a few different ways that eyecare practices typically manage the hand off. If your practice is doing something different, feel free to share with us your ideas in the comments.
Managing Your EHR Workflow at the Exam to Optical Hand Off
Sales in your optical don't fall 100% on your opticians. The sales process starts as soon as a patient walks into your practice. It's your job as the OD to make sound recommendations of a treatment plan, clearly communicate the plan to both the patient and optician and make sure the patient is comfortable and confident in the recommendations that your provide.
A few solutions for the exam to optical hand off:
OD delivers patient to the optician in optical
OD brings the optician into the exam room for consultation
Front desk delegates the hand off
The optician joins the OD for the full exam
Depending on the staff you have on hand and how busy your schedule is, one option might be more realistic than the other. You could also implement a variety of these hand off techniques on a per patient basis. As the OD you probably get a good read on the type of patient you're seeing and which sales style might work best in each unique case.
If you're bringing in your optician at the end of the exam for the consultation a pager system can help ensure a smooth flow. From the exam room you can page optical to join you and your patient to go over the suggested treatment and product plan for the patient. Bringing your optician into the exam room helps create a more private environment for you to share patient information and gives the patient a comfortable area to ask questions and address concerns.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on December 2015. It has been updated for relevance and richness of content on April 2020.