Can you believe that it’s been over two weeks since the 2016 Summer Olympics ended? As I sat and watched top-performing athletes cut seconds off their personal record, win gold by a fraction of a second, and break world records for the fastest time, I noticed a common trend. As runners rounded the third turn of the track or swimmers kicked off the wall for the final lap, their goal was to reduce the time it takes to complete a task without cutting corners.
Eyecare professionals are striving for the same outcome. As an industry benchmark, you and your staff should be guiding each patient through your office workflow within 45 minutes. How can you do that without sacrificing patient care?
3 Ways to Cut Minutes from Your Office Workflow without Affecting Patient Care
Encourage the Use of the Patient Portal
Encouraging patients to use their patient portal can be a huge benefit for your front desk staff, your office workflow, and your patients. If you want to cut up to 3 minutes in your workflow, educate your patients on how they can use their patient portal to:
- Schedule their own appointments
- Fill out forms on their own time
- View their own medical records
- Spend less time in the waiting room
Integrate Tools and Roles
The inefficiencies at the pre-exam stage of the office workflow are common. But, they are easy to fix. All you need is one person and one tool.
The good news is, you probably already have this person in your office. It’s your technician. Instead of sharing pre-exam responsibilities with the technician, offload more pre-exam responsibilities onto them. Having one person in charge of this stage takes away the inefficient hand-offs and lets you focus your attention on the exam stage.
Your optometric practice also needs to have an integrated practice management and EHR software solution. Using a combined practice management and EHR solution will help your staff move patients through your office workflow with less technical errors.
With the right training, tools, and encouragement, your technician can cut your pre-exam stage down by 5 to 10 minutes.
Hang Up on Pharmacies
Are you still calling pharmacists to check on prescriptions? Hang up! Better yet, don’t even call them. You and your patient’s pharmacist both want to spend more time with the patient and less time on the phone. By using an embedded ePrescribing tool, you can avoid making phone calls to the pharmacist and start sending prescription information directly from the EHR system.
It may seem like the time it takes to guide a patient through your office workflow is set in stone. However, by encouraging the use of a patient portal, integrating roles and tools, and hanging up on the pharmacist, you and you staff can shed minutes off your office workflow and still deliver enhanced patient care.
Do you want more tips on how your optometric practice can cut minutes off your office workflow without affecting patient care? Then download this ebook on practice efficiency!