Efficiency is the cornerstone of the modern ophthalmology clinic. With an increased need to see more patients in the same amount of time efficiency has become a necessity. Thankfully evaluating efficiency in your clinic does not have to be a tedious or painful process.
First, you want to evaluate your patient check in process and examine front desk protocol carefully. Are front desk staff doing all the necessary steps in the most efficient way? Once you find the best way to properly check a patient in and go over insurances then all front desk staff should be doing it the same way. To increase efficiency everyone must understand the protocols and perform them the same way. Secondly, study how your building is laid out including exam rooms, testing rooms, and work up stations. Is your lensometer near your auto refractor, or does a tech have to walk from one end of the hall to the other? Make sure exam rooms are fully stocked so that the tech does not have to leave the room during the work up. Commonly used items such as color plates, retinoscope, transilluminator, etc. should be located in each work-up room or in a central area.
Ensure that technicians are all doing work-ups the same way according to the doctors preferences. For example, Doctor A would like his patient’s pressures checked on Goldmann instead of a tonopen. This way the work-up technician knows they will need an exam room with a slit lamp to check pressures before they call the patient back. Consider having a doctor preference sheet in a binder at the tech station for technicians to reference. The more consistent the preferences are among providers, the less
likely it is that there will be mistakes. A preference sheet should also be made up for the scribe to increase efficiency during the exam. As we are well aware time is a factor when it comes to work-ups and exams and being efficient allows you to provide a positive patient experience in the allotted amount of time.