HOW ONE PRACTICE STREAMLINED PATIENT FLOW

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The EyePOD, or personal optical delivery, brings eyeglasses and contact lenses
to patients at home.
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Wilson Eye Center’s award-winning practice
in Valdosta, GA, credits its success to customer service.  David K. Price, OD,
Cynthia J. Harris, OD, Jodie S. Norman, OD, and Steven M. Wilson, OD.

More than 95% of patients at Wilson Eye Center are seen within 10 minutes of their appointment. Here’s how they do it.

From arrival to treatment and dispensing, operational efficiency enhances all aspects of  the patient experience at Wilson Eye Center in Valdosta, GA. The process begins with Web-based reminders and notifications from the Compulink Advantage practice management system.

Either through web registration or appointments scheduled via phone or in-person, the office verifies insurance 24 to 48 hours before the examination, notifying patients of any problems with their insurance ahead of their scheduled exam. Once at the office, patients are guided through their appointments using routing slips that show the reason for the visit, noting the vision and medical insurance carrier with the assigned co-pay and which insurance carrier is primary for the exam.

IN THE EXAM ROOMS
Four pre-test stations and 13 examination rooms allow for ease of patient flow from reception area to doctor encounter. All equipment has an electronic interface that allows for dropping patient data into the appropriate fields, which saves documentation time. Examination screens are custom mapped and color coded to match the patient and staff/provider location and testing area. Technicians have screens that are distinct from provider screens, and each is color enhanced to allow for ease of visual location. Each screen is matched to the patient location within the office. For example, the technician screen aligns with the pre-test and exam room location, while the provider screen aligns with the examination room.

IN THE DISPENSARY
To avoid errors when selecting lenses, spectacle lens guides at each dispensing station interface with the software billing system and show retail charges, insurance classifications, lens and frame insurance tiers, minimum seg heights and lens availability in various categories such as high index, polycarbonate, Trivex, Transitions and other lens types. The spectacle lens screen contains a smart script feature to help our opticians complete all data fields to avoid patient call back.

AT THE FRONT DESK
The coding screen is divided into cash, vision insurance, medical insurance and unique insurance screens for ease of provider coding. The provider codes the appropriate refractive diagnosis and refractive procedure by simply referring to the routing slip. Because the slip also shows medical insurance, the provider can code the appropriate medical diagnosis and procedure for reimbursement.

All charges (from the exam or optical) are shown along with insurance adjustments, co-pays and insurance allowance application on an easy-to-read patient receipt to enhance the patient experience. We have found patients appreciate this at what can be a difficult-to-understand point in the office process.

ON ORDERING
Electronic prescribing enhances the patient experience at the pharmacy, and optical dispensing is pre-appointed at the time of eyeglass ordering with patient notification 24 hours prior to dispensing of any delays in order completion. We stock contact lenses for same day delivery, including one-year supply dispensing. We also offer optical delivery by automobile””which is efficient on another level! The EyePOD delivers eyeglasses and contact lenses directly to the patient’s home. (As a teenager, I delivered assembled bikes and trikes to customer’s homes until 6am on Christmas Eve for a retail toy store. This was my first understanding of the importance of customer service.)

Patients appreciate the effort, and more importantly, the efficiency of our office and the emphasis on customer service. In fact, they comment that Wilson Eye Center should hold seminars for other provider offices on how to run an office efficiently.

Steven Wilson, OD, founder of Wilson Eye Center, is a recipient of CooperVision’s 2015 Best Practices award. The award honors leaders in optometry who deliver innovative patient care.

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