Analyzing the Patient Experience
As crucial as technology is to optimizing the patient experience, though, technology is not a solution by itself. Some optometrists say it is just as important to hire a consultant who can analyze their practice and develop strategies to improve efficiency and selectively deploy technology.
Stephen Pullen, OD, said his Jacksonville, Fla. practice, Doctors Pullen, Watts and Sherrill, has benefitted from working with ODLean, an optometric consulting group that is a division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. The company, also based in Jacksonville, helps practices grow by uncovering constraints and developing practice-specific solutions. Using real time, real practice information, ODLean consultants look at an individual practice and analyze each moment that patients interact with the business. Their objective is to create a streamlined patient experience by minimizing patient waiting time and optimizing profit.
| Dr. Stephen Pullen.
Prior to using ODLean, we had a lot of bottlenecks in our office,” said Dr. Pullen. “Our whole goal was to try to eliminate them. Patients don’t like to wait once they’re called in for their exam, and they don’t want to feel like they’re just being herded through it, either. They want to feel their time is being valued.”
Dr. Pullen credits ODLean with identifying certain tests and procedures that could be eliminated. He was also able to delegate refractions to a staff member, which allowed him to spend more time consulting with patients.
“When I do have face to face time with a patient, my attention is undivided. They feel engaged. They felt like they spent longer with the doctor.”
ODLean also helped Dr. Pullen revamp his office’s scheduling methods. “Most patients come to pick up their glasses or contact lenses at lunchtime or at the end of the day,” he said. “We completely redid our schedule so that at lunchtime we’re concentrating on contact lens patients, so we’re not dumping optical patients on them. It also helped out our optical department.”
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