Transforming the 'Patient Visit Cycle' from Exam Lane to Dispensary... and Beyond


Brian Chou, OD, of EyeLux Optometry.

Technology can be transformational for the optical practice... when it is used correctly that is, as Brian Chou, OD, of EyeLux Optometry explained at the start of his dba LIVE presentation on "Using Technology to Engage and Educate Patients in the Exam Lane and Dispensary." However, using technology incorrectly can also interfere with the patient/doctor relationship, he warned. To illustrate the bad use of technology, Chou described a doctor who rolled a video about cataracts and simply sat there and watched it with the patient with no interaction whatsoever.

Using examples from his practice, Chou then went on to discuss all the good ways that technology can improve the experience throughout the various stages of the "patient visit cycle." For example, using automated equipment in the exam lane "allows docs to spend more quality time with the patient." His practice also achieves "much greater efficiency" by performing a digital retinal exam on every single patient.

A visual paging system not only "directs staff and doctors where they go next without yelling down the hallway," but it also assists with the pass off of the patient from the optometrist to the optician.

The dispensing station is further streamlined by integrating a laptop with practice management software. Adding a credit card swipe system enables opticians to complete transactions right on the spot.

He also suggested benchmarking systems or third party software such as focalCenter or The Edge from GPN to extract and analyze the statistics that practice management software generates.

Chou's practice also just started using, a contact lens and ocular pharmaceutical database that includes the EyeDraw patient education tool that enables him to create diagrams on the computer for his patients.

Using social media platforms such as Facebook and Google+ as well as paying attention to customer review sites such as Yelp can help "validate a practice's operations and systems." By using Google Analytics, which has helped Chou analyze traffic to his website, he's learned that one-quarter of it is coming from mobile devices.

About patient communication systems such as WebSystem3, Demandforce, Solutionreach, and 4PatientCare, Chou said, "anyone not using them is at a disadvantage."

These are just some of the suggestions from EyeLux Optometry for positively using technology to transform the "patient visit cycle." For more, click here for a PDF of Brian Chou's Vision Monday dba LIVE presentation: "Using Technology to Engage and Educate Patients in the Exam Lane and Dispensary."