Ophthalmology Business

MAR 2014

Ophthalmology Business is focused on business topics relevant to the entrepreneurial ophthalmologist. It offers editorial, opinion, and practical tips for physicians running an ophthalmic practice. It is a companion publication of EyeWorld.

Issue link: http://digital.ophthalmologybusiness.org/i/273499

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W hen it comes to running an ophthalmolo- gy practice, innovation and efficiency as well as providing good customer service are key. Southern Eye Center in Hattiesburg, Miss. has implemented different tactics to make the practice efficient and workable for patients, doctors, technicians, and administrators alike. Chris Crawford, COA, clinic development manager, and Lynn B. McMahan, MD, founding member, discussed some of the tools Southern Eye Center uses to improve efficien- cy and customer service and keep patients happy on a daily basis. Among these are: a one-day business model where patients can have the preop exam and surgery on the same day, cross-trained staff, iPads used for electronic health records (EHR), and OD referrals. One-day business model Typically, the one-day model mainly applies to cataract procedures, Mr. Crawford said. "We do offer the same-day model for all procedures, but cataract is the driving force behind the one visit." When patients are referred, they will receive a packet that includes consent forms and information on the physicians and practice. It also includes a DVD, which has informa- tion on preoperative and postopera- tive care, as well as specific informa- tion on toric and premium IOL options. Mr. Crawford said with the pack- et, patients are already familiar with the consents and lens options when they first come to the practice. Before seeing a physician, they will see a technician who can answer questions. The physician would then come in and review the information, talk to patients about lens choices, and confirm a cataract diagnosis. The technician finishes the consent and record process with patients after the physician leaves. Next, patients go to the schedul- ing office to confirm financial and insurance aspects of the procedure and after that to the calculation room for any photos or testing the p hysician needs before the proce- dure. Following that, patients head to the surgery center. Everything for the procedure is done at once. While patients are in the surgery center, the physician will choose the lens based on calculations previously done, and that lens can be taken directly to the physician to perform the surgery. Mr. Crawford said that on an especially efficient day, a patient can be in and out of the practice in about three hours. Since the facility has a clinic and surgery center in one location, this helps with sched- uling and allows for the doctors to rotate between seeing patients in the clinic and the OR. He said a similar process will be done with the second eye, but it will not be nearly as lengthy as the first because calculations have already been performed, and patients have some sort of expectation as to what they will be paying. "Usually a second eye patient is in and out in about an hour and a half." Dr. McMahan said this one-day model helped him and his patients in what was a very full and hectic schedule when he was first starting out. "Within a few years of going into practice, I found myself so busy that patients often had to wait sever- al months for an appointment," he said. Because of the overwhelming schedule, Dr. McMahan decided to switch up his services and focus on only medical care rather than includ- ing services for routine exams and glasses. "I closed my optical and began accepting only patients with medical problems," he said. "Strangely my 22 Ophthalmology Business • March 2014 by Ellen Stodola Staff Writer Efficiency and customer service practices 20-28_OB March 2104-DL_Layout 1 2/19/14 11:09 AM Page 22

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