I recently had an opportunity to observe another practitioner in his dry eye specialty practice and it was a boon to me in a myriad of unexpected ways. ODs can become so busy running the maze of our own practices that we sometimes forget the benefits that can come from stepping away. It was very refreshing to move outside of my comfort zone and see a different approach. I came back to my practices full of new ideas, energy, and excitement to up my game.
1. There may be a better process
The first thing that struck me at this dedicated dry eye clinic was the way patients flowed through the office. At the time, I was experiencing a bottleneck at my primary care practice. I had highly trained scribes who were able to refract. Each scribe would take a patient from the waiting room through the pre-testing process, into the exam room, dilate and refract the patient, then wait for me to come in, refine the refraction and complete the eye health exam. My scribes were highly trained in refraction. So, I had them lead patients from the waiting room, through the pre-testing process, into the exam room where they’d dilate, refract and wait for me to complete the examination.
I liked the continuity of care this provided for patients, but the blockage of patients was bothersome. it was creating a bottleneck when an exam room wasn’t ready.
Additionally, time was lost whenever scribes sat with patients to wait for a room or me to join them.