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CEO Challenge: Speed Up Your Exams

In this first CEO Challenge, Steve Vargo, O.D., M.B.A., tackles exam efficiency.

Dr. Vargo

My challenge to you this month: Explore ways to see more patients faster without compromising clinical care or the patient experience. The solution lies not in hurrying, but in improved efficiencies.

Why should you consider speeding up your exam time? Because:

  • Some studies have found that if the patient is not in the optical within about 40 minutes of the visit, they are likely to rush or even postpone eyewear selection, resulting in compromised patient care and lost revenue.
  • Increased efficiency may re-duce patient wait times.
  • Your practice will be able to schedule more visits, thus, increasing access to care for more patients and improving revenues.
  • Patient satisfaction is not tied to time spent in the office, but rather, perception of the office experience.

Below are some actionable steps for speeding up your exams, improving both patient flow and the patient experience.

  • Delegate tasks, such as testing and data collection.
  • Abandon unnecessary forms and lengthy questionnaires, or have them completed beforehand.
  • Hire more staff.
  • Use a scribe to allow the doctor more eye contact with patients and less pecking at a computer.
  • Track metrics to determine how patient time in the optical affects sales.
  • Invest in technology.
  • Train staff.
  • Improve communication skills of all team members.
  • Survey patients, so you’re not letting isolated complaints dictate your business model.
  • Make exceptions when warranted, such as for established, loyal patients. OM