A Resolution Not to Get Choked Up About

Looking for a New Year’s resolution? Why not resolve to get your staff trained in CPR?

You’d never think it could happen to you or anyone you know, but emergencies happen. A couple of weeks ago I had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on someone who was choking on a sandwich in our office.  Once someone called my attention to our choking colleague, I was able to perform the Heimlich without giving it a second thought, I realized that I have not had CPR training in several years, and my certification card has long expired.

Michael O. is Sr. Technical Writer for Eyefinity/OfficeMate

The few coworkers who have had CPR training were at lunch or at the other end of the building.

If no one were around, it would have been a very dangerous situation for my choking colleague. He was two shades of deep red and purple, grasping at his throat, and panicked. He could have pushed his fists to his chest and leaned his weight on the back of a chair to simulate the Heimlich maneuver himself, but when people panic, they don’t think of those things.

This unfortunate situation clearly illustrates the need for CPR training in our offices. So, too, it illustrates the need for CPR training in your practice.

Most, if not all, states require current CPR certification as a requisite to renewing your license to practice. As long as you’re getting CPR training, why not send your staff to receive CPR training also? The more people who are certified, the better chance you will have of averting a catastrophe in the event you, someone on your staff, or a  patient requires the Heimlich maneuver or CPR.

So, resolve to make CPR training a priority for your practice in 2010. To borrow the title of a short story by Flannery O’Connor, the life you save may be your own.

Electronic Medical Records – Poll Time!

Bionic Eye Technology Helping The Blind

Hat tip to our friends at the VSP blog who shared this amazing story of a blind woman benefitting from bionic eye technology.

Click on the picture to watch the CNN story and read more.

You can also read more about this amazing technology here on our blog.

That thing the kids are talking about these days… It could help bring your practice patients and additional revenue.

You’ve probably heard about one of these social networking websites in the media: Twitter, Facebook, MySpace. Those are just three of dozens of social networking and information sharing websites on the Internet today.  So, should you and your practice “plug in” to these social networks?

This is a great time for optometric practices to ride the wave of social networking.  Joining most social networks is free, and provides you exposure to thousands of people in your local community and beyond.  In essence, you can begin to market your practice and its services online – via social networking – for no cost.  Beyond marketing, it’s important to communicate the value you and your practice provide through your services and in the community.  So, how do you communicate value using this type of technology?

Practices can use social networking to announce new frame lines or the importance of lens technologies. Have you added Emilio Pucci or Fendi to your frame collection?  This would be a great opportunity to post a “tweet” on Twitter.  Or, educate your patients and potential new customers on the importance of UV protection and children’s eyewear via Facebook.  These are just a few examples to help promote your practice on social networking.

Social networking will bring you patients and referrals with little to moderate effort.  If you’re looking to get started with social networking, I highly recommend this guide I found from Transitions that shows you how to get your practice on Facebook.

Is your practice already immersed in the social networking world? Leave us a comment and share advice or tips for those looking to dip their toe into the water.

Good luck and happy Social Networking!

I am ready to use EMR, but my staff is not onboard

EMR-resistant staff can be a major hurdle in successful implementation. Let’s discuss some of the reasons staff can be less than happy about your decision to use electronic medical records, and how you can help them see the value of using them.

1. “Our current paper system works fine; why do we have to change?”

People will always question the need for change, especially when it is perceived that the there is no personal benefit derived from the change.  The staff must understand how transitioning to electronic charting enables them to do their job more efficiently.  You will not receive the same excitement about EMRs by telling the staff the financial benefits as you will the practical benefits.

Every staff member will recognize the personal benefits of immediate chart retrieval as they have all had the experience of “hunting” for a lost chart.  Another point of frustration in paper charting is interpreting various handwriting styles; charting electronically solves this issue.  A third key point is the ability to auto-populate the fields in the Rx Lab Order and the transfer of diagnosis and procedure codes from the exam room to the fee slip at checkout.

Rebecca Johnson is the Director of Education for Eyefinity/OfficeMate

2.  “I am not computer-savvy.”

It is common to find a generational challenge with new technology.  While a portion of staff members have grown up emailing, texting and using the internet as their first choice for information, you could have staff members who are very uncomfortable using computers.  It is crucial to use baby-steps with these individuals and patiently provide the extra support they need to become confident in charting electronically.

3.  “Paper chart documentation is much faster.”

When beginning to use an EMR system it will take more time to document until you get past the learning curve.  That is a fact that must be accepted and planned for.  Not only is the whole clinical staff learning a new way of documentation, every patient that comes in the door, both established and new, must have all of their patient history entered into the EMR system.  The great news is that after the first visit, the patient’s history automatically pulls forward for quick review and update.

A suggestion is to use ExamWRITER only on new patients for 2-3 weeks before going 100% live with ExamWRITER.  Using this method the staff feels “out of their element” only with new patients and can go back into their paper chart comfort zone for established patients.  After using ExamWRITER on new patients for 2-3 weeks the transition to electronically charting all patient encounters will be easier as the program will be more familiar.

Top 5 Eyefinity FAQs

Guest blogger: Eyefinity/OfficeMate Director of Customer Care Brian McPherson

Do you have questions about using the Eyefinity Web site? Your questions have probably already been asked by other users. Read our top five Eyefinity FAQs below!

1. Why am I receiving the “date of service cannot be in the future for this claim” error message?

Check the date on your computer.  This error occurs when your computer has the incorrect time and date.  Most frequently, you have the wrong A.M .or P.M. time, causing the date to be incorrect.

2. How do I correct a rejected claim that indicates “DX CODE INVALID”?

This message from the insurance company indicates that one or more of your diagnosis codes on the claim is invalid. Check the codes for accuracy and refer to your provider manual for the insurance plan in question, or contact the insurance company to verify the codes. After you have corrected the claim, simply resubmit it to the payer at no additional charge.

Brian McPherson

Brian McPherson - Eyefinity/OfficeMate's Director of Customer Care

3. I’d like to submit claims to a specific insurance company.  Can I submit claims to that insurance on your Web site?

Contact the insurance company (or check the patient’s insurance card) to confirm the insurance company’s “payer ID.”  Then, call Eyefinity at 877.448.0707. We will be able to check for the insurance company by ID and request to have it added to our Web site if it is not already on our list.

4. I received a statement from Eyefinity, but I don’t know what the charges are for. Where I can I see the details of these charges?

You can review your detailed charges on the Eyefinity Web site if your office has designated that level of security in your Eyefinity user ID profile. On the Eyefinity home page, navigate to the top right corner of the page under the “Message Center” section.  Click on the “Account Statement” link and then click on each of the listed monthly bills to open the details of the charges.

5. How do I add a doctor to our practice on the Eyefinity Web site?

  • If you are adding an additional VSP provider, you need to contact VSP.  The doctor needs to be credentialed by VSP. After they are set up at VSP with your practice, they will automatically show up on Eyefinity as a provider in your office.
  • To add an additional provider who is not a VSP provider, you need to establish a separate Eyefinity account for that provider to use.  To set up the provider, complete the Eyefinity credentialing forms on the Eyefinity Web site under the “Contact Us” section.