An interesting find from our friend Vernon over at VSP’s blog…
Technology. Love it or hate it – it continues to shape and change the world. Second Sight Medical Products – a company based in Sylmar, CA, is in the process of harnessing technology to help those with macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa. On their workbench, a bionic eye.
Guest blogger Ryan Wineinger, O.D. of Wineinger Vision Associates offers his perspective on implementing electronic medical records into his practice:
If your practice has not made the switch to using electronic medical records (EMRs) yet, I bet one of your excuses might just be the same as the title of my blog. There are a multitude of different reasons that a practice does not want to transition into the adoption of EMRs, but looking ahead to the financial incentives from the HITECH Act that become available in 2011, the time to implement is now!
I’ll discuss some of the details of the financial incentives of using EMRs in a future post, but first, I want to share my own practice’s experience with adopting EMRs:
In 2003, our practice made the jump and began using EMRs. Until that point we only used our practice management software for scheduling, demographic information (recalls) and financial transactions. We weren’t sure how to go about making this change, but we laid the groundwork and slowly started to chip away at the process. Today, we file no paperwork in our office, and are much more streamlined and efficient, making the patient experience more enjoyable.
How were we able to do it? We devised four phases of implementation that covered every aspect of our practice. Slowly but surely, we essentially became a “paperless office.”
In our first phase of deployment, each doctor in our practice set up a running environment of ExamWRITER electronic medical records on their laptop. We set a goal to each enter one-to-two examinations per day as practice to get a feel for the program. The software was easy to use and we grew comfortable documenting examinations sooner than we expected in this type of environment.
Getting started and working through the first phase turned out to be the easiest for our practice. It was an important first step, but many challenges remained.
Questions about my experience taking that first step with EMRs? Leave me a comment here or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next time: Our second phase – the optical side of things.
Have you heard about the new Transitions® Optical Guarantee?
Recently, Transitions Optical and VSP teamed up to provide VSP members with a chance to experience Transitions lenses for up to six-months through a no-risk program, guaranteeing satisfaction. If the patient isn’t satisfied, the lenses will be replaced, free of charge. More information on the program can be found by visiting Transitions.
As part of the effort to provide practices with more information, Eyefinity/OfficeMate is hosting a series of online information sessions about the program. Pat Huot, Director of Managed Vision Care for Transitions Optical, and Sharon Jacobson-Franz, Consumer Marketing Manager with VSP, will lead the upcoming sessions and share details of the program, discuss strategies on how to share the benefits with your patients, as well as answer your questions.
Session dates and times:
Thursday, October 29 at 8 AM or 12 PM PT
Thursday, November 5 at 8 AM PT
Sign up for an information session on the eLearn tab on Eyefinity.
For practices who use Eyefinity to file patient claims and lab orders, you’ve probably noticed the new frame selection feature. It was introduced earlier this year and recently enhanced to provide the wholesale frame cost for all the frames, if you have a qualifying Frames Data subscription.
There is some real magic behind this feature. We have combined several frame information sources, including Frames Data, into a single database which holds, literally, hundreds-of-thousands of individual frames. If the ophthalmic frame hit the market, then it’s probably in the database.
Looking for the latest Altair frame? It’s in there. Looking for three-year-old Marchon frames? They’re in there too.
Also, instead of identifying “POF” (for patient-owned frame), input as much as you know about the frame. The ‘Google-like’ search syntax gets better with each new piece of information. Do you have the UPC? That’s almost guaranteed to match. Do you know the SKU? That gets you a small list to choose from. Can you read the temple info? That should help nail it down to a manageable few.
The next time you are entering a lab order, try some ‘what-ifs’ to see how it works. For example, just entering “Jay” reveals that five manufacturers have a model named “Jay” (woohoo!). “Nike 4180” takes you directly to a nice listing of that Nike frame (with some great images). And, “788678968326” is a UPC which takes you to a frame from Joseph Abboud.
Our database is quite possibly the most comprehensive collection of frames on the planet. And we continue to work with the manufacturers and data-providers to ensure that the database is as fresh and accurate as possible.
Did you know that Eyefinity/OfficeMate is on Twitter? Follow us @EyefinityOffice.
What Is Twitter?
Twitter is a social networking website that has exploded in popularity over the last several months. It seems like everybody is talking about it, and you can’t watch the evening news or read a magazine without some mention of Twitter. Tweets poured out of Iran this summer, telling the rest of the world what is happening amidst riots and protests over questionable election results. Even Time magazine ran a cover story in its June 5th edition pronouncing “How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live.” You can read the Time story here. Indeed, Twitter is connecting people and information in a fashion that was unimaginable just a few years ago.
Okay, so Twitter is a hot topic, but what is it? Twitter allows users to send “tweets” (or microblogs), messages no longer than 140 characters in length. Other Twitter users can follow you and read your tweets. Tweets sent by people a user follows are aggregated and displayed on a single page in reverse chronological order. So, at a glance, a user can quickly scan tweets of varying topics posted by many people. Users can follow or be followed by thousands of people (or, in the case of actor Ashton Kutcher, over two million followers).
For over four years now, Eyefinity/OfficeMate has built and maintained an extensive online knowledge base to help clients answer technical questions about their OfficeMate and ExamWRITER software. In the beginning, we only had a few articles and categories posted online and the content in the articles was mostly basic “how to” content (i.e., how to process recalls in OfficeMate). Now, the online knowledge base contains over 1300 articles in 122 categories.
The content has expanded to include fixes for error messages, product and utility downloads, and Technology Integrated Practice (TIP) information. If you have a question about your Eyefinity/OfficeMate product, the knowledge base should be one of the first avenues you take to find an answer. Here are some tips to help you find the information you need in the knowledge base:
Check out the most popular and most recent articles on the home page of the knowledge base. Chances are good that one of the most popular articles will be helpful to you, too!
Use the folders on the left side of the page to find articles about, for example, ExamWRITER eDocuments or the Huvitz ExamWRITER equipment interface.
Click the Search tab at the top of the page to conduct a customized search for answers to your questions.
Click the Ask a Question! tab at the top of the page to ask our Customer Care team a question for which you are unable to find an answer in the knowledge base.
New articles are constantly being added to the knowledge base, so check back often to search for new knowledge. And, if you find a particular article interesting or helpful, be sure to leave a comment for us at the bottom of the article’s page!
Guest Blogger – Bill Hatch, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Eyefinity/OfficeMate:
What weighs 14,000 pounds, has 501” of diagonal viewing area and 4.5 terabytes of memory all wrapped up into a 1000 square foot area? Answer – the Eyefinty/Officemate trade show booth. Most of you reading this have likely attended an industry trade show at one time or another. However, many of you have probably not experienced setting up and tearing down the booth at the start and finish of these shows.
Think of it this way: walk into your office (essentially a defined square) and then set up 15 computers, 15 large-screen monitors, along with 3 plasma displays and a PA system. And don’t forget that you need to make sure that you’re effectively merchandising and portraying your products so graphics and literature all come into the picture. And, by the way–it all has to be done in two days. Sounds like a lot of work, right? Well, quite honestly, it is.
But the better question to ask is: Is it worth it?
Recently, I had the opportunity to learn about the philanthropic organization Optometry Giving Sight.Their Director of Fundraising provided our team with an overview of some of the amazing things they do, including providing and funding eye exams and glasses to those in need across the globe. On their website, I discovered their vision:
A world where avoidable blindness and vision loss due simply to the lack of a pair of eye glasses no longer threaten the quality-of-life and future livelihood of children and adults because there is universal access to quality vision and eye care services for all those in need.
Click on the clip below to watch this moving and intriguing video clip from their website.
Optometry Giving Sight is able to do this great work with the help of donors and many supporters internationally. To encourage support and to raise awareness, all members of the eyecare community are encouraged to participate in the World Sight Day Challenge, taking place on October 8, 2009. You can raise funds in your practice, or donate yourself. Find out more about this exciting day here.
Guest Blogger – Ed Buffington, Chief Operating Officer for Eyefinity/OfficeMate:
Wow, it’s hard to believe I have been attending the International Vision Expo (OptiFair in the early years) for 28 years. What is harder to believe is the EXCITEMENT I experience during the booth setup of every major trade event, particularly the Vision Expos. There’s the anxiety of making sure the booth and all the boxes arrive timely, that all the computers boot up and work, the team arrives safely and at show time, we’re ready to rock and roll.
These days, Bill Hatch, our Senior Vice President of Marketing has those worries to deal with but I still have the same feeling of exuberance! What’s interesting is that in 28 years and over hundreds of shows, somehow, it always comes together.
This year at Vision Expo West there’s an added excitement for me: OfficeMate is now a part of the VSP Global! As many of you know, in 2008 OfficeMate merged with Eyefinity to become Eyefinity/OfficeMate. Together, we are a team of nearly 200 eyecare software and technology professionals.
To add to the excitement, VSP Global and Eyefinity/OfficeMate introduced the Healthcare Technology Program (HTP) this summer. Through the HTP, VSP providers can get OfficeMate and ExamWRITER electronic medical records and defer the software license fees until they begin to receive federal incentive payments through the HITECH Act. The response from ECPs to the HTP has been overwhelming! We had planned to bring the program to a close on September 30, but have decided to extend it through the end of Vision Expo West. Drop by our booth (#13063) to find out more.
Also – Check back with us here on the blog to see pictures of the Eyefinity/OfficeMate booth at Vision Expo West soon!
Welcome to the Eyefinity blog! Many of you are already following us on Twitter and this blog is our latest adventure into the world of social media.
Social media is changing the way we live and interact every day. More and more people are using it in some way, from my 18-year-old daughter using Facebook to keep in touch with friends in college and family at home, to my college roommate, now a NASA astronaut who was the first person to “tweet” from space while he worked to repair the Hubble Telescope a few months back. The possibilities seem endless.
Our blogging crew consists of Eyefinity employees, but will also feature guest blogs from eyecare professionals. We’ll be posting on relevant industry issues including eyecare technology and solution news, tips and educational resources for Eyefinity users, product news and much more. We hope the blog will give you some more insight into who we are at Eyefinity and how we contribute to the success of ECPs.
If you’re in Las Vegas this weekend for Vision Expo West, stop by our booth (# 13063) and say hello. We would love to chat with you.