How Cloud-Based Software Helped Make One Practice More Efficient

With eye care professionals (ECPs) working their way back to ‘normal’ while the COVID-19 pandemic continues and uncertainty remains for all businesses, one optometrist is glad he made the switch to a more efficient practice management tool when he did.

The Eyefinity Team recently caught up with Shane Fontenot, O.D. of Advanced Family Eyecare to hear about his transition from Officemate/ExamWRITER to Eyefinity Practice Management and Eyefinity EHR from VSP Global®. Here’s what he had to say about his experience:

“I purchased Eyefinity Practice Management and Eyefinity EHR in May 2019 and went live with the cloud-based system about five months later in November 2019,” said Dr. Fontenot. “With all the craziness that began in 2020, I’m so glad I made the switch over to Eyefinity when I did. The change has allowed my team to increase our efficiency and see and treat patients safely and effectively throughout the pandemic.”

But how is this increased efficiency possible with a cloud-based system, and what exactly is the ‘cloud?’

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Paraoptometric Recognition Week

An Opportunity to Shine the Spotlight on Your Staff


Eyefinity celebrates Paraoptometric Recognition Week!

There’s no debate that an optometry practice can’t run efficiently without a well-staffed office. For successful practices, this includes an experienced team with a wealth of knowledge in the industry. And for some, that includes having paraoptometrics that are CPO certified.

A CPO has attained national recognition via certification by demonstrating an understanding of the concepts used in optometric care.

According to Melissa Mueller, CPO, who currently manages the Optometric Center, P.A. in Boise, Idaho, and who has served on the Idaho Paraoptometric Board for eight years, “CPOs are committed to the optometry field as a career and not just a job.”

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Vision Expo West: How to Get Your Money’s Worth in Vegas

 

Vision Expo West isn’t cheap ($40 buffets…crazy!). However, VEW can be an important investment for your practice. Here are five ways to ensure you make the most out of this year’s show:

  1. Register for free! Let Eyefinity pick up the tab.
  2. Take advantage of incredible education opportunities. There are over 300 hours of education for every role and experience level. Eyefinity is sponsoring a presentation on Improving Quality Care Through Medical Optometry by Dr. Dustin Krassin of Wicker Park Eye Center in Chicago.
  3. Get a sweet deal. Come by the Eyefinity booth 13065 to find out how you can get special pricing on Eyefinity cloud solutions. Think of it as optometry’s Black Friday!
  4. Connect with your peers. The Las Vegas strip will be hopping with networking events during VEW. Check out a list of just some of the happy hours, receptions, and breakfasts you might want to attend.
  5. Enjoy free food! Every day at 2 p.m. we’re offering free food and drinks. Swing by on Thursday at 2 p.m. for special cupcakes in celebration of Eyefinity EHR’s 5th Birthday!

Don’t be a stranger! We’d love to see you at booth 13065 to show you how Eyefinity EHR can help your practice.

Friendships Formed at Eyefinity Education Conferences

Not only are Eyefinity Education Conferences opportunities to dive deep into Eyefinity software, they foster professional connections that could last a lifetime.

In June, more than 100 doctors and staff members joined Eyefinity at its second education conference of the year in San Antonio, Texas. And while Justine O’Dell, OD, from Spartanburg Vision, in South Carolina expected attendees to be excited for the conference and its content, she was pleasantly surprised by “the camaraderie that comes from such a personal, fun, and intensive training.”

“It was a great opportunity to brainstorm and network with ODs from across the country,” said Dr. O’Dell.

These conferences foster connections between attendees, as well as establish meaningful relationships between Eyefinity educators and doctors and staff.

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How to Decide When to Get Started With EHR

When to start with EHR

by April Jasper, OD

Dr_Jasper_shortAt some point, we have all asked or will ask ourselves, “is there ever a good time to implement a new EHR?” The truthful answer is: it depends. I recommend that new practices start from the beginning with an EHR as the extra features make it a no-brainer. Patients can be taught from the start to engage with the patient portal and create good habits with practice staff.

What if you are an established practice? When should you begin? Plan for two to three months of training and be able to enter 50 charts in the sandbox before you go live. To make this process easier, create time in your day — even just half an hour — to practice and do the same for your staff. Your office manager can help keep your team on track and should try to keep the owner and doctors on track too.

While it’s difficult to put down the phone and stop checking email, leave that one opening in your schedule to give yourself time to learn. I will always have another conference, event, or patient to attend to. So, my strategy is to schedule time for things I intend to accomplish or I will not get them done. Whatever your strategy is, you must commit to it; when you make that commitment, you will find that the “when” is no longer an issue.

Read Dr. Jasper’s previous post here. | Read Dr. Jasper’s next post here

Every Implementation Needs a Leader

 

Man hiding under laptop

by April Jasper, ODDr_Jasper_short

As I continue the process of learning Eyefinity EHR, I have found it has been a blessing to have my office manager involved early on. I am busy being a doctor and as with implementing anything new, it’s impossible to also be the manager.

From day one, we discussed the changes we were going to make by implementing Eyefinity EHR and reviewed the steps we would need to take. She has been on every phone call with our client manager and at every training. This ensures my team is engaged and following the steps needed to have a successful onboarding experience.

So far, we’ve found that when your team leader is involved and keeps the rest of the team engaged, the process goes much more smoothly. My office manager helped us set realistic goals and has taken the lead in making sure we meet those goals.

Read Dr. Jasper’s previous post here. | Read Dr. Jasper’s next post here

 

Getting Ready for ICD-10 with OfficeMate/ExamWRITER

checkmarkThe entire medical industry is aflutter with ICD-10 news, tips, dates, codes, documents, and even a funny comment or two about some of the new codes (W56.22xA – Struck by orca, initial encounter?!). But really, the information that you need most is answers to these two questions:

  • What are the exact things that I need to do to prepare for the October 1, 2015, cutover date?
  • What are the exact things that I need to do in order to bill using the new ICD-10 codes?

If you are using OfficeMate/ExamWRITER and plan to upgrade to version 12.0 so that you can bill ICD-10 codes, we have created a short checklist that will help guide you through the ICD-10 transition. It boils down to this:

Before you upgrade to version 12.0:

  1. Finalize all of your open exams in ExamWRITER.

After you upgrade to version 12.0:

  1. Ensure that you have set up your personal ExamWRITER preferences.
  2. Update any custom templates and clinical decision support templates that you created in ExamWRITER that contain ICD-9 codes.
  3. Ensure that your office location address is complete (i.e., mailing address and nine-digit ZIP code) in OfficeMate Administration.
  4. Determine when you want to begin submitting ICD-10 codes, if it’s not going to be on October 1, 2015.

Before the October 1, 2015, Cutover Deadline:

  1. Record all of your fee slips that are on hold in OfficeMate.
  2. Process all of your open insurance claims in OfficeMate.

After the October 1, 2015, Cutover Deadline:

  1. Document exams in ExamWRITER as you have always done, selecting eye lateralities and then diagnoses. Yes – it’s that easy!
  2. There is no step 2! ExamWRITER will automatically code your exams, based on your exam selections, and transfer the codes to OfficeMate fee slips.

Transitioning to using ICD-10 codes may sound daunting, but if you’re using OfficeMate/ExamWRITER 12.0, you are ready!

ICD-10 is a New Era

By Dr. Robert (Bob) Day, Jr., Broadway Eye Center, Garland, TXdr_bob_day_web

When I started learning ICD coding, my dad, Dr. Robert Day, Sr., was President of the American Optometric Association (AOA), and they had just published the first Current Optometric Information and Terminology (COIT) book in June 1974.  It was optometry’s first attempt to participate in the new medical trend of systematically classifying diseases.  Optometry was just beginning to become more than simply prescribing a pair of glasses to help patients realize improved vision.

Learning ICD-9 versus ICD-10 is very much like comparing learning multiplication tables to learning calculus.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know my multiplication tables, but I remember struggling to learn calculus all too well.  I probably learned multiplication in the second or third grade. It was a straightforward process where one problem produces only one answer.  For example, 2×2 can only equal 4—easy enough, right? Then you advance to calculus (particularly differential) where one problem can produce multiple possible answers.  The learning process is far more complex, and the answers, at least initially, are far less obvious. But it can be done; you just need to spend the time to identify your best resource and to understand your goal.

Even now, I calculate simple multiplication in my head, but for calculus I need the help of technology (a calculator) to do calculus.  Likewise, ICD-9 is committed to memory, but for ICD-10, I will depend on technology in the form of my electronic health record system to handle most of the ICD-10 coding.

Speculation abounds, but it’s reasonable to assume that ICD-10 will mark the end of the paper super-bill and coding from memory. Under ICD-10, the AOA’s Express Mapping Card alone is four pages with almost 300 codes.  ICD-10 is clearly more complex, and trying to manage it without the help of technology will drastically add time and expense to your coding.

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A look back at Vision Expo West

Missed Vision Expo West this year? No worries – check out the video below to see everything Eyefinity had going on at the show! Hope to see you all at Vision Expo East in March!

Establishing High Standards of Service

Today’s entry comes from Jessica Lesson.

What distinguishes an excellent customer experience from a good or—worse—mediocre experience? In a word, service. In today’s optical industry, the service a customer receives is just as important—if not more important—as the quality of care and materials they receive. As a practice owner, we know you want to make sure that every patient who visits your practice experiences a consistently high standard of service.

You may endeavor to hire the most conscientious, outgoing, and friendly staff and believe that these efforts alone will ensure that your patients receive the highest standards of care. These measures, however, won’t ensure that staff members consistently provide high levels of service. To ensure that high levels of service are evenly applied from staff member to staff member, you must explicitly state your expectations and establish standards of service.

To establish standards of service, your practice should have a mission statement and a job description for each position:

  • A mission statement should be a short, formal statement about what your practice stands for. A mission statement is designed to guide the actions of your practice as an organization and to create a sense of direction for you and your employees.
  • The positions within your practice that have a set of consistent responsibilities should have job descriptions that directly align with your practice’s mission statement. As a general rule of thumb, most practices should have a job description written for the office manager, front desk and back office staff, pretesters, sales associates, and opticians to ensure that staff members are following consistent, high standards of service.

Setting job descriptions for these various positions is important, even if your practice isn’t large enough to fill each of these unique positions with an individual person. A hybrid job description combining one or more of standards set for these basic positions can be created for employees that wear many hats in the office.

For more information on establishing job descriptions, including sample standards for the major functions in any optometric practice, visit www.eyefinityofficemate.biz.

Jessica Lesson has worked in many facets of the optical industry. Jessica’s experience includes general management of large-volume retail locations and multiunit management. Jessica is also an ABOC optician and licensed in California.