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.

Understanding Meaningful Use Objectives, Part 2

A message from James Kirchner, OD, Chief Professional Officer for Eyefinity/OfficeMate:

Dr. James Kirchner

In a previous article, I took you through the first six Meaningful Use (MU) objectives in the “core” group as established by the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). In this edition, I’m going to explain the remaining nine MU objectives. Remember, CMS divided the 25 meaningful use objectives into two groups: the first group of 15, called “core” objectives, and the second group of 10, called “menu” objectives. The directive from CMS is that eligible providers must complete all 15 core items and at least five of the 10 menu items, for a total of 20, to meet MU requirements. As I’ve mentioned before, there are exclusions available to the eligible provider, allowing noncompletion of an objective, yet fulfilling MU. I will address these exclusions in a future Trends and Tactics.

If you missed the first six from the last article, you can still read it on our blog. Remember, for all of these easy-to-accomplish MU objectives, OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 will provide the necessary tools that allow you to fulfill the requirements.

Here are the remaining nine core objectives:

1.     CPOE (Computer Physician Order Entry) for medication orders
More than 30% of unique patients, with at least one medication in their medication list as
seen by the EP, must have at least one medication ordered using CPOE.

2.     Implement drug-drug and drug-allergy interaction checks.
The EP has enabled this functionality for the entire EHR reporting period.

3.     Implement one clinical decision support rule and the ability to track compliance
with the rule.

OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 will give you this ability.

4.     Report clinical quality measures to CMS or the state.
Extension of PQRI reporting using OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10

5.     Protect electronic health information created or maintained by the certified EHR technology through the implementation of appropriate technical capabilities.
OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 will provide this functionality.

6.     Generate and transmit permissible prescriptions electronically (eRx).
More than 40% of all permissible prescriptions written by the EP are transmitted
electronically using certified EHR technology.

7.     Provide patients with an electronic copy of their health information (including diagnostic test results, problem list, medication lists, medication allergies, discharge summary, procedures), upon request.
More than 50% of all unique patients of the EP who request an electronic copy of their
health information are provided it within three business days.

8.     Provide clinical summaries for patients for each office visit.
Clinical summaries provided to patients for more than 50% of all office visits within three
business days

9.     Capability to exchange key clinical information electronically (for example, problem list, medication list, medication allergies, diagnostic test results) among providers of care and patient authorized entities
Performed at least one test

Now you have seen all 15 core objectives that provide meaningful use. In my next article, we’ll look at the 10 menu objectives. Remember, your certified EHR must provide you with the tools to easily fulfill the objectives. OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10 is certified and will give you those tools. We want to enable you to qualify for the funds associated with meaningful use and help you provide the best care to your patients. The time to register for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program is now, even if you don’t have your certified EMR in place. We encourage you to register now.

Understanding Meaningful Use Objectives, Part 1

A message from James Kirchner, OD, Chief Professional Officer for Eyefinity/OfficeMate:

Dr. James Kirchner

At Eyefinity/OfficeMate, we are celebrating the certification of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10. We are excited to be able to produce a certified EHR, which is a critical component of your meaningful use (MU) strategy.

Now it’s time to help you understand the MU objectives. As I promised in my previous articles, I’ll give you the specifics of the 25, MU criteria, so that you can be confident in your ability to use your certified software in a meaningful way. My goal is your success in getting your portion of the stimulus money—all $44,000.

There are 25 objectives as established in the Final Rule by CMS, I’m going to detail all 25 over the next few blog articles. I’ll make them very practical to understand. I’ll begin by detailing the first 15 which are called “core” objectives and CMS expects eligible providers (EPs) to perform all 15. The second set is called “menu,” and you will be expected to perform 5 out of the 10 menu objectives. Therefore, a total of 20 out of the 25 objectives will need to be accomplished for successfully using your certified EHR in a meaningful way.

There are exclusion provisions that have been established, so that you can decide if any of the 15 should be excluded by you. I’ll address the exclusions in the future. For now, let’s go through the list. I’m going to group the objectives by 3 major categories for the sake of clarity. I’ll do the first category in this edition and the other categories in next few blog articles.

Category 1: Recording and Securely Storing Specific Patient Data

  1. Record Demographics
    Record the patient’s preferred language, gender, race, ethnicity, and date of birth.
  2. Maintain a Problem List
    Maintain an up-to-date problem list of current and active diagnoses.
  3. Maintain an Active Medication Allergy List
    Maintain a list of patient medication allergies. If the patient hasn’t any medication allergies, you must record as none.
  4. Maintain an Active Medication List
    Maintain a list of patient medications. If the patient isn’t taking any medications, you must record as none
  5. Record and Chart Vital Signs
    Record height, weight, blood pressure, calculate and display BMI, plot and display growth charts for children 2–20 years of age, including BMI.
  6. Record Smoking Status
    Record the smoking habits of patients 13 years and older.

There you have the first set of MU objectives. Remember that your certified EHR must provide you with the tools to accomplish the tasks listed above, but it will be up to you to do the work.

I know that many of you will be concerned with some of the objectives listed. I mentioned that the CMS Final Rule makes allowances for exclusions. The topic of exclusions is worthy of a complete edition of Trends and Tactics, so stay with me through this series, and I’ll explain them.

Why I Work in the Eyecare Industry

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

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

I love working in the eyecare industry because I am so deeply indebted to it.

Most people don’t believe me when I tell them that I have worn hard contact lenses since I was a month old. You see, I was born with cataracts, and after undergoing four corrective surgeries as an infant, I am now aphakic. For those of you who follow this blog but are not doctors, aphakia is the technical term for having the natural crystalline lenses in one’s eyes surgically removed. While contact lenses are still the standard method of optical correction, these days, a cataract patient’s natural lens may be surgically replaced by a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) Thirty years ago, IOLs were far too risky and expensive, thereby making contact lenses my only option.

Many people take sight for granted. You have no idea how precious sight is until your contact lenses are accidentally thrown out on Christmas Eve, or you can’t drive because you dropped a contact down the drain. Work can be interrupted. Vacations can be ruined. The possibility of suddenly not being able to see, which probably doesn’t occur to many people, keeps me on my toes.

The miracles of modern medicine and advances in eyecare have afforded me the opportunity to live a normal life. Of course, normal to me involves cleaning and securely storing my contact lenses every night and fussing with reading glasses everywhere I go. These are small prices to pay, however, considering that in past eras, my sight couldn’t have been saved at all.

It pleases me to write documentation for a company that supports what I would consider to be a noble industry, and I am proud to work with optometrists and ophthalmologists who have helped improve the daily lives of millions of people like me.

Eyewear Promotions Aims to Strengthen Your Practice

Today’s entry comes from Kirk Poole, Practice Management Specialist for Eyefinity/OfficeMate:

Looking for ways to increase your web presence?  Is your practice not showing up in online searches, or could it use a boost to get into the top listings?  Eyefinity/Officemate has the tool to help you: EyewearPromotions.com!

EyewearPromotions.com is a new consumer-facing web site that gives private practice the tools to compete with retail.  It starts with a heavy advertising campaign utilizing Google and Yahoo sponsored search that drives consumers to the web site, which offers them great deals on designer frames, sunwear, premium lenses, contacts, and more. To take advantage of these offers, consumers can locate a local participating provider through a zip code search tool on EyewearPromotions.com. It even links out to your eWeb Extra site, and the consumer sees that same appealing promotions, which are automatically updated and added to your practice’s site.

You can also download the signage and display it in your practice to increase sales to your existing patients.  This will help ensure consistency and continuity of the promotion both online and in your practice.

Because your eWeb Extra site is connected with EyewearPromotions.com, your site’s status raises with search engine optimization.  Your web site traffic will increase, and more patients will discover the value that your practice can offer them.  Did you know that 42% of consumers looking for an optometrist last year found them on the internet? With statistics like that, doesn’t it make sense to make your presence on the web the best it can be? With eWeb Extra and EyewearPromotions.com, you can’t miss.

For more information, please email or call us at: Eyefinity-InsideSales@eyefinityofficemate.com or 877-448-0707.

VSP Global Spark – Practice Makeover Webisodes Hosted by Eyefinity’s Steve Baker!

Looking for cost-effective ways to update your eyecare practice without breaking the bank? VSP Global can help! Designed to help ignite the success of private practices, VSP Global Spark shows how making a few small updates to your practice can deliver big results.

Visit http://www.vspglobal.com/spark to watch the first makeover webisode!

Hosted by Eyefinity’s President, Steve Baker, VSP Global Spark features a series of webisodes which explore a low-cost makeover completed in just 72 hours to increase profitability and success.

Visit www.vspglobal.com/spark to view the first webisode now and check back often to see new webisodes, makeover tips and tutorials.  Check out the trailer for VSP Global Spark below: