It seems that Optometry practices generally run lean and mean when it comes to staff. They seem to have figured out how to multi-task when it comes to staff members and you will find one associate assisting in multiple areas of the practice. That being said in order to be efficient when you are moving from one task to another you need the right optometry practice management system in place to assist you. If you have not utilized a practice management system to assist you, it might not be clear as to how a good system can add efficiencies to your daily processes.
Here are areas that in my experience can assist you in keeping your practice running efficiently. Data entry errors are a key factor in any practice from patient information to billing errors. They are both time consuming and costly. Many of the systems today have multiple ways to assist you with data entry. Some systems have scanners that auto-populate fields from an identification or insurance card. Others allow you to set up billing rules that alert you if something was entered in an invalid format. Some billing rules can complete a required field based on other entered values. All of these save time and allow for claims to be processed correctly the first time. A patient portal is another valuable tool, patients are able to log into the system view results, complete paperwork and even request an appointment. This saves valuable staff time and increased profitability as patients are inclined to pay faster. Having the optical department as an integrated part of the system means that the RX order goes directly from the exam to the optical department. Having the order waiting for the patient means the patient is less likely to leave without filling the order.
Behind the scenes optometry practice management systems can make labor intensive processes a snap. Running inventory can now be handled electronically, which saves staff time and frustration. Reporting capabilities give you access to all areas of the practice so you know you are making informed decisions. You can even track marketing campaigns to see where your efforts should be focused. These are a few of the items I would look for in a software vendor. Adding these key functionalities can take your practice to the next level and improve employee and patient satisfaction. If you want a recommendation on a vendor that can provide you all of these benefits and more, check out ManagementPlus.