“NetPage Unlimited has enabled us to see more patients per day, our communication is more streamlined and efficient now.”
–Laura George, Marketing and Patient Services
The Draisin Vision Group was founded by Dr. Neil Draisin, who has practiced optometry in Charleston, South Carolina for 40 years. Dr. Draisin was awarded the South Carolina Optometric Physicians Association’s highest honor: Optometrist of the Year, and has served as president of SECO International, an organization widely acknowledged as a valuable source of continuing education for eye care professionals.
Draisin Vision Group embodies the same standard of excellence as their founder. All doctors and staff pledge to remain at the forefront of their profession by maintaining superior ethical standards and continuing clinical education. Draisin Vision Group is one of the forerunners of Vision Therapy in the Low Country, and Dr. Draisin and partner Dr. Jennifer Smith are board certified in Children’s Vision and Visual Perception and Development.
The entire Draisin Vision Group team combines ongoing training and the latest technology with superior customer service to deliver comprehensive eye and vision care that exceeds customer expectations.
NetPage Unlimited and PC Staff Paging
Draisin Vision Group was managing patient flow by using an overhead paging system and transferring patient folders to inboxes, but that process was inefficient and outdated. Patients waited longer than necessary because pre-testers, who could be anywhere in the 6,120 square foot facility didn’t know they had patients to see unless they noticed a folder in the inbox. If there was congestion at the front desk, the office manager notified pre-testers using an overhead paging system. Unfortunately, those PA announcements were loud, distracting, and disturbing patients and doctors.
Draisin Vision Group needed a silent communication solution that would allow the front desk to silently contact pre-testers, doctors and other team members located in exam rooms, the optical lab, vision lanes, employee lounge, or offices. Plus, any new system had to be easy to implement, simple to use, and effectively communicate in environments like the optical lab, where noisy equipment was in use.
In 2009, Draisin Vision Group implemented NetPage Unlimited, Long Range Systems’ browser-based wireless solution that allowed Draisin Vision Group to communicate via onsite paging, SMS text messaging or through email notifications. NetPage Unlimited was installed on 15 computers, and after a 15-minute training session, they were up and running. The administrator created groups, so the new system had an immediate positive impact on staff productivity and patient flow.
Draisin Vision Group uses NetPage Unlimited to silently communicate with pre-testers, doctors, opticians, and support staff. Doctors, optical staff and pre-testers each have a pager. Through NetPage Unlimited on their computers, office staff can page any of them individually or as a group, such as paging all pre-testers to meet patients in the front office or paging one doctor to speak with a patient on the phone. “We saw immediate improvements in staff productivity and the general office atmosphere,” said Laura George, Marketing & Patient Services at Draisin Vision Group, “And patient flow has absolutely improved.”
Implementing NetPage Unlimited was very easy, according to Laura George. The system was simple to start and manage. Staff completed one-on-one LRS training designed specifically for their needs so they could get the most out of their new system. Draisin Vision Group routinely uses advanced features such as paging groups in their practice.
When the patient arrives, the front desk staff issues them a pager and on the web interface, enters the patient’s name, pager number, and the physician they are scheduled to see. Instantly, this information is sent to the appropriate nursing staff’s PC and they can click the “Page” button on their web application to send a page to the patient holding the coaster pager (vibrates) handed out to them at check-in. Once the page is sent, the patient name/pager is automatically removed from the list. At that point, the nursing staff waits at the clinical exam room doors for the patient to confirm their identity by name. The pagers are given back to the front desk staff for charging and re-use as the patients are led back to their exam room.
The reaction from staff and patients has been extremely positive. After setting up NetPage Unlimited to suit their needs, Draisin Vision Group streamlined the process of transitioning patients from doctors to opticians, increased staff productivity, and created a pleasant, calm environment. Silent communication helps Draisin Vision Group adhere to HIPAA codes, allows doctors to respond to urgent messages without alarming other patients, and dramatically improved patient flow.
With NetPage Unlimited, there’s a “silent, warm patient hand-off,” because opticians are notified to meet the patient at the end of the doctor’s exam. The doctor can give recommendations once to the patient and optician, saving time that can be used to serve more patients in a day. The patient leaves with the optician to pick out glasses or lenses in the optical area, so the transfer is seamless and comfortable. Even during extremely busy times, the office is organized and running smoothly. Patients don’t experience unnecessary wait times, and the staff is more productive in completing other tasks when there aren’t any patients to see.
Draisin Vision Group is able to see two more patients per day on average without sacrificing patient care, thanks to NetPage Unlimited. Streamlining communications reduced patient wait time and created a pleasant environment. The patient perception is that the office is professional, organized and evenly paced — even when urgent situations might arise. In fact, customers have commented on how the optician’s visit to the exam room was perfectly timed, not realizing the optician was paged.
NetPage Unlimited transformed communication at Draisin Vision Group by giving staff freedom and flexibility to accomplish other tasks instead of constantly running up front to see if patients are waiting. “Everyone on staff has other duties in addition to serving patients, but they can complete those tasks and know that patients aren’t sitting in the reception area for long periods of time. Staff is more productive, and patients have the shortest wait time possible,” said Laura.
Draisin Vision Group left the folder system and overhead paging behind, and as the practice continues to expand, NetPage Unlimited has the flexibility to grow with them.