A study published in Retina has demonstrated that significant improvements to workflow efficiencies can be achieved when, in addition to procuring new resources, existing equipment is reorganised and clinic personnel are trained for new responsibilities.1
Having identified photography as a bottleneck in retina clinics, a prominent research university set out to find a way to increase photography capacity. In the process, they reduced the time a patient spends in a clinic by 33%, from an average 87 minutes to 58.5 minutes.1
The two retina clinics involved in the study implemented the following key process changes:
- Procured three Optos devices,
- Trained ophthalmic technicians to perform optomap in addition to optical coherence tomography,
- Placed imaging equipment in adjacent rooms, and
- Better aligned staff and doctor schedules.
During the four weeks following implementation of the interventions, the average visit duration decreased from 80 to 60 minutes for provider one and from 81 to 57 minutes for provider two. In addition to reducing the time patients spent in the clinic, the centralised optomap imaging service increased patient satisfaction scores, reduced their downtime and minimised their movement through the clinic. There were also fewer staff hand-overs.1
The authors noted that the relative ease of implementation and the program benefits showed that similar changes could be applied to other clinics, with similar results expected.1
- Successful interventions to improve efficiency and reduce patient visit duration in a retina practice. Retina, 2021.