Aker Eye/Vision Source, an eye clinic in Titusville, Fla., is one of the first optometry practices in the nation to improve patient flow and efficiency with a real-time locating system (RTLS) from Versus Technology Inc, Traverse City, Mich.
The Versus Advantages clinic patient flow system has staff and patient badges that communicate with wireless sensors installed in each patient care area. The sensors track and time the stages of each patient visit (check-in, pre-testing, exam, etc.). While the times are recorded, real-time locations of patients and staff display on an electronic floor plan of the office. Pop-up messages alert optometrists when patients are ready.
Greg Aker, OD, from Aker discovered the patient flow system while searching for ways to reduce stress for his staff. Between two optometrists, his practice can see as many as 65 patients per day.
The eye center implemented the Advantages Clinic RTLS in January of 2013.
On the system’s first day in use, the average patient’s overall visit time was reduced by 10 minutes.
Aker explains the immediate benefit that his staff receives: “At a glance, they know how many patients are waiting, and they know if an exam room is full. Before, they would literally have to get up, walk down the hall, walk in, look in the exam rooms to see which one is free, walk back up, get the patient, and bring them back. The Versus system eliminated that.”
For the optometrists, the system’s alerts and timers are motivators to keep patient flow moving. “It’s the best part about the whole system,” Aker said. “I’m seeing a timer tick by with how long the patient’s been waiting for me. If the patient’s been left alone for 15 minutes, this blue alert turns to red, so I know, ‘boy, I better get in there.'”