-By Tammy

At Pacific Retina Care we have monthly staff meetings. We close the office during lunch and treat the staffers to a meal. I lead the meeting and cover any topics that I feel are relevant- dress code, telephone etiquette, and so on. I always end with the opportunity for our staffers to give suggestions or to make comments, which often times ends in silence.

Recently we were speaking about patient flow and efficiency. Our head assistant Tes suggested that we use a medical history form. She thought that it would save the starter time while eliciting case history. I am not a fan of this approach because as a patient I have not-so-fond memories of completing extensive form after form after form. I suggested that we both research forms and come up with samples. I stressed that I wanted to limit this medical questionnaire to 2 pages. I half expected to do the research and design the form alone. To my delight, while I was working on my version, Tes came up with her own version of a form. And to my surprise her form was better than my own. Yes! So we worked together to perfect her form and implemented it this week. Sure enough, efficiency is up and patient interviews are now catered specifically to areas of concern.

I am thrilled to see our team in action. I can’t do everything alone. I did it for 10 months and barely kept afloat. With Tes leading our assistants and learning to scribe; Gail following up with patient communication and recall; Sherry keeping track of referrals, doctor correspondence and faxes; and me overseeing it all, I think that we are well on our way toward smooth sailing. Ahoy!

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