Can Remote Technicians Reduce Staffing Headaches?

Wow! What a year we have all had as optical business owners and Eye Care Providers. First of all, we should give ourselves a pat on the back for all the changes and curveballs that we have not only handled but adapted to and (hopefully) thrived. Who would have thought what was supposed to be the “year of the eye exam” will all the golden “20/20 in 2020” Marketing ideas would have turned out the way it did – closures, PPE, furloughs, and diminished capacity? One area of concern that we have been consistently hearing from doctors and business owners throughout the pandemic is the ongoing issue of staffing.

There is a famous management quote that says, “Why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands, they come with a brain attached?” That has certainly been true in 2020. There are so many struggles facing our employees this year that it can be hard for them to focus on their job. That is, if they are even able to work in the first place: positive COVID scares, anxiety issues, mandatory quarantines, pauses and unemployment issues have prevented trusted employees to be able to show up on a daily basis.

While empathy towards employees is a vital trait for owners to have, it does not help process patients through an eye exam when they call out for the day. Remote Certified Technicians through 20/20NOW can provide a needed solution for the problems doctors and owners face on a weekly basis. They can become an asset to your practice and a way to build efficiency and redistribute the talent of your on-site staff. In fact, the 20/20NOW remote technicians are an addition to you on-site staff and an insurance policy for your peace of mind.

To better grasp just how powerful the 20/20NOW JCAHPO certified remote technicians, (“COTs”) could help an Optometry/Ophthalmology practice or optical business setting let’s walk thorough what is involved with the technicians’ performance with each patient.

First, the 20/20NOW COTs thoroughly reviews the medical, social and ocular history electronic intake form the patient has filled out in person or online. The questions asked on the intake form meets the requirements from the AOA, AAO and Managed Vision Care Plans for a vision exam.

Next, the technician remotes into the exam room to speak with the patient. They converse, in detail, on the patients’ medical and vision history, medications, and current ocular symptoms. If there are any discrepancies or pertinent updates, the remote technician will reflect those changes in the EMR system for the doctor to review.

Now, the technician will take control of the digital phoropter and refract the patient remotely. This is where the real magic happens! If you’ve never seen a 20/20NOW remote refraction, I suggest you check out our Youtube video and go to the 3-minute mark. Our proprietary refraction software was developed by ECPs and has been completed on over 2.75 million eyes. The software is incredibly sophisticated and intuitive, proving the COTs with guidance and insight into the “is it better one or two” answers. That is why our retest rate is lower than 1.5% – well below industry average.

After the technician video chats with the patient and completes the refraction, all clinical notes are entered into the EMR for the doctor to review. The remotes technician can now move on to the next patient. Since 20/20NOW has an entire team of technicians, there is always coverage for the office, Sunday through Saturday with little wait times. Now, the doctor takes over the exam and proceeds with their clinical assessment.

As we are navigating the winter season in a Pandemic world, pay attention to the psychology and efficiency of the current personnel within your practice. Could their talents be utilized somewhere else within the practice and the 20/20NOW remote technicians delegated to the medical and ocular history and refraction? The beauty of technology is that it allows us to find more effective ways to use staff, including ECPs, and to have talented persons used to the best of their ability, no matter the location of a practice.

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