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Getting Staff on Board: Preparing Your Practice for Optimum Implementation

Establish a Mindset and Address Uncertainty

Gary Kirman, OD

Everyone who works at Kirman Eye learns early on that fighting avoidable vision loss due to AMD is my number one priority. While it’s not the only focus in our comprehensive practice, we know that AMD is four times more prevalent than glaucoma — so our charts should reflect this basic truth. If they don’t, we have to ask ourselves what we’re missing.

All optometrists in our practice perform comprehensive AMD screenings for every patient over age 55, and our technicians are empowered to conduct the necessary diagnostic tests on all our early AMD patients on a regular basis.

This patient-centered responsibility has long been a source of pride for our entire staff, but when I announced that we would be purchasing three new AdaptDx Pro headsets equipped with Theia™, the artificial intelligence-driven onboard technician, our human technicians were a bit alarmed and somewhat resistant. They were worried that Theia would replace them.

In fact, the opposite has happened — Theia has become their assistant, enabling them to test more patients, which means we’re finding more AMD! This keeps the whole team focused on the mission of saving sight.

Encourage Participation and Incentivize Performance

Agnes Palys, OD

I’m a firm believer in preventive care — I’d much rather catch disease early, educate my patients, and then let them decide how far they want to go to protect themselves. This philosophy has led me to purchase more than one piece of new technology in the past several years, including an AdaptDx® dark adaptometer.

Convincing my staff to take the necessary steps to screen patients for disease was challenging with each new piece of equipment we added to the practice, but I’ve remained committed to the cause of helping my patients help themselves. I started incentivizing my staff for each test they performed. The numbers increased a bit, but they still didn’t reflect my belief in their importance and value to our patients’ eye health.

I decided to try something new: I bundled three tests together -Optomap imaging for a retina scan, Clearpath screening for diabetic retinopathy, and an AdaptDx rapid test for dark adaptation speed. My staff was able to save time by explaining all three tests at once and were slowly performing more tests. We were getting closer to my goal of total utilization.

When the holiday season came, I temporarily doubled the incentive. This turned out to be a total game-changer. Our numbers soared high enough that the increased volume far surpassed the expense of the added incentives. More important than the financial impact on my practice, my patients are the real winners — we’re giving them the knowledge and tools they need to protect their vision.

Develop a System and Delegate a Director

Timothy Earley, OD

We knew that using the AdaptDx to its fullest potential would require our doctors and technicians to work together. Having a single person trained and responsible for “owning” the AdaptDx technology, its day-to-day usage, and the communication surrounding the device has proven to be critical. We selected one of our strongest technicians to become the director of our practice’s Macular Degeneration Center of Excellence, acting as a liaison between the ODs, AMD patients, and the customer service team at MacuLogix®.

The director is tasked with leading planning meetings prior to device implementation, scheduling and performing all diagnostic testing, establishing treatment protocols, scheduling follow-up appointments, managing our patient-testing database, and ensuring patients are provided with the educational resources to make informed decisions. The director also manages our carotenoid supplement inventory, which we prescribe to patients at risk for AMD in addition to those who have received an AMD diagnosis.

Often, the biggest barrier to proper usage and implementation of a new device is the lack of ownership. In our busy practice, every member of our vision care team has a full plate, so no one person steps up to assure proper implementation and follow-up when we introduce new technology. Appointing a director for our AMD services and technology has helped our practice avoid that common challenge.

Read More Success Stories

Read more about how fellow colleagues utilize AdaptDx® technology to help improve AMD patient outcomes and their practices.

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