Patient registration can be a cumbersome process. Eye surgery center patients generally have complex health histories, long lists of medications and, of course, less than stellar vision. Collecting patient histories and paperwork is no small challenge.
Early this past year, several AMSURG ophthalmology centers transitioned to online patient registration. Online patient registration offers several advantages:
- Patients can fill out patient histories at any convenient time, from the comfort of their home where their medicines and records are nearby. As necessary, their adult children or other caregivers can readily assist them
- The process includes digital signing of release forms, simplifying the check-in process
- Each center customizes the information collected to meet its needs. Once collected, the information can be printed out in an easy-to-read, consistent fashion
- A dashboard tracks which patients have submitted their information. Those considered to be high risk, based on criteria provided by each center, are highlighted so that staff can follow up
- For the second eye or any subsequent surgery, patients can log in and update their history, rather than having to provide the same information again
Center Leader Georgia Voss, The Eye Surgery Center in Silver Spring, M.D., has become a strong advocate for the program: "Using online patient registration has been a real help to our center. About 85 percent of our patients go online to fill in their information, which is a huge time saver. It improves the patient experience at the center because the check-in process is so much simpler for the patient."
Voss's center made the commitment to get every patient registered online. For patients who don't register themselves, a nurse calls the patient, collects the information and enters the data for them. The center even offers access to a computer for patients who don't have access elsewhere. "It has been hard work, but we believe it helps us give the best possible patient care," Voss said.
Incorporating online registration is one of the ways AMSURG centers can earn Cataract Innovator™ status. AMSURG launched the Cataract Innovator program in 2013 as a way to recognize centers for going above and beyond standard best practices in order to improve patient experience. Eye surgery centers with the distinction of being a Cataract Innovator always strive to provide the best patient experience possible and are dedicated to using the most up-to-date technology and research to provide outstanding treatment. Cataract Innovators are part of AMSURG's large network of outpatient eye surgery centers, where more than 100,000 procedures are performed each year.