2018 Doug Perkins Medal for New Zealand winner: Specsavers Botany

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The clinical efficiency measures that Specsavers Botany has put in place has resulted in the store running like clockwork, allowing for the provision of consistent and exceptional patient care.

The store has adopted rolling clinics to ensure each patient is provided with the care and time they require from the consulting optometrists. This system is facilitated by the store’s clinic coordinator, which Optometry Partner Rahul Parmar says has improved the store’s overall clinical management.

“Clinic coordination enables smoother rolling of clinics, with the opportunity to conduct driver’s licence exams, contact lens fits, and to perform and discuss visual fields test results as required by specific patients in between booked appointments,” he explains. “It ensures minimal wait times for patients, allows us to better accommodate all appointments, and helps us mitigate the impact of unexpected events that might cause the clinic to run late.”

The team has also established an effective paging system that ensures the patient is appropriately and efficiently attended to throughout their entire journey – from entering the store, through to their consultation and the dispensing of their eyewear.

These efficiencies are underpinned by a strong focus on education, training and communication. In addition to holding daily morning huddles and monthly staff and optometrist meetings, the store partners ensure their employed optometrists and regular locum optometrists are kept up-to-date on relevant business and clinical process changes, and that their staff receive communications at the earliest opportunity. All new locum optometrists receive comprehensive induction and operational training, which is either directly conducted by one of the store’s two optometry partners or effectively communicated through the store team upon the locum optometrist’s initial interaction with the practice.

“The weekly optometry reports we receive from Support Office are emailed out to all of our optometrists so that they are aware of their weekly professional performance,” Rahul adds. “We display our Specsavers Professional Benchmark Initiative reports in our staff room to highlight our success and areas to work on. These are also discussed with our retail team so that they can support the clinical team appropriately.”

This focus on education and communication carries through to Specsavers Botany’s approach to interprofessional collaboration. The team holds meetings with its local ophthalmologists once a year and teams up with other local Specsavers stores for training and professional development.

Specsavers Botany also utilises the Oculo electronic referral platform to foster effective relationships with its local healthcare providers. In addition to sending private referrals to ophthalmologists, the team uses Oculo to send patient reports to GPs who have referred patients to them, with the aim of facilitating better patient management.

Rahul says, “We have implemented all of this to enable us to provide the best eye health care to our patients and pick up eye conditions before they can cause significant visual problems.”

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