Sharing Your Practice Improvement Ideas (part 4 in an ongoing series)

October 29, 2020

In each of 2020’s quarterly newsletters, ABO is sharing ideas submitted by Diplomates for the Quality Improvement Activity (QIA) portion of their MOC. Thank you to all the Diplomates who have generously allowed us to share their innovative ideas for improvement, enabling all of the patients served by ABO Diplomates to potentially benefit from these activities.

The COVID pandemic of 2020 created challenges for all healthcare professionals and ABO Diplomates proved they could rise to this challenge. Optometrists across the U.S. reassessed their infection control procedures and developed new protocols as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Edward Weaver, an ABO Diplomate from Wilmington, NC based his recently-submitted QIA on the COVID safety precautions implemented in his practice. His changes included reduced patient scheduling; telephone confirmation of appointments (rather than text) to explain patient restrictions which include mandatory masks, temperature checks and immediate handwashing upon entering the office; masks, eye protection, and frequent handwashing for all employees; and disinfection of exam rooms and equipment following patient contact. Dr. Weaver and his staff are reevaluating their practice’s protocol as CDC and state guidelines evolve, and making adjustments on a monthly basis.

Many healthcare professionals turned to telehealth services as a safe option for triaging patients and providing remote patient care during stay-at-home restrictions. Dr. Danielle Waller, an optometrist from Kansas City, MO who practices in the VA system, was motivated by the pandemic to establish several telehealth clinics. After attending CE lectures on billing and coding for telehealth encounters for optometrists and low vision staff within the VA system, she was inspired to apply her newly-acquired knowledge. She conducted chart reviews within each of the telehealth clinics and determined that the minimum coding requirements were not being met. Armed with this information, Dr. Waller created templates and trained the telehealth clinics’ staff in appropriate documentation as well as billing and coding.

Thank you to Dr. Weaver and Dr. Waller for sharing their quality improvement efforts with their ABO colleagues. If you have a QIA that you’re willing to share with your fellow Diplomates, please let us know and we’ll feature your ideas in an upcoming newsletter.

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