From the Kitchen to the Office: Using Mise en Place to Enhance Productivity
Alan Kimura, MD, MPH - Retina Surgeon and Inherited Retinal Disease Specialist
As ophthalmic practices continue to face the challenge of decreasing profit margins, a renewed commitment to continuous process improvement utilizing lean principles can make a difference. It can initially seem daunting, but focusing on small, incremental changes can produce immediate results.
AAOE® has committed to providing 52 Weeks of Lean throughout 2023 to offer focused and relevant tips to improve efficiencies and ultimately maximize profitability. “Mise en place,” the French culinary expression for preparing and arranging all ingredients, utensils and equipment before starting to cook, shares a common goal with the standardization of clinical exam lanes: eliminating waste. By designing a standardized, multifunctional exam lane,
ophthalmology practices can improve the efficiency of their clinical processes and help satisfy diversity, equity and inclusion needs.
Alan Kimura, MD, MPH, past president, current partner and retinal specialist at Colorado Retina Associates, implemented five ways to standardize his practice’s exam lanes, including using technology and ergonomic equipment to reduce strain and increase efficiency.
- Using a wheelchair-accessible slit lamp and including a folding chair on the wall for family members can help create more space and make it easier for patients and their families to navigate the room.
- Placing the indirect and lenses within arm's reach of the sitting physician's chair eliminates the wasted movement of getting up and down, increasing the efficiency of the clinical process.
- Strategically placing a scribe’s table and docking port position light dimmers within arm's reach further increases the convenience and efficiency of the clinical process.
- Trained scribes know when the doctor reaches for the indirect; they should dim the lights, further reducing wasted physician instruction time and effort.
- Including an injection-ready rack in the back of each clinic room, with a chair that tilts back, allows the physician to easily access the instruments they need for injections without having to waste time searching for them. Patients are worked-up, examined and then treated in one location which eliminates the need to transport patients from room to room.
Efficiency can be improved, and waste reduced in clinical practices by implementing these standardized strategies for ophthalmology exam lanes.
Visit retinacolorado.com/aao.org/lean to learn more about Lean Management, the powerful and simple methodology that can improve your practice today.
Reference: American Academy of Ophthalmology