Comlite Systems will be exhibiting at the upcoming American Dental Association meeting in New Orleans. The meeting is at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
900 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70130. The booth number is 432 and the exhibit hall dates are October 31 through November 2. Exhibit hall hours are as follows:
Thursday October 31 10:30am – 6:00pm
Friday November 1 9:30am – 5:30pm
Saturday November 2 9:30am – 3:00pm
Please stop by at your convenience for a complete demonstration of the LAN4000 dental paging and communication system. Light signaling and text communications are combined together along with timing functions and logging for collecting data used in productivity studies.
Version 184.108.40.206 of the LAN4000 light signaling and text communication software has new features that assist in collecting data for productivity studies. A Count Down Timer allows staff to leave a room while a timed event is occurring and then get an automated signal when it is time to go back to the room. The Count Up Timer function logs the time used to perform a specific procedure and provides reporting that can be used for productivity studies. These studies help identify areas where additional training and/or streamlining procedures can increase productivity.
Timer buttons are assigned in the SetUp process. A timer button is a non-sequenced button that, when pressed starts a timer. This timer can either count up from zero seconds until you press the button again; or down from a defined time until you either press the button again or the timer reaches zero seconds.
Timers are defined in the same way that the other types of buttons are defined. From the Screen tab in SetUp choose Up or Down timer and assign it to the desired button. A timer that counts up displays a U (as shown below) and a timer that counts down displays a D.
When you press a countdown timer, you are prompted to select a countdown time and enter a descriptive note:
Select the length of time by sliding the bar between 1 minute and 30 minutes. The button Tooltip (which appears when the mouse is hovered over a button) displays the note you enter on all stations and is logged in a file that can be accessed via the Misc tab. Press OK to start the timer. Press Cancel to cancel timing. When timing, the current timer value displays inside the selected button and the timing can be canceled by pressing the button. When a countdown timer reaches zero, the button flashes and the chime defined for that button sounds. Press the button again to turn it off and clear the Note.
When you press a countup timer, you are prompted to enter a descriptive note:
This note appears on all stations when you hover your mouse over the button and is also logged in a file that can be accessed via the Misc tab. Press OK to start the timer. Press Cancel to cancel timing. When timing, the current timer value displays inside the selected button and the timing is stopped by pressing the button again.
The Timer log file logs the elapsed time of all timer buttons. For example, if a countdown timer that is set for five minutes is interrupted after two minutes, the elapsed time of three minutes is logged. Timer Logs are accessed from the Misc tab on the SetUp Menu. The logs can be printed and used to determine areas where additional training or streamlining procedures can increase productivity.
Do you know how long it takes for the average tech workup in your office? How long does the average full exam take? Having good quantifiable answers to these questions will help you have more efficient scheduling and address training for staff if necessary. The Comlite LAN4000 Signaling Software allows you to assign buttons to be timers. You can label the buttons for individual techs or doctors in your office. Simply start the timer when you begin a workup or exam and stop it when you are done. The information is stored and available to print out (see below) The report will show all the times for each tech or doctor along with the overall average time for each person.
Time is money. Take the guesswork out of your scheduling. Practice Management surveys indicate that patients should be able to get in and out of your office in 45 minutes. Using the timing functions on the LAN4000 will help you achieve your highest level of efficiency!
Improving Patient Flow in Optometric Practices
Consumers in today’s competitive markets hate to wait – especially in the doctor’s office. At some point a reasonable patient wait time turns into an inconvenient, inconsiderate experience. So what is considered a reasonable amount of time for a patient office visit? Research indicates that after 45 minutes patients lose their “patience” and become anxious (need to get back to work, make another appointment somewhere else, run other errands etc.) as their schedules become disrupted.
With so much profit to realize from the retail side of optometry the last thing you want to do is have patients/customers frustrated due to long waiting times. The Comlite LAN4000 facilitates patient flow by allowing doctors to page techs or opticians back to the exam rooms for the instructions and handoffs, letting the doctor know how many patients are waiting, and using patient sequencing to know where to go next. This allows staff activities revolve around the doctor’s needs. Of all these, paging optical back to the exam room for the hand-off is the most critical for saving doctor time. By avoiding the dispensary doctors eliminate all the extraneous conversations that they would otherwise get caught up in. Conversations that they feel obligated to have because after all they are your patients/customers.
Avoid the Dispensary at all costs!
The Comlite LAN4000 also provides a way to time and report averages for how long it takes for a work up or a full exam. See if you can complete a patient visit within a 45 minute to 1 hour window. Remember, the quicker your patient flow moves through the clinical side of your office the more time patients will have to shop in your retail side!
Sample Layout for a 2 Doctor Optometry Office
Note: There are many ways to label and use the LAN4000 and there is no wrong or right way to label it. This is one suggestion.
In the sample layout above each doctor has a row with their own color. These rows are labeled the same because in this example either Doctor can be in any of the 3 exam rooms and they each work one day per week by themselves. Each Doctor has the ability to page tech or optical by lighting the corresponding light on their colored row.
Also in this example “Dr 2” is lit on the top row indicating that he/she has a patient waiting up front. “PT” is lit indicating that Dr 2 has a patient being worked up in Pre-test. On the green row, the “Ex 1” button is lit with a “green” light indicating that the Dr is in Ex 1. “Ex 2” and “Ex 3” are lit with the white light indicating that Dr 2 has patients waiting in “Ex 2” & “Ex 3”. The Green “Opt” button is lit indicating that Dr 2 is ready for optical to come to Ex 1 for the patient handoff.
The same functionality is available for Dr 1 on the “Blue” row.
The yellow “PU” button means that a patient is there for a pick up. The 3 white buttons on the bottom row are the names of techs and when these buttons are pressed they begin to time how long it takes a tech to work up a patient. When the work up is finished the tech stops the timer and the time is logged for future review. The blue and green “Dilate” buttons are to time patient dilations for each Dr.
Patient Sequencing can be setup to automate which room is next for each Dr. Also, different chimes can be assigned to Doctor, Tech, Optical etc. to alert the proper staff member of a new light signal.
The text interface is seen below with sample messages that you can use your pre-sets (no need to type) The Message Panel displays your pre-set messages. The Stations Panel displays the available stations you can send a message to and the 2 screens on the right are in-coming and out-going messages.
In this example the “Contact Lens Check” preset is selected to be sent to “Ex 2”. It could be sent to all stations by clicking “Send All” or you could choose to send to Ex 1 and Ex 2 only.
The “Post” function allows you to send a message to yourself. For example you can post instructions to a tech, page them to the room and leave to go to your next patient. “Clear” will clear the in-coming and out-going windows to un-clutter the screen.
SAMPLE LAYOUT FOR A 2 DOCTOR, 2 HYGIENIST DENTAL OFFICE
The above layout allows a 2 doctor, 2 hygienist dental office to communicate patient arrivals, hygiene checks, where each doctor is needed, where assistants are needed and important phone calls. The yellow buttons are doctor 1′s messages, the blue buttons are for doctor 2, the green buttons for hygiene 1 and the pink buttons are for hygiene 2. In addition, the yellow buttons use chime #1, the blue buttons use chime #2, the green buttons use chime #3, and the pink buttons use chime #5.
The top row of buttons is used to signal patient arrivals for each of the 4 providers. Light the button steady (click once) to signal next patient is here and light blinking (click twice) to signal more than one patient is waiting.
For each of the four doctor operatories, light steady to indicate the doctor is needed in that room and light the button blinking to indicate an assistant is needed in that room. Each doctor also has a button to signal an important phone call.
The hygienists have a button for each doctor to indicate they are needed for a check. They also each have a button to signal they need an assistant.
In a recent presentation to a group of optometry professionals the discussion of how to measure the Return On Investment (ROI) for the LAN4000 light signaling software was a topic of discussion. A user of the LAN4000 shared that prior to using the LAN4000 he estimated losing about 3-5 minutes per exam due to looking for staff when he needed them or getting involved in extraneous conversations in his dispensing area while waiting for opticians to free up. He did the math and shared that if he only saw 16 patients per day he was losing 60 to 80 minutes per day. He has since used this re-captured time to see 2 more patients per day. Being conservative, that is about $400 per patient or $800 more per day in revenue to the practice!!!
In his office he has 21 computers running the LAN4000 which is an initial investment of approximately $4,000. This means he made his investment back in one week!!! Everyone’s situation is different, but for a busy practice (usually having patients in waiting area) it is more than reasonable to assume an ROI of 30 days or less.
Take advantage of the Comlite 30 day unconditional money-back guarantee and see for yourself the impact on your bottom line revenue.
On Wednesday December 12th Comlite Systems released an update to the LAN4000 light signaling software. Version 1.4 is now the current version of the LAN4000.
Below is a list of all the new features and improvements.
1. Added light colors – Lights can now be red, blue, or green.
2. Added Timed button text – Custom text can now be entered when a timer button is set. It appears as the button tip text when you hover your mouse over the timer button.
3. Improved Ease of Use – Station name is automatically selected in Station list when a text is received. This reduces the number of keystrokes necessary to reply to a text message.
4. Improved Ease of Use – Removed requirement that Administrative station be named “Administrator”.
5. Improved Problem Reports and Logs. Log entries are time stamped. Trials can submit Problem Reports.
6. Improved .Net connectivity and connection recovery.
7. Improved Feedback – Displays a “Reconnecting” message when the reconnect button is pressed on a Client. Displays “Reconnected” if the attempt is successful and “Reconnection failed” if it is not.
8. Improved Configuration file – Combined Administrator and Client configuration files into a single XML configuration file.
9. Improved multiple network card handling – Automatically detects multiple Network Cards (NICs) during startup, enabling the ‘Choose NIC’ button in ‘Setup’.
The Comlite LAN4000 light signaling software is more than simply a paging system. While it will allow you to page your staff back to your rooms it also allow you to see the status of how many patients are waiting for you at any given time and to send specific text messages to staff that facilitates the proper handling of these patients.
Additionally, we understand that you are running your business while you are treating patients. The LAN4000 helps you to manage incoming phone calls and time procedures and manager your patient flow.
Oh yes, it is also a very efficient and discrete paging system. Your staff will show up where you want them, when you want them!
On Thursday May 10th Comlite Systems released it’s third update to the LAN4000 light signaling software since August of 2011. This new update adds a significant upgrade by adding text capabilities to the LAN4000 for the first time.
Below is a list of all the new features and improvements.
- Text Messaging – The LAN4000 now contains an easy-to-use, intuitive text messaging system. Predefined and custom text can now be sent to and from any stations in your network.
Up to 15 predefined messages can be set up in the Admin station and any station can send custom messages by simply typing the text to send.
- Report Problem button – Reporting a software problem is now built into the LAN4000. Registered users (that are still in their maintenance period) can submit problems directly to Comlite with logs attached. Simply launch the About Box and select “Report Problem”. A confirmation email is sent to you after submitting your report.
- Local chime disable – The LAN4000 is a light-signaling system that also allows you to define specific chimes to sound along with specific button presses. This gives you two ways of being notified of a button press. However, there are instances when you’d like your PC to notify you silently. With this version, you can now mute the chime on your PC so that incoming messages are displayed silently.
- Timer cancel – Version 1.2 introduced timer buttons. Version 1.3 allows you to instantly cancel the timer by pressing the button once the timer has started.
Timer local chime – If the local chime is not disabled, timed buttons now chime on all PCs, including the PC that started the timer.
- Notification timing - Version 1.2 added the ability to temporarily pop-up from being minimized to display a button press. Version 1.3 adds the ability to stay onscreen until a button is pressed. There is now an “infinity” selection in the Notification setup that instructs the station to not re-minimize after displaying.
2. About box display – The About Box has been redesigned, contains more information, and will now display a “Renew” button when your maintenance agreement is within 30 days of expiring.
Installer – The install program now modifies more firewall settings: ‘Notify if program blocked’; ‘Allow unicast responses to multicast/broadcast traffic’; and ‘Allow firewall exceptions’ are now set to yes.
1. Reconnect button – The connection light is also a reconnect button. Pressing this button now displays a status dialog that indicates success or failure of the reconnection attempt.