Intra-Office Communications System (Tom Silver, DPM
Every physician has experienced the situation where they need something from their back office assistant and they are not available. This situation happens numerous times each day in most practices and leads to us walking to finding the assistant or the infamous call down the hall to find them. Now there is a low-cost, low-tech way to solve this problem and ultimately enhance the efficiency of your practice.
The concept makes use of inexpensive walkie talkies which are worn by the doctor and various members of your staff. The walkie talkies are worn on the belt or scrub suit with an ear bud and a microphone hanging at the level of the collar for the assistants and a microphone for the doctor. When you need anything from a staff member or have something you want heard in the back office, you simply speak on the walkie talkie and your request is heard by the appropriate staff member.
Your request isn't heard by your patient since the system contains only an ear bud that only allows the staff carrying a walkie talkie to listen to the message. This is also helpful to deliver messages to the staff and the doctor. These can be non-specific messages such as the necessity to speed things up when patients are backed up in the reception area or a specific request for everyone to come to treatment room #3 to wish Ms. Jones a happy birthday. The back office team can also communicate with other staff members using the microphones near their collars.
There is little or no patient interruption and your staff does stop what they are doing to listen and to help. Simple codes could be created to keep the words to a minimum. For example if you want your assistant to put the shoes on a patient in room #2, you simply say “shoes, room 2.” These walkie talkies are effective for up 1000 feet and we suggest that no names or private information be used on the walkie talkies because of HIPAA.
I suggest you purchase the following:
1. The Motorola FV200R walkie talkie system. These walkie talkies are just over $50 a pair and are rechargeable. These can be a ordered at www.Amazon.com at this link http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009GYR9K/102 -8354300-6744928?ie=UTF8. For a better investment long term with better functions at approximately $175 a unit https://www.amazon.com/Motorola-CLS1410- Business-Channels- Interference/dp/B016PN2SJQ/ref=sr_1_7? ie=UTF8&qid=1477400804&sr=8- 7&keywords=retail+two+way+radios
2. Motorola TalkAbout Earbud with Microphone for each back office assistant which cost approximately $12 and can be ordered at www.Amazon.com at this link http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00000JCTO/102 -8354300-6744928?ie=UTF8. Another option is https://www.amazon.com/Motorola-1518- Surveillance-Headset- PTT/dp/B00942OFVU/ref=pd_sim_107_6? _encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=4T2CQNTBQSADSXJDXMG F
3. Since the physician does not wear the earpiece because of the likely perception of being unprofessional order the headset below and cut the earpiece cord just distal to microphone and clip this just inside your lab coat near your neck. This will allow you to speak through the walkie talkie without taking off my belt or out of my pocket every time. http://www.customearpiece.com
It’s a small investment and like most who have implemented this, you will be surprised on how this changes the paradigm of your practice. 10- 4!
Hal Ornstein, DPM, Howell, NJ
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