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10/27/2016    Hal Ornstein, DPM

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

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

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 at this link
For a better investment long term with better
functions at approximately $175 a unit

2. Motorola TalkAbout Earbud with Microphone
for each back office assistant which cost
approximately $12 and can be ordered at at this link
-8354300-6744928?ie=UTF8. Another option is

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.

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-

Hal Ornstein, DPM, Howell, NJ

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