In January 2009 ASOA’s request for members to participate in a technician benchmarking survey was met with an overwhelming response. Never before had anyone tried to capture the average time necessary to perform every component of patient work ups.
The final result included the breakdowns of 899 patient exams as well as 379 diagnostic tests from 28 practices around the country. The data was further analyzed by level of certification or uncertified personnel, EMR or paper charts. The results were extensive; the most commonly performed elements are presented here.
To assess the average time spent with the patient, an observer documented the total amount of time the tech spent with each patient, thereby allowing us to determine if the work up is more than the sum of its parts. The minimum amount of “unaccounted time” was 15 seconds and as much as 28 minutes and 40 seconds!
We believe this to be the most extensive, detailed analysis of the work your clinical staff performs. You now have the ability to quantify your technicians’ performance based on national averages on the most commonly performed skills such as history taking (2.5 min) pupillary function (12 seconds) and confrontational visual fields (30 seconds).
This data should be incorporated into your training protocol and used when developing your master schedules Furthermore, it can be used when evaluating your technicians for their merit reviews. The uses are endless!