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'Opticabase clinical': optometrist and owner of Park Lane Opticians in Macclesfield, Sarah Clarke, shares the benefits that the Opticabase practice management software brings her in day-to-day practice.

I first discovered Opticabase in 2008 while browsing the smaller stands at Optrafair. On meeting optometrist and programmer, Michael Prais (pictured below), he explained simply how his software could work for me.

At the time I was a domiciliary-only provider with no staff and Opticabase helped me to keep organised. Eight years later, Park Lane Opticians has five staff and is unrecognisable from its beginnings in my home office with Opticabase on a laptop.

In 2008, I rescued an old practice, grew it, moved it and rebranded. Opticabase grew with us. Today we use 'Opticabase Clinical,' with full support for 120 [pounds sterling] per month.

Before upgrading to 'Opticabase Clinical' last year, I admit that I was a little sceptical of performing an eye examination with a mouse in my hand instead of a pen. However, with reassurance from Mr Prais about the benefits that the additional software could bring, I upgraded and would now never go back.

All old notes, letters and fields have been scanned and filed and I no longer have to fumble around to find the last dispense, hospital letter or exam.



The top of an A4 sheet of paper is printed off with a patient's data before their appointment. If the patient has a dispense, I put the sheet back in the printer to add the new prescription and recommendations for the handover. After the dispense, the same sheet is processed once more, this time with the order on. The document stays with the order until it is collected. Utilising this software, the eye examination is split into five areas--prelims, refraction, ocular health, FIT and final.

Initially it took me a little while to set up my examination drop down lists and my preferred default wording that is used by the software, but having completed this carefully, the ocular health screen can now be filled in quickly and thoroughly.

On the refraction screen, a patient's last prescription is displayed at the top, and it is quick and intuitive to fill in. Once the prescription is populated on the refraction screen, the dispense is also automatically populated, meaning that we have very few in-house errors.

The final screen is used for patient recommendations. Vouchers are issued, recall is updated and referral letters can be actioned quickly from here. I also have pre-written template options for some of the most common letters that I give patients. Having these templates saved means that I just have to make a few quick tweaks and press print.

As a practitioner, 'Opticabase Clinical' has made me more efficient --my record keeping is quick and thorough, which impresses my patients. It has also improved our efficiency as a business, providing us with a proper grip on practice stock control, GOS forms, banking procedures, key performance indicators and the effectiveness of marketing and promotions. Staff no longer spend time filling in forms or filing, in fact our filing cabinet is only half full.

Opticabase is designed by an optometrist who understands all the intricate details of day-to-day practice, as well as our responsibilities as clinicians. I really could not live without 'Opticabase Clinical.'

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Title Annotation:Marketplace: Services and products for the practitioner
Author:Clarke, Sarah
Publication:Optometry Today
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 1, 2016
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