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Optometric office design for maximizing efficiency

22 March 1978


In order to design an efficient optometric examination room, we made nineteen visits to practicing optometrist's offices and a thorough review of all pertinent literature. These efforts culminated in our "optimally" efficient examination room. To test our hypothesis that our examination room was more efficient than others, a carefully controlled time and motion study was conducted. Ten timed examinations were run on a mockup of our design and ten timed examinations were run on a standard or unimproved room. All ten examiners were third or fourth year interns at the PUCO clinic. The authors served as subjects for all of the examinations. All examinations were complete-21 point procedures including biomicroscopy and non-contact tonometry. The "optimal" room design included: a set of switches on a chairside console for controlling various pieces of equipment and lights, a project-a-chart mounted above the patient's head within easy arms reach of the examiner, and a separate 14A-B light permanently pointed at the ceiling. The average examination time in the unimproved room was 59. 16 minutes as opposed to 52. 9 minutes in the more efficient room. The 6. 26 minutes, or almost 11% time savings was shown to be statistically sighificant. It is felt that any optometric practitioner could save about 11% of his examination time if he instituted these improvements into the examination room.


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