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OT  focuses on… practice management systems

PMS providers have been integrating electronic referral systems along with other key features to aid practices. OT  looks at a number of updates

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Pexels/Vojtech Okenka

Enhancements ahead

Ocuco is upgrading its practice management systems with new functionalities and enhancements. In December, the company is planning to launch a new cloud-based web booking system across all of its UK practice management systems; Acuitas, Focus and See2020. Improvements will include a smoother consumer experience, the company said, as well as better responsiveness on mobile phones, “where most online appointments are now made.”

Ocuco has also been working on interfaces with the Electronic Eyecare Referral System (EeRS) in conjunction with NHS Digital and the Optical Confederation. The company said this will support the transmission of referral letters using a dedicated platform and standardised template. Ocuco will add new features to automatically pre-populate the referral and GOS18 information in the EeRS, with a pilot held in September.

The company is currently upgrading the software engine behind Acuitas and Focus 2, which will support improvements planned for later in 2021, the most visible of which will be an update to the user interface.

Recent updates to the systems have also included an extension of the integrated lens suppliers available. Practices are now able to send orders, receive real-time status updates, check availability and download catalogues for new suppliers including Essilor and Nikon, with existing suppliers including Zeiss, De Rigo and Rodenstock.

Ocuco image of people talking

A domiciliary system

Opticabase has introduced a new solution for domiciliary optometrists to fill in and submit electronic GOS (eGOS) forms. With the roll-out of eGOS forms in England, Opticabase said it was the first to integrate the forms into its systems to enable practices to submit their forms directly through the practice management system. Recognising that domiciliary providers do not always have access to an internet connection while visiting patients, the company’s director, Michael Prais, sought to address the problem by developing Opticabase Home.

Opticabase Home enables optometrists to transfer their patient records including the eGos forms for the day to a tablet, which they can use on domiciliary visits to enter the patient’s prescription or examination information, creating the GOS forms to be signed by the performer and patient. Once back in the practice and connected to the internet, the information and GOS forms can be transferred back into Opticabase. The GOS forms can then be submitted to PCSE for processing.

Nawid Khaliq, optometrist owner of domiciliary provider, iCare at Home, said of the solution: “Our administration aspect has improved significantly, delivery time of spectacles has improved, errors have reduced and it works seamlessly with eGOS.”

The Opticabase practice management system offers three different versions to suit independent optical practices, from recall software to a fully paperless system.


Flex features

Optinet has highlighted its Flex system, which will see its annual feature release arriving in practices from November. New features set to be introduced will include card payment integration, allowing for end-to-end payment processing and which the company suggests will help prevent potential errors with re-keying of data, as well as streamlining the end-of-day cashing-up process.

The update will include an EeRS integration, aiming to save time for staff in practice and reduce appointment waiting times for patients, and will also support the submission of eGOS6/PVN claims – enabling pre-visit notifications to be created and submitted electronically ahead of a visit.

In addition, Optinet will introduce Flex web forms, allowing practices to triage patients through an electronic web form that can be sent by email or SMS ahead of their appointment. Information submitted by the patient is then downloaded back into Flex for review by staff.

FLEX messaging on laptop

Integrated solutions

Optisoft shared that its main area of development coming out of the pandemic has been around eGOS.

Suggesting that the software link for the PCSE’s eGOS portal “didn’t meet Optisoft’s ethos of an easy-to-use solution,” Optisoft sales manager, Des Mayhew, explained: “We’ve been working hard on a fully-integrated solution to replace the current eGOS link and this will be included in the subscription for Optisoft.NET at no extra cost when released.”

The company has introduced Clinical Records to replace the legacy OptomNotes module, aiming to provide a fully-integrated solution and a highly configurable and customisable paperless clinical record system.

Optisoft has also released a new Community Hub, accessed through their website, which features free e-learning videos and a user forum. The company has also partnered with EVO Payments and Bottomline to provide card payment and direct debit solutions, requiring no underwriting from banks.

Optisoft Monitor