Ways to Improve Workflow and Morale in an Ophthalmology Clinic: Survey Advice from Clinic Staff

Author(s): Rebekah C Smith, Terisa Yiin, Cindy Monelavongsy, Cherrie Soledad Tan, Marta Rodriguez, Michele Lim, Yin Allison Liu

Objective: We aim to improve job workflow and satisfaction amongst clinic staff at an academic ophthalmology department.

Methods: We analyzed survey data given over a 2-week period in July 2021. The participants were support staff (N = 18) from an academic ophthalmology department. Paper surveys were distributed to participants and returned anonymously for analysis.

Results: The survey contained 9 Likert-style categorical questions, 2 of which were free response options. A total of 22 participants attempted the survey, 18 of these (82%) were complete and included in analysis. About half of the staff were satisfied with the current workflow 10/18 (56%). Staff who were clinical care coordinators had the lowest average satisfaction (2/5 on a 5-point scale) and the nursing team had the highest average (4.75/5). The most common staff suggestion for improving workflow efficiency was to train residents on forwarding and answering messages more effectively.

Conclusion: This survey suggests that assigning patient message processing to the nursing staff can improve job satisfaction and workflow. Staff told us that the most exciting part of the job was appreciation from coworkers 9/30 (30%) and from physicians 8/30 (27%). The findings provide advice to physicians for optimizing communication, and staff experience, within their own ophthalmology clinics.

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