Missouri City, Texas Dr. Kevin Gee, owner at Gee Eye Care, is no stranger to the technological advances that the Eye Care Industry is constantly experiencing. From writing a technology column for Optometric Management, the leading how-to guide for optometrists, to lecturing on a national circuit about the importance of vision care products and services, he is fully in-tune with all aspects of the Eye Care market. “I am always looking for ways to stay on top of the latest optical trends and technologies to ensure that my patients receive the best care and products available. It is important to be open-minded to new innovation because many times it can add tremendous value to your business by increasing efficiency and productivity you did not know could be improved,” said Dr. Gee. With this philosophy, it is no surprise Dr. Gee’s practice is an early adopter of an innovative new office communication platform called Zulu. Zulu creator Practice CoPilot, a company specializing in lean practice management consulting as well as products that enhance high quality patient encounters through cutting edge technology, is revolutionizing communication between staff and doctors.
Dr. Gee’s enthusiasm for Zulu was apparent from the start after his first consultation with Practice CoPilot CEO, Tony Milian. “When I learned about Practice CoPilot’s Zulu platform, I knew our office had to have it! The pager system that we were currently using was not satisfying our office’s needs anymore and I knew Zulu would be the ideal solution.”
What is Zulu? Zulu is an application specifically designed for efficient office communication through the use of a messaging platform. Zulu allows staff and doctors to know what is going on at all places of the office, at all times with the click of a button. Zulu’s pre-scripted messaging feature reduces the need for typing in lengthy phrases every time communication is needed which makes it even faster to signal the doctor when a patient is ready. If there are any updates that a team member needs to let another staff member know, they can use Zulu to send a quick message to keep everyone updated. Before, staff at Gee Eye Care would have to slowly scroll through both short and long messages and then find a computer in order to send a response over to another teammate. Instead of staff having to be intrusive by walking in and out of exam rooms or have someone come in while seeing a patient, Zulu gives staff a quick pop-up message based on what the other team member needs. When you need broader communication, Zulu has the ability to message entire groups. Zulu can be completely customized via the Zulu admin panel to fit your specific business needs. With Zulu, you can send messages from your desktop computer to an employee’s mobile device and vice versa. This feature enables employees that need to be mobile to not have to be glued to the computer to send and receive messages. With Zulu, all you need is a wireless connection!
The implementation of the Zulu platform on iPods was welcomed with open arms from the Gee Eye Care staff. “Zulu did not disrupt daily workflow and was easy to tap right into. I could see an immediate improvement from the pagers we previously used. I would choose the convenience of Zulu over the pager system any day,” said staff member Jimmy Huynh. Unlike the pagers, Zulu allowed staff to do more than just signal the doctor. With a few clicks, Zulu gave staff the ability to ask quick questions without stepping out of a room. By reducing the time it takes to notify the doctor that a patient is ready and enhancing communication abilities within the team, Zulu allows for increased patient efficiency. With Zulu, patients can get in and out in a timely fashion.
At Gee Eye Care, internal advancements are also evidenced by better time management, communication and flexibility which allows for the office to run on time to generate a more efficient and productive business.
Milian declared, “The staff is conditioned to expect direction on where to go from Zulu; that’s how reliant the practice is on this communication tool. Dr. Gee even synced Zulu to his Apple watch so he can see push notifications on his wrist and know exactly what is going on around the office. The positive impacts of Zulu can truly be seen throughout the practice. ”
Although many forms of communication systems are readily available, not many practices actually use these systems. “I would estimate that only 10% of all eye care practices have a formal form of communication like exam room ID flags and pagers. I believe the eye care world is missing a huge opportunity to improve not only internal efficiency, but patient efficiency by integrating Zulu into their practice. Zulu is the communication tool all eye care practices desperately need, but do not know it yet. Many practices have a “fear factor” for new advanced technology. They believe that the Zulu platform is only for the technologically advanced; which is the farthest from the truth,” declared Dr. Gee.
The perk of Zulu compared to other traditional communication systems is that it is an all-inclusive platform. In addition to sending pre-scripted messages, Zulu provides status reports, clock-in abilities, and better record keeping and data collection for later reference. In addition to these features, Zulu displays a running thread of messages that shows who responded to what rather than just paging one person and assuming they responded and they did not. Staff can use the iPod as a credit card terminal as well which allows for the convenience of one device to be used for payment and Zulu access.
Dr. Gee continues to be a big proponent of the Zulu platform, even mentioning Zulu recently when lecturing about the difference that efficient communication can make in a practice. “Since the institution of Zulu, the improvement to our workflow and communication has been so tremendous, our office has not looked back since. Zulu is a powerful communication tool that can take your practice to the next level.”
To Download the Apple or Andriod Version of the Zulu App please click here.