Ed Ponatoski, Executive Chairman at Anne Arundel Dermatology shared his story of their search for a top dermatology EMR and how EMA™, Modernizing Medicine’s dermatology EMR system made the list.
After failed implementation attempts with another EMR system that resulted in lost time, sunk costs and an ensuing exhaustive search, Anne Arundel Dermatology found their solution in Modernizing Medicine’s EHR system, EMA. Ed discovered EMA in October 2011 and began initial discussions with the team at Modernizing Medicine. In January 2012, Anne Arundel Dermatology began the implementation process, and today the practice uses EMA on laptops and PCs and conducts patient interactions via the iPad. Since implementation, the majority of their physicians are often able to leave the office hours earlier.
Read the interview below to learn more how their dermatology practice has and continues to benefit from our top-ranked EMR system.
Anne Arundel Dermatology: A Growing Practice
Before we share our conversation with Ed, we did want to give a bit of background on the dermatology practice. Anne Arundel Dermatology was founded as a single physician practice and over the past 40 years has grown into the largest and most well-established dermatology practices in Maryland. Other locations include Northern Virginia as well as sites in the Knoxville, Tennessee region. The practice includes 72 clinicians across 31 locations, including four dedicated Mohs surgery centers, four satellite Mohs clinical offices and a pathology laboratory. Also, cosmetic dermatology, Botox, fillers, laser treatments, microneedling and chemical peels are offered at twelve of their clinical locations.
Interview with Ed Ponatoski, Executive Chairman of Anne Arundel Dermatology
What were some of the issues you encountered with other dermatology EMR systems?
Templates sums it up. Most EHR systems are template-based and work well if only one issue is being addressed at a time. Dermatology is a complicated field. What we see are patients who may present with multiple clinical issues and different types and levels of skin issues upon examination, which does not link well to template-based approaches. As we assessed a number of other template-based applications, I became convinced that our providers would never achieve the same level of productivity that they were achieving with paper records. We really needed a system that would adapt to how our providers worked. Templates wouldn’t allow for that.
When you first learned of our dermatology EMR system, what features impressed you the most?
I was really impressed with how intuitive EMA is, how the interactions easily flowed and the aesthetics of the application. I liked that it was available via a native iPad application because that improved physician and patient interactions. We were also really impressed with Modernizing Medicine’s innovative culture and that practicing dermatologists developed the product.
We had eleven providers who were here in 2011 before we implemented EMA. After implementation, we looked at those same providers and discovered that from 2011 to 2013 we had an increase in encounters of approximately 13 percent and an increase in net collections by 17 percent. The data had proven that EMA has enabled us to be more productive.
How has EMA benefitted you from an imaging perspective?
It’s invaluable that when our Mohs surgeons and dermatopathologists look at a slide, they can simply click into the patient’s record and view the image of the clinical issue. We use EMA’s VisualDx™ feature to show our patients images and descriptions of skin diseases – I believe they appreciate that we have created a high-tech environment and utilize it to help educate them. All of the physicians are extremely satisfied with the application as well.
Many of our clients have expressed that our EMR system, EMA helps increase time savings and efficiencies. Do you find this to be true at your practice?
According to our physicians, it certainly does both. Dr. Sammy Kang clinical and cosmetic dermatologist, used to leave the office around 7:00pm and now with EMA he is able to leave around 5:30pm everyday. Amazingly, he’s been able to see more patients and noted that EMA has made life at the practice easier.
With the change to value-based healthcare under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), how is Modernizing Medicine’s technology helping you achieve financial success?
EMA’s MIPS automation helps us to stay on track so we can avoid paying penalties. Also, the Analytics platform within EMA is very helpful. I can quickly look at the dashboard to see how everyone is progressing overall, and I can also view data on an individual basis. Most of our practice’s physicians are on track for MIPS thanks to EMA.
With so many healthcare IT vendors to choose from, what makes Modernizing Medicine standout?
I think overall I’m most impressed that the Modernizing Medicine team is very responsive to feedback. We have seen consistent and continuous improvement in the EMA application based on issues and recommendations from our staff.
Can you share a scenario with us where our team helped to resolve a challenge you and your staff encountered?
Early on, we had a major glitch with EMA in that we could not look up patients based on date of birth. Given that we had between 30-40,000 patient names in our database at that time, there was no way to ensure validity of patient lookup without this feature. Once the issue was presented to EMA’s management, the Modernizing Medicine team very quickly made it happen for us – a major bonus of having a responsive partner, and, of course, a cloud-based EHR.
Truly, we are very happy with EMA and the Modernizing Medicine team and look forward to a long term and productive partnership as we navigate through the complexity of our current and future health system.
To summarize, here are some of the key benefits of our top-ranked, dermatology EMR system Anne Arundel Dermatology experienced.
- Ability to access clinical records across 31 sites to include Mohs and Pathology departments, as well as from any secure website
- Providers leave the office earlier – in some cases as much as 1 to 1.5 hours earlier
- Thorough documentation provides clarity and consistency of the clinical note
- Ease of accessing medical history, medications, allergies and alerts saves time
Watch the video testimonial to hear more.