Updated on June 26, 2018
In the constantly evolving healthcare industry, cloud-based systems can help ophthalmologists save time, stay ahead of the curve and improve bottom line results. Sounds great, but how?
For you and your staff, the cloud enables instant access to the data you need on a daily basis, while helping eliminate the need to spend time performing ongoing manual updates. And by assisting with the security of confidential health information, it can add value for your patients as well. Your use of cloud technology can even benefit other providers and healthcare institutions, since the cloud increases your ability to share useful data with them – a capability that is increasingly in demand. It’s a win-win-win!
With these factors and your profitability in mind, I will break down the top five ways ophthalmologists can use cloud-based technology to optimize their practices.
1. Reduced IT Costs
Interested in learning some efficient ways to improve your clinic’s profitability while cutting costs? Cloud-based systems require a significantly smaller upfront investment and carry lower maintenance and training costs than on-site server-based systems, making them an efficient way to reduce both the expense and the stress of IT management. No more outsourcing, no more unexpected downtime and no more waiting for technicians to arrive if something doesn’t go according to plan. By replacing your old, outdated system with sophisticated cloud-based software, you can move your ophthalmology practice into a new age of profitability. One such cloud-based solution is the modmed Ophthalmology™ suite, which includes the ophthalmology-specific electronic health records (EHR) system, EMA™.
Jason Ross, MD, an ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Associates, stated, “Because EMA is cloud-based, there is no major requirement for IT networks within the practice, which becomes often times an administrative and financial sink as servers go down or we need more capability.”
2. Elevated Mobility
An elevated level of mobility will increase accessibility to data with reduced efforts. You and your staff will have the ability to view, update and edit all of the patient information you need virtually wherever and whenever they need it using an iPad, iPhone, Android or your favorite smart device.
If you are an ophthalmologist with multiple offices, efficiently sharing data across your entire practice can be transformative. With a cloud-based system, you will no longer need to worry about the inherent limitations of being tethered to an on-site server. EMA, the specialty-specific EHR system in modmed Ophthalmology, will empower your physicians and staff to access and share data and collaborate from multiple locations.
Ophthalmologist Gilbert Wong, MD, of Canyon Eye Center, shared, “The cloud-based system gives me access to my patient files from anywhere. If a patient calls outside of office hours and needs something urgently, I can hop on EMA from wherever I am through my iPhone, iPad, laptop or home desktop, and get them what they need with no delay. It’s really helped me take patient care to the next level.”
3. Seamless Integration
Our job is to treat patients, not enter data. Intelligent, cloud-based systems that come with robust ophthalmology knowledge integrate smoothly into our existing workflow. You need systems that know you as an ophthalmologist and how you specifically like to practice. A system that remembers your preferences, automatically adapts when your preferences change and gives you that information exactly when you need it. In addition, you need a system that knows all of this immediately – you don’t have hours to tweak macros and templates.
Every day, we use technology for various purposes, and it helps when our systems interface. For example, EMA has a new interface with FlexSys to enable an optical inventory solution. The more systems communicate, the more efficient we’ll be.
4. Increased Efficiency
Modernizing Medicine’s cloud-based EHR system, EMA, was developed by me and other ophthalmologists of various sub-specialties, so the workflow is specific to what we need. Using EMA’s native iPad application, you can intuitively tap through an exam, generate notes and bill on the go while you’re face to face with your patient. If you’re still one of the few using paper charts, it will help eliminate reams of paper records and add valuable office space because all of your patient information can be pulled from a mobile device that is smaller and thinner than a single paper chart. This goes for your staff as well. They will no longer have to waste valuable time finding or sending records because the records will be accessible on demand.
Speaking of time: How important is it to make the most your day? If I would guess, getting ahead of your workload, seeing more patients and leaving the office ahead or on time are all priorities. modmed Ophthalmology was designed specifically for our specialty to help us move through exams faster.
Some key benefits to help increase efficiency include:
- No typing
- No writing
- No more post-exam transcribing or paperwork processes
- No ICD-10 bridges as ICD-10 codes are built in
EMA is much more than just an efficient EHR system. EMA helps ophthalmologists like you and me improve the quality of healthcare we give to our patients by providing structured data that lets us compare our performance against national benchmarks. As we move towards value-based care in the form of MACRA and MIPS, having a dashboard to give us near real-time population health data will become a vital asset to our practice’s success.
5. Eliminate the Need for Manual Updates
One of the challenges for ophthalmology practices that are not cloud-based is having to constantly monitor and update office-based systems, software and servers, which can decrease your practice’s efficiency. Using a cloud-based system makes painful updates a thing of the past. Your software will be up to date, so you are running the latest version with no halts in office productivity. With cloud-based systems, you do not have to worry as much about system failures or downtime either. Keeping your software up and running is the job of your system provider, not you, the physician. Finally, all data stored in the cloud is heavily encrypted to prevent any unauthorized access of confidential patient information. Having a system that is efficient, adaptive and secure will put you at ease and alleviate worries and wasted time with maintenance.
Elson Lai, MD, from Rosemead Eye Center located in Rosemead, CA, shared that, “EMA is constantly evolving and improving as the government healthcare requirements grow. I am confident knowing that all of my documentation is secure in the cloud and I will never have to revert back to paper.”
Switching to a cloud-based system offers very real advantages, including reduced costs, improved mobility, seamless integration and increased efficiency. Cloud-based systems require minimal updates and come at a fraction of the cost of their office-based counterparts. With the greater security and enhanced accessibility they provide, the cloud technology will not only improve your business, but also improve the quality of care for your patients.
Learn how modmed Ophthalmology and EMA have helped real world ophthalmology practices by taking a look at these success stories.
Want to know more about why I chose a cloud-based EHR? Read my article on Ophthalmology Web.