Case Study

Empire Surgery Center Implements modmed® ASC Electronic Reporting and Improves Efficiency in Their Ambulatory Surgical Center for Ophthalmology

by Tricia Frank | Sep 17, 2019 | , ,

The Goals

  • Maintain ASC current workflow
  • Eliminate paperwork to improve efficiency
  • Improve access to patient and procedure data
  • Optimize data transfer between ASC and practice

Key Benefits Experienced

  • Important information easily retrieved in seconds
  • Time saved during documentation and reporting
  • Customizable service documents and user lists
  • Better communication in ASC, practice and referring clinics

ASC administrator shares her perspective on transitioning from paper records 

“As an administrator who regularly fields questions about patient clearances, surgery schedules and a multitude of other related issues, I can’t begin to explain how nice it is to be able to simply log into our ASC electronic records and retrieve all the information I need—in seconds—without having to search through paper-based folders myself.”

TRICIA FRANK, RN, EMPIRE SURGERY CENTER ADMINISTRATOR, CA

Located in Bakersfield, California, Empire Surgery Center is a fully-accredited ambulatory surgery center (ASC) dedicated exclusively to ophthalmic and facial aesthetic surgery. Tricia Frank is the administrator of Empire Surgery Center and has led the successful transition from a paper-based ASC to modern electronic records and operative reports.

With the increase in the number of patients operated on in ASCs every day, the rapid growth in patient volume experienced by Empire Surgery Center also highlighted the need for electronic records and operative reports. With large amounts of information being shared between the two buildings—ophthalmology practice and ophthalmic ASC— there was a growing potential for mistakes that could come with a manual process, especially when changes in appointments, treatments or other aspects of the care continuum were required.

NEEDED EFFICIENT AND RELIABLE OPERATIVE REPORTS

Even though our ophthalmology practice, Empire Eye and Laser Center, and our ASC, Empire Surgery Center, are next door to each other, the ASC remained on paper-based operative reports and nursing notes documentation through the first half of 2019, while our ophthalmology practice continued running efficiently with the ophthalmology EMR and Practice Management systems from Modernizing Medicine®.

Working with loose paperwork in the ASC is, and always has been, a huge issue for us, as we’re sure it is for many combination clinic/ASCs like ours.

FROM PAPER TO ELECTRONIC REPORTS

I was worried about making the transition from paper to an ophthalmology EMR in our ASC. Even with a significant volume of printed forms and signatures to collect after the ASC staff completed the forms, we had a system in place that worked well for our surgical procedures. The nursing and anesthesia teams were used to the numerous forms and shear volume of writing and signing involved—everything seemed to be working as efficiently as possible.

Among my primary concerns were staff acceptance and training, as well as whether the ophthalmology software would improve and simplify our processes, or just make them more complicated, thus slowing down the ASC team. Besides obtaining staff buy-in, other challenges we had to overcome involved building the charts to match our work flows and remaining compliant with local, state and federal regulations.

EXCELLENT SUPPORT AND SMOOTH IMPLEMENTATION

Thankfully, all the paperwork is a thing of the past now that we have modmed ASC, Modernizing Medicine’s ASC complement to EMA®, the company’s ophthalmology EMR system.

Modernizing Medicine’s customer service team was invaluable. They helped us tailor the ophthalmology ASC software to our needs and even built some more straightforward components so we could focus our time on the dynamic aspects of our electronic charts, such as the pre-, intra- and post-operative nursing notes and anesthesia forms.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well our nurses, anesthesia providers and ancillary staff took to the ophthalmology software. The anesthesia providers, especially, were the most resistant to change initially. But once they saw how much less time they would need to spend on documentation, they were much more open to the ophthalmology ASC software implementation.

EXPERIENCING BENEFITS SINCE THE BEGINNING

Our workflows have improved significantly with the implementation of modmed ASC. The most obvious benefit we have experienced thus far is the ability to completely customize our surgery forms and charts for the various types of surgery performed at our facility. For example, we no longer use the same standard chart for cataract extraction with IOL insertion as we do for blepharoplasty procedures. Each has its own customized chart that addresses only that which is applicable to the specific procedure type.

We were able to streamline communications within our ASC and between our facility and its referring clinics. Everything from the smallest of details—time-stamping signatures on pre-surgical clearances, surgery orders, and discharges; making pre-surgical chart checks; and direct messaging and faxing of surgery documents—all takes place with just a few clicks of the keyboard. No more intra-office envelopes!

modmed ASC also helps us run any number of reports to help create quality assurance and performance improvement projects. For example, it helps us identify delays in surgical flow and pull demographic data, and allows us to quickly and easily retrieve the data needed to meet the reporting requirements of local, state and federal regulatory agencies, as well as those of The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).

THE RIGHT DECISION

As an administrator who regularly fields questions about patient clearances, surgery schedules and a multitude of other related issues, I can’t begin to explain how nice it is to be able to simply log into our ophthalmology EMR and retrieve all the information I need—in seconds—without having to search through paper-based folders or with the help of busy staff. One final note, I can’t imagine ever going back to a paper-based system.

C
Tricia Frank, RN

Tricia Frank, RN

EMPIRE SURGERY CENTER ADMINISTRATOR

Journey Through A Modern Practice

Journey Through A Modern Practice

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