Case Study

Dr. Sonya Merriman Documents Effortlessly With the Intuitive Plastic Surgery EHR System, EMA™


The Goals

  • Eliminate time-consuming template-based notes
  • Gain plastic surgery specificity
  • Enhance patient engagement
  • Increase accessibility and mobility outside of the office

Key Benefits Experienced

  • Plastic surgery electronic health record (EHR) system
  • Automated suggested billing codes help business operations
  • iPads enhance patient interaction
  • Cloud-based system enables access to patient data virtually anywhere

Learn why Modernizing Medicine’s plastic surgery software standouts from the crowd. 

“EMA is so intuitive that it enables my practice to run smoothly while assisting with coding. This makes my billing and claims submission a lot easier. For a plastic surgery practice, there is nothing that compares to EMA. No other plastic surgery EHR system comes close to doing what it does.”



Dr. Sonya Merriman has been performing plastic and reconstructive surgery since 1992 in her Valdosta, Georgia-based private practice, Plastic Surgery Associates of Valdosta.

In an effort to streamline her clinical documentation, she began using an EHR system that she soon discovered was too cumbersome and inefficient to meet her practice’s needs.

“My previous system was not plastic surgery-specific and was very frustrating and difficult to use. The fill in the blank, template-based notes were time consuming, and I didn’t trust the system was coding properly. I wanted to find something that was geared toward plastic surgery,” said Dr. Merriman.

Dr. Merriman made the decision to begin researching other EHR systems. “I saw EMA on social media for the first time and it caught my eye. I went to the Modernizing Medicine website and I loved the way its plastic surgery EHR system looked,” she said.

After carefully evaluating EMA along with numerous other systems over a six-week period, Dr. Merriman was convinced EMA was the right plastic surgery software. “I decided on EMA because it was intuitive and had the built-in medical knowledge specific to plastic surgery that I was looking for. It functioned in a way that made sense to me.”

After completing a series of online training sessions, Plastic Surgery Associates of Valdosta went live with EMA in October 2013 and has since been experiencing the benefits it has to offer.

Code With More Confidence

With the medical knowledge unique to plastic surgery built into the system, EMA automatically provides suggested coding. “Coding was really important to me,” explained Dr. Merriman. “I was a chronic under-coder and I was never sure if my documentation was thorough enough to justify an audit,” she said. “With EMA, I have fewer turned down claims due to coding issues. EMA paid for itself in the coding functionality.” EMA’s intuitiveness allows it to effortlessly generate suggested billing codes specific to each patient. “The superbill is ready by the time I leave the exam room, saving me time and increasing my patient volume,” she said. 

Access to Patient Data Virtually Anywhere

EMA is cloud-based which allows Dr. Merriman to access her patient data from virtually anywhere using an Internet-enabled Mac, PC, iPad or smartphone. “I love that I’m able to finish a note at home if needed or ePrescribe over the weekend,” she said. “When patients call me and I’m not in the office, I can access their information from anywhere which is very convenient.”

Dr. Merriman also enjoys enhanced patient engagement with the iPad. “The portability of the iPad EHR allows me to better interact with my patients,” she said. “The patients enjoy the photo gallery functionality, and the ease of note creation not only keeps me efficient but also enables me to focus more on them.”

Nothing Compares to EMA

With her previous template-based EHR system, Dr. Merriman was not pleased with the outcome of the generic notes created.

“EMA consolidates my patient data and adapts to my style of practice,” she said. “My notes in EMA have my personal touch and I always feel good about sending them to a referring physician.”

“EMA is so intuitive that it enables my practice to run smoothly. This makes my billing and claims submission a lot easier. For a plastic surgery practice, there is nothing that compares to EMA. No other EHR system comes close to doing what it does.”

 Interested in learning more about the plastic surgery software Dr. Merriman discussed?


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