Case Study

Dr. Audley Mackel Discovers a Powerful, Easy-to-Use Tool in the Orthopedic EMR System, EMA™


The Goals

  • Improved functionality and orthopedic knowledge built into the EMR system
  • Eliminate the need to set up time-consuming macros or templates
  • Easy for all staff to use and learn regardless of technological skills
  • Reduce time spent e-prescribing and finalizing notes

Key Benefits Experienced

  • Orthopedic medical record (EMR) system
  • Ease of use and note creation helps save time
  • Automatic coding suggestions help business operations
  • Cloud-based iPads help improve patient interaction

Orthopedic software built by orthopedic surgeons makes a difference.

“Of all the EMR systems I saw, EMA had what I needed. I like how intuitive it is because it’s developed by orthopedic surgeons for orthopedic surgeons. The knowledge is already included without setting up macros or orthopedic templates.”


This post was originally published on October 2, 2014 and updated on January 11, 2019. 


Dr. Audley Mackel, a Cleveland, Ohio-based orthopedic surgeon at Associates in Orthopaedics, Inc., knew exactly what he wanted out of an orthopedic EMR system. Dr. Mackel has been practicing for over 25 years and has experienced numerous systems that lacked the functionality and medical knowledge he required to improve his clinical operations. He began researching multiple EMR vendors and found that most systems were cumbersome, required a combination of typing and orthopedic template creation and were not designed specifically for an orthopedic practice.

Dr. Mackel discovered Modernizing Medicine’s orthopedic EMR system, EMA, in 2013. “I first identified EMA at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting. I spent countless hours walking around the exhibit hall and spoke with almost every EMR vendor to learn as many details as possible,” Dr. Mackel explained. “I asked them to show me how their systems worked for orthopedic surgeons, reviewing all relevant features including how to input, collect and extract patient data. Of all the orthopedic EMR systems I saw, EMA had what I needed. I like how intuitive it is because it’s developed by orthopedic surgeons for orthopedic surgeons. The knowledge is already included without setting up macros or orthopedic templates.”

“The next steps were to get myself and my staff trained which was done through a series of webinars and working directly with the trainers at Modernizing Medicine,” said Dr. Mackel. “I also found it very valuable to have the chance to work with Dr. Michael Sherling, co-founder and chief medical and strategy officer at Modernizing Medicine.”

Ease of Switching EMR Systems

Dr. Mackel quickly found that EMA made switching from his previous EMR system easy and his staff would soon agree. “One of my favorite things about EMA is that it can be learned with minimal effort. Many of us aren’t very computer savvy, but my office staff has found the orthopedic software quite easy to use and understand,” he said.

Integrating EMA into Dr. Mackel’s office workflow was seamless and it adapted to his practice like a well-trained staff member. “All of the historical information is entered before the exam. I’m able to write prescriptions in the exam room, verify all the patient information, ePrescribe prior to the patient leaving the office, finalize my notes and push the data back to my practice management system, all in less time than my previous EMR systems,” he said.

“When I first implemented EMA, I reduced the number of patients I saw,” Dr. Mackel explained. “Now I see 50-60 patients per day. The option to fax necessary documentation to a referring physician and insurance companies has improved efficiencies and productivity in the office.”

Orthopedic Coding Suggestions Built-In

Handwriting orthopedic billing codes can result in error, but EMA automatically suggests billing codes based upon  the documentation in the patient’s medical record. “With EMA, there is less back and forth with billing attempting to get supporting documentation,” Dr. Mackel said. “None of my MRIs have been denied because all the information that’s required for approval is there. I have enough documented structured data – from the patient history to the exam notes and the medical complexity information that justify using the orthopedic billing code I select,” he explained.

Improving Patient Interactions With Our Orthopedic EMR

Dr. Mackel saw the iPad EMR as an ideal way to input patient data. “Its easy ‘point and click/tap’ user interface also creates clean and organized notes which eliminates any note writing. I also really appreciate the portability and convenience of the iPad – it has become an integral day-to-day management tool, much like my cell phone. It’s a relief to know that I can use my iPad to safely and securely chart notes and stay informed of my patient’s information in real time from almost anywhere with an internet connection,” he said.

Dr. Mackel explains, “While in the exam room, I don’t have to turn my back to the patient or look around a desktop while I’m inputting notes into the computer. I can actually look directly at the patient with the iPad on a desk or on my lap. I don’t see it as an obstruction from seeing the patient eye-to-eye.”

With the medical knowledge built in, EMA is designed to think like an orthopedic surgeon. “I use EMA to help make my exams much more thorough,” Dr. Mackel said. “For a knee exam, I’m including all the nuances of the exam that we may not document. My shoulder exams now have four to five shoulder exam studies. EMA helps you to cover all the things we do as surgeons but is intuitive and makes sense.”

The Future With Our Orthopedic EMR, EMA

“My experience with EMA has been excellent and I look forward to many more years with it,” he said. “I’m extremely happy with the product and it continues to be a pleasure using EMA. I look forward to all of the changes and additions that I see Modernizing Medicine doing to make EMA the preeminent orthopedic EMR system for orthopedic surgeons.”

Want to learn more about the products Dr. Audley Mackel discussed?


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