Happier Doctors Thanks to Cloud Ophthalmology EHRs
How this ophthalmic EHR system helps improve work-life balance and the patient experience
This appeared as a sponsored post by Modernizing Medicine. Read the original article featured in Ophthalmology Management.
With paper records, and even most older ophthalmology electronic health records (EHR) systems, remaining compliant with industry standard practices regarding patient privacy and record security all too often means most ophthalmic practitioners must stay tied to their brick-and-mortar offices. With cloud-based ophthalmology EHR systems, a key benefit is that patient records can be accessed from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection. If our own experience is any indication, this vastly improves both provider satisfaction and the patient experience across the spectrum of eye care.
Advanced Eye Care, SC, is a multi-subspecialty ophthalmology practice in New Lenox, IL, specializing in cornea, anterior segment disease, retina and routine eye care. We employ 12 full-time staff members, three ophthalmologists and two optometrists. Our practice treats approximately 950 patients per month and annually bills over $5 million.
Ophthalmology EHR Accessibility From Virtually Anywhere
Since we acquired EMA, the ophthalmology EHR system from Modernizing Medicine, in 2012, our providers’ satisfaction with their work-life balance has soared. Our physicians can attend after-school and other events knowing they can log in at their convenience from the comfort of their own home to complete patient notes, review intra-office communications, or reply to correspondence from outside providers. EMA is a native iOS and Android app, so such tasks can even be completed with a smartphone or tablet virtually anywhere.
Indeed, our providers now have a centralized location in which to track virtually all ancillary tasks associated with clinical visits. For example, our ophthalmology EHR system enables staff to alert providers when a patient calls with a question or modifies his appointment. Providers, in turn, can alert staff to execute a prior-authorization request, task the front desk with a reappointment or correspondence request, or ask a technician to follow up on a lab requisition. All this was possible with our previous system, but we needed to locate files throughout the office and providers had to be present to access them.
Better Documentation With an Ophthalmic EHR System
Another benefit of our cloud-based ophthalmology EHR system is the documentation trail automatically left behind as staff and providers complete tasks. When relying on paper charts, a casual request made in the hall may never be recorded. Now, with iPads always in hand, accessing the patient record or communication portal takes just seconds, and verifying tasks and communications simply requires referencing the log and history.
Improved Patient Experience
Besides provider satisfaction, the speed and centralization of our cloud EHR system has helped improve the patient experience. We subscribe to a service that data-mines our clinical encounters nightly. Based on predetermined and provider-specific parameters, patients can be contacted by staff. This task alone would be impossible to conduct manually, especially on a nightly basis. Yet, it allows us to more easily facilitate the best possible care with respect to managing our patients’ diabetic eye exams, glaucoma pressure checks, dry eye disease or even annual contact lens exams.
EMA also helps improve call coverage because all of our sub-specialists document all clinical visits with the same ophthalmology software. Our EHR system allows for treatment plan customization, but it is now far easier for one provider to access a visit note from another provider, locate the required information, and, perhaps most importantly, understand the documentation. The days of shorthand or illegible writing, unclear plans or inaccurate medication logs are gone. Our patients appreciate that the technology we use helps manage their care efficiently, so they can get the care they need when they need it.
The Perfect Balance
Many professionals like to leave their work “at the office” at the end of the day, but that isn’t always possible in ophthalmology. We have found that higher provider satisfaction, along with a higher-quality patient experience, comes with the ability to access medical records away from the clinic. The cloud, ophthalmology EHR, EMA, from Modernizing Medicine makes that possible for our practice.