Case Study

Sona Dermatology & MedSpa Improves Patient Satisfaction and Saves Time With EMA® EHR System


The Goals

  • Implement a robust dermatology EMR system
  • Document consistently across multiple locations
  • Provide patient care more efficiently
  • Track MIPS quality measures more easily

Key Benefits Experienced

  • Saved time due to ease-to-use interface
  • Incorporated patient photos and lab results seamlessly
  • Improved patient interaction and overall care
  • Documented more thoroughly

Members of Sona Dermatology & MedSpa discuss how the dermatology EMR, EMA, has made a positive impact on their practice.

“Various features within EMA allowed us to customize the way MIPS quality measures are documented, which has reduced the time we spend managing MIPS by over 50%. Also, the seamless integration of EMA with our pathology lab has saved time and improved clinicopathologic correlation.”


Sona MedSpa was established in 1997, and its founders quickly realized the potential and power of the cosmetic dermatology/medical spa concept—bringing medically supervised skin health treatments into a luxury spa environment with a passion for customer service.

In early 2016, Sona MedSpa and The Dermatology Center merged with the goal of introducing a new comprehensive medical model for skin care. Owned and led by physicians, the Dermatology Center is a group of practices with a 30- year history of expert medical dermatological care. This comprehensive suite of medical and cosmetic dermatology services is the new face of Sona Dermatology & MedSpa.

Renée Freyer, EMR and MIPS process improvement manager, discusses the group’s success with EMA, the award-winning* dermatology EMR system from Modernizing Medicine®. They began using this dermatology software in 2017 and continue to implement the system across their 18 locations.


Prior to EMA, we used a mix of paper and an outdated EHR system, which lacked efficiency and the ability to track MIPS data. We needed a robust platform that would facilitate consistent documentation between numerous locations and scale with the large ecosystem we were building.

We quickly recognized EMA as the industry leader with the intuitive interface our physicians were asking for. It is flexible and easy to use, and it provides the ability to ePrescribe and maintain records quickly. It’s a differentiator for Sona because it helps us be more efficient and improves overall patient satisfaction, allowing our physicians to practice their craft rather than worry about navigating paperwork.

EMA was very well received by our staff and providers because it’s so simple to learn. For one of our physicians, Dr. Michael J. Redmond, EMA was his first experience with an EHR system.

Dr. Redmond shared, “I used paper charts since finishing residency in 1981, and with the help of an excellent trainer, my transition to EMA was less intimidating than I expected. The completeness of the notes, the help with dermatology billing and the easy incorporation of patient photos are my favorite timesaving benefits.”


EMA is dermatology specific, so our documentation is more thorough from the start. For example, if the patient is here for acne, it prompts the clinical staff to ask the relevant questions. The system also adapts to each provider’s preferences, which saves a significant amount of clicks, so the providers can review and finalize notes more quickly.

The Protocols and tasks features have been huge time savers. Our triage patient coordinator said, “EMA’s tasks feature helps me keep track of patients with a history of melanoma so we can ensure they make their total body skin exam appointments. In less than 5 minutes, I can create a task specific for each patient, compared to 10-15 minutes with our old workflow. Due to our high patient volume, this feature is a game changer and helpful tool to maintain open communication with providers and staff members.”


EMA’s native iPad application allows the providers to remain engaged with the patient during the exam. They can swivel the iPad to show before and after photos, document a detailed note and capture MIPS measures, all while continuing to talk to and face the patient.

It’s created a better patient experience because the technology isn’t a hindrance. In addition, MIPS requirements have become more complex, but EMA captures those measures easily without clinical interruptions. This piece of technology fits seamlessly into our daily flow, and it just works.

One of our physicians, Dr. Joseph Lee, shared, “One of the most helpful features of EMA is the ability to take, store and retrieve patient photos easily. Also, our pathology lab integrates with EMA, which decreases the time we spend searching for results in the fax machines. EMA allows us to follow lesions and rashes better and track biopsy results.”


We strategically chose to align ourselves with a company that is interested in working with its clients to provide the best product for their practice. Modernizing Medicine appreciates and embraces the enhancements that our clinical team recommends, and they provide a level of support that has far exceeded our expectations.

*2019 Black Book™ Research

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Renée Freyer

Renée Freyer

EMR and MIPS process improvement manager

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