Enhancing Tomorrow’s Ophthalmology EHR

by Nicole Fram, MD | Apr 5, 2018 | ,

Harnessing user experience to improve EHR usability

The ASCRS ASOA annual meeting has historically highlighted my professional development each year, and 2018 is shaping up to be one of the best yet. One reason includes speaking during the Industry Spotlight about the future of ophthalmology EHR systems. The session “Tomorrow’s EHR Whither Thou Goest” takes place on Sunday, April 15 from 12:15 – 1:15 PM EST, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center – Lower Level, Industry Theater, Exhibit Hall. I’ll focus on how ophthalmology EHR systems can be so much more than simply technology that we have to use, but rather how EHR design can help us improve the quality of care we provide to our patients and how they can help improve patient compliance. The other speakers and I will share our innovative ideas and experiences for tomorrow’s ophthalmology EHR system.

In the post below, I cover how an ophthalmology EHR system can be designed to focus on the end-user and the benefits that come along with it. After you attend the above noted session during ASCRS-ASOA or read my post below, my hope is that you’ll better understand how the right technology can help you, your patients and your practice.

Interested in learning more about EMA™?

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

The Challenge: Ophthalmology EHR User Experience

Some EHR systems suffer from having a less than ideal reputation related to usability, often due to a critical missing component considering the end-user. Many EHRs have poorly designed interfaces and fail to keep up with changes in technology and ever-evolving government regulations. I’ve heard many peers share that they feel as though they spend more time typing rather than practicing medicine and feel constrained to the computer in their office.

Our practice previously used an outdated ophthalmology EHR system that didn’t adequately keep up with the changes in technology and government regulations. We experienced frequent system outages and unacceptable customer service. Our productivity would only continue to decline unless we made a change. Feeling our patient care and information were at risk, we started researching new ophthalmology EHR options.

Why We Selected EMA, the Ophthalmology EHR System

In our quest to find a new, progressive EHR system that could meet both physician and patient needs, we spoke with colleagues and heard positive feedback about EMA. Dr. David Goldman spoke highly of the ophthalmology EHR system and of Modernizing Medicine. As both a practicing ophthalmologist and a physician coder at Modernizing Medicine, our conversations with Dr. Goldman gave us increased confidence in selecting EMA.

EMA stood out from other ophthalmology EHR systems with its adaptive learning, the automation of structured data and the built-in content by knowledgeable and experienced ophthalmologists. It was quite evident that they focused on designing an EHR for ophthalmologists and our needs. Over 14,000 providers across the United States use EMA, including over 1,150 ophthalmologists spanning more than 375 practices. I’m happy to be one of them.

Making Better Clinical Decisions with Our Ophthalmology EHR

As I mentioned, EMA is ophthalmology-specific and instead of only software engineers coding and designing the system, practicing ophthalmologists who are also on-staff at Modernizing Medicine helped design EMA and contribute to its continuous updates.

With EMA, my patients’ information is right at my fingertips. I can view photos and complete details of the patient chart, plus e-prescribe from virtually anywhere I have a secure internet connection. I can track and manage patients with specific conditions in EMA as well. Right out of the box, EMA provides over 400 chief complaints, 4,350 diagnoses with ICD-10 codes and 2,250 treatment plans and procedures.

Within EMA, the Protocols feature allows for one-click documentation which minimizes my data entry time and provides customizable sections where I can write additional notes to the referring physician. The relevant information presented on the screen makes it easy to understand the patient’s surgical and medical plan.  

postop cataract OD in ophthalmology EHR

Improving Patient Compliance

Electronic prescribing, documentation and patient education handouts all factor into improving patient compliance. ePrescribing can aid in both meeting governmental requirements and delivering high-quality, convenient care to your patients. EMA is certified with Surescripts and with one click, I can send the selected prescription straight to the patient’s preferred pharmacy and it’s added to the medical history in EMA.

Modernizing Medicine’s ophthalmology EHR aids in documentation for the referring provider. Once I finish the note, it turns into a visit summary. Billing is completed and EMA assigns the CPT and ICD-10 codes as well as E&M bundling.

ICD-10 and CPT codes and modifiers ophthalmology EHR

Additionally, I can provide patient education handouts that include information such as disease state, treatment options and treatment plan, what I prescribed and how the patient should take the medication. The patient can access the handouts in addition to his or her results in the patient portal which integrates with EMA.

Staying Connected with My Patients

We live in a world where we can access almost any information we could want and can connect with anyone 24/7 thanks to smartphones and tablets. It’s a different generation. Patients and physicians want to feel connected with immediate attention and EMA is compatible with that need. With its cloud, mobile and touch-based technology, EMA provides accessibility to my patients’ information from almost anywhere. Since I can access the ophthalmology EHR from multiple devices it helps increase efficiency. Other users can access the information simultaneously, again improving our practice’s productiveness.

The ease of accessibility to patient information is so important for providing better care and EMA’s universal platform allows us to do so. If I’m out with my family and I receive an emergency call I can instantly evaluate the chart, testing and prescribe the appropriate medication to best attend to my patient’s needs. I can do all of this from my phone with Modernizing Medicine’s smartphone and Apple Watch app, PocketEMA™, while on the go. That really makes a difference in how I am practicing medicine.

Improving Quality of Care with On-going Development

With the shift to value-based medicine under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), having an ophthalmology system that is ready and prepared can help to alleviate burdens of MIPS reporting. In addition to the MIPS intelligence platform, EMA has customizable clinical decision support notifications. For example, if a patient smokes, EMA will flag it and ask if you want to counsel them. And EMA will flag drugs that will need prior-authorizations, saving time and helping with patient compliance.

2018 MIPS in Ophthalmology EHR

In the end, you need to find the right ophthalmology EHR that fits your needs as a provider and as a practice and one that also benefits your patients. Not all EHR systems are created equally and Modernizing Medicine has designed its system with the end-user, the ophthalmologist and staff in mind.

Want to learn more about EMA for your practice?

Nicole R. Fram, MD

Nicole R. Fram, MD

Nicole Fram, M.D. is an ophthalmologist with an expertise in premium cataract surgery, anterior segment reconstruction, cornea and dry eye disease. She is the managing partner at Advanced Vision Care in Los Angeles and serves as an attending surgeon for residents and fellows at West Los Angeles Veteran’s Hospital.

Dr. Fram received her medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Society.  She completed her residency at the prestigious Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia serving as Chief Resident. Dr. Fram then completed a fellowship in Cornea, Refractive and External Disease at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Francis I. Proctor Foundation.

Academically, Dr. Fram has authored several journal publications and book chapters and enjoys contributing to the field of Ophthalmology. She is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and is a reviewer for several other peer-reviewed journals. She also serves on the Cataract Committee for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).  Dr. Fram lectures nationally and internationally and teaches surgical technique to fellow colleagues, residents and fellows.

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