Case Study

Epiphany Dermatology Reaps Clinical and Operational Benefits With Dermatology EHR, EMA™, and Pathology Module

by Gheorghe Pusta | Dec 13, 2018 | , ,

The Goals

  • Wanted to start the practice with the best dermatology software option
  • Needed a unified dermatology EHR system across all locations
  • Sought out an integrated Pathology module
  • Focused on solutions to put patient safety front and center

Key Benefits Experienced

  • Integrated dermatology EHR system and Pathology module
  • Streamlined clinical and operational business functions
  • Simplified access to pathology log
  • Decreased average turnaround time

How an EHR system and pathology module help streamline the growing practice

“For a practice that wants true clinical and operational advantages beyond simple resulting, there’s no comparison between EMA’s built-in capabilities and an off-the-shelf pathology product. Modernizing Medicine has a huge advantage with its integrated EHR and Pathology module.” 

‒ GHEORGHE PUSTA, CO-FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Using the Dermatology EHR, EMA, From the Start

Founded in January 2015, Epiphany Dermatology has grown to span 8 states and employs approximately 70 providers. Our practice believes that everyone should have immediate access to the best skin care, regardless of where they choose to live and raise their family, and provides general dermatology, cancer care and cosmetic services for patients. Since our company’s inception, the practice has utilized Modernizing Medicine’s dermatology electronic health record (EHR) system, EMA. In September 2016, we began using the company’s integrated Pathology module, and we haven’t looked back.

A Positive Reputation Among Dermatologists

We noticed that Modernizing Medicine was well-regarded by dermatologists. Since we started Epiphany Dermatology from the ground up, we didn’t have any legacy issues or biases when it came to our EHR system selection. We simply wanted to start with the best dermatology EHR. Many EHRs are seen as disruptive to productivity, but EMA is intuitively designed and dermatology specific. Every EHR has some drawbacks, and many EHRs are notorious for having a ‘net negative’ effect on practice efficiencies. At Epiphany, we leverage EMA’s productivity features together with our support staff and processes such that providers are not slowed down.

Committed to the Dermatology EHR, EMA

ipad with EMA EHR for dermatologyAll of our practices use EMA, as we believe in true unification as an organization. Once we identify the leading application for a given need—whether it is an EHR or payroll system—we want to bring that best solution to all our physicians and staff. Doing so also allows us to become experts in that system so we can better train physicians and support staff on its features. Because we believe so strongly in providing the best systems and support, we don’t close on a practice until certain items fall into place, and one of those includes a transition plan to EMA.

We are very operationally focused, and we want to ensure all of our practices are ready to go with EMA on day one. As an organization, we are committed to EMA, which is often easy to say but can prove more challenging in practice. As we have grown, we now have a dedicated internal implementation team that consists of a lead nurse educator, who is an EMA superuser, and a systems expert committed to aid in seamless transitions for all our practices that join us. Consequently, by being on a common EHR platform we give our physicians access to internal data and processes that our medical leadership team has developed to drive clinical outcomes. We saw the vision for what EMA was building and knew future advances would come.

Adding Pathology to the Mix

Pathology module on laptopWhen we decided to start our pathology lab, we opted to use Modernizing Medicine’s Pathology module because of the integration with the EHR. Since the same system contains the necessary information, it brings operational and clinical advantages. Dermatopathologists can see the information that the dermatologists have access to, including clinical pictures. Once the results are rendered, that information flows back to the referring dermatologist. The note is electronic, and, importantly, the pathology log automatically updates. In the ‘old days,’ many offices had a binder and row for every patient, lesion, site and results. It was more likely then for a cancer to be missed. Now, the second a dermatologist wants to do a biopsy, the system creates an electronic entry and creates a log for the specific lesion that is not closed until the ordering dermatologist receives a report back and tells staff how they’d like to treat a given lesion. That is an incredibly useful advancement to the cancer log and the electronic nature of the process streamlines communication and turnaround times. 

Putting Our Patients First

When it comes to benefits, patient safety tops the list. Epiphany values clinical excellence and routinely studies our pathology log. One of the most important jobs of a dermatologist requires diagnosing and treating skin cancers. Melanomas need immediate follow-up, and you never want to lose sight of a positive result. It helps give our physicians peace of mind that patients aren’t falling through the cracks. With EMA and Pathology, no patient gets left behind. And patients with benign lesions appreciate the electronic notification of results via EMA’s patient portal, eliminating the dreaded game of phone tag and saving time for both physicians and staff.

Creating Efficiencies Help Save Time and Money

The pathology module is easy to use, and I give it a 9 out of 10. I find it to be an airtight process and easy workflow. 

Our turnaround time used to average 7-10 days, and now, using the Pathology module, together with team-based process engineering, we typically experience a 48-hour turnaround after the procedure – sometimes even the next day. Results are electronically available right away. They don’t have to be faxed or manually entered into the system. This eliminated the biggest source of paperwork in our clinics.

The Pathology module has helped save money, since it has reduced the amount of time it takes staff to perform certain tasks. Now, staff can efficiently maintain the pathology log, and providers can efficiently oversee the process. And it saves our dermatopathologists time since they can use shorthand code, sign more notes in the same period of time, and reduce inefficiencies. We now have two separate path labs with four fellowship-trained dermatopathologists, and they rave about EMA compared to other lab information systems they have used.

For a practice that wants true clinical and operational advantages beyond simple resulting, there’s no comparison between EMA’s built-in capabilities and an off-the-shelf pathology product. Modernizing Medicine has a huge advantage with its integrated EHR and Pathology module.

Want to see how EMA and its Pathology solution can work in your practice?

C
Gheorghe Pusta

Gheorghe Pusta

CO-FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Driven by a passion to improve access to dermatology care, Gheorghe co-founded Epiphany Dermatology in 2014. He has served as Chief Executive Officer since inception and has overall responsibility for strategy, growth, operations, and corporate functions.

Prior to Epiphany, Gheorghe served as Vice President of Operations at 21st Century Oncology, where he helped develop an integrated cancer care company with 800+ providers. He also led Revenue Operations nationwide. Before that, Gheorghe ran a complex division at DaVita, where his regional teams distinguished themselves by achieving top clinical outcomes while delivering strong operational performance. Gheorghe’s healthcare experience also includes roles at Johnson & Johnson, Deloitte Consulting, and the Advisory Board Company.

Gheorghe earned his undergraduate degree and MBA with High Honors from the University of Michigan. He completed a Fulbright Scholarship in 2002.

Gheorghe is married with three young children and enjoys spending time with his family and large extended family. Additional interests include sports, travel, and building things.

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