A Q&A with Ophthalmologists Drs. Fram and Shamie

The physicians at Advanced Vision Care, located in Los Angeles, Calif., had been using an outdated electronic health records (EHR) system that inadequately kept up with the changes in technology and government regulations. Having experienced frequent system outages and unacceptable customer service, productivity would only decline unless a change was made. Dr. Nicole Fram, managing partner and ophthalmologist with expertise in premium cataract surgery, anterior segment reconstruction, refractive surgery and cornea and external disease at Advanced Vision Care, led the initiative to implement a new system. Her efforts, research, experience and devotion to managing the practice led the group to select Modernizing Medicine’s EHR system, EMA.

We had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Fram and Dr. Shamie who both shared their thoughts and insights on the process when selecting a top ophthalmology EMR for their practice and the positive results they have since experienced.

Modernizing Medicine: Can you share with us a little more about the challenges you faced with your previous ophthalmic software and how you decided it was time to make a switch to a top ophthalmology EMR system?
Dr. Fram: Our previous EMR vendor had very poor communication skills and the system had numerous outages resulting in loss of data. We felt our patient care and information were always at risk. There was no choice but to move on but it had to be a direction that would be progressive and would meet the physician and patient needs equally. I carefully looked at numerous programs and we eventually chose EMA as the long-term solution for our practice.

We heard good reviews about EMA from other colleagues, one being Dr. David Goldman who is an ophthalmologist who helped build the system, which instilled confidence that Modernizing Medicine would be a company we could trust. In addition, it is an ophthalmology-specific, cloud-based platform with a native iPad application allowing our data to be accessible from virtually anywhere.

Modernizing Medicine: Dr. Shamie, would you share your perspective on this change as well?
Dr. Neda Shamie: As an ophthalmologist specializing in corneal, cataract and refractive surgery, I joined the practice while the search was underway. The four doctors in our practice each responded to different aspects of EMA. Ultimately EMA stood out because it’s adaptive learning responds to each individual user’s practice patterns, and the automation of structured data within the system allows it to code in the most efficient and optimized fashion. Also, the content is built by renowned and highly experienced ophthalmologists who use it in their practices. We all saw EMA as an effective tool that would help improve clinical, financial and operational outcomes.

The built-in ophthalmic software content within EMA enables the physicians at Advanced Vision Care to thoroughly document their patient information effortlessly while automatically generating detailed notes and billing codes.

Modernizing Medicine: When it comes to documentation in our ophthalmology EMR system, how has it helped with communication? And what are some of your favorite features?
Dr. Fram: I am a better physician because of EMA in terms of improved communication with other doctors due to the thorough and detailed documentation it generates. My notes are legible, intelligent, customizable and easy to read. I utilize the Protocols functionality for one click documentation, minimizing data entry time, along with customizable sections where I can write additional notes to the referring physician. The relevant information is not overwhelming, making it easy to understand what the surgical and medical plan is for the patient.

Modernizing Medicine: Can you share a little bit more about notes and billing and coding when using our ophthalmic software, EMA?
Dr. Fram: Once my notes are finished, I’m proud of the final product whereas with our previous system, it was basically garbage in and garbage out. EMA also automatically generates billing codes and even suggests E&M vs eye codes, allowing me to choose the best fit. Now I have confidence that once my notes are finalized, they are going out into the world in a legible fashion. EMA enables me to do all these things I’ve dreamt of in an EMR system and I’m no longer spending hours dictating each night.

EMA’s cloud-based, mobile and touch technology provides Dr. Fram and Dr. Shamie with accessibility to patient information from almost anywhere, allowing them to stay connected to their patients.

Modernizing Medicine: How has the cloud, mobile and touch technology helped you in your practice and keep up with the changing times?
Dr. Fram: It’s a different generation where I always want to feel connected to my patients as do my patients with me, and EMA is compatible for that need. The ease of accessibility to patient information is so important for providing better care and EMA’s universal platform allows us to do so.

Modernizing Medicine: The transition to value-based care has arrived. How has our ophthalmology EMR system, EMA assisted you and your practice with such changes?
Dr. Fram: We had concerns about the new requirements and regulations for value-based care and the transition to MIPS. EMA has MIPS automation built into the system and we can track our scores along the way. I feel zero anxiety about MIPS because EMA is so on top of it and has a plan in place. That’s what I love about Modernizing Medicine. They designed a system that will keep up with these changes on a day-to-day basis so we don’t have to worry about it.

We also invested in the MIPS advisory program, which provides us with a dedicated person that will help with our reporting to ensure we do not receive a negative payment adjustment. I come from the philosophy that if I don’t have quality of life and if I can’t practice the way I want, then I don’t want to do it. EMA enables me to stay focused on providing quality patient care while keeping my quality of life.

Modernizing Medicine: Can you share a little bit about the Modernizing Medicine team you have the chance to work with?
Dr. Shamie: We really value how attentive and responsive the team at Modernizing Medicine is. This a company you can communicate with and problem solve together. We recommended a change in EMA’s functionality and it was implemented within a few months, which is very exciting. Modernizing Medicine is committed to caring not only for the patients, but also the doctors.

To sum it up, the key benefits of Modernizing Medicine’s top ophthalmology EMR, EMA, include:

  • Ophthalmology-specific electronic health records (EHR) system built by experienced ophthalmologists
  • Built-in MIPS intelligence tracks score in real-time
  • Automated coding and detailed documentation capabilities increase efficiency
  • Cloud-based technology provides easy accessibility to patient information
Modernizing Medicine
Modernizing Medicine

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