How Your Ophthalmology EMR System Should be a Friend, Not Foe

Dr. Rivers shares how medical technology can help your ophthalmology practice thrive

As one of the most recent additions to the on-staff physician team at Modernizing Medicine, I wanted to introduce myself and also share with you my passion for the intersection of healthcare and technology. I’ll share key insights as to why technology should be your friend (at least a cordial acquaintance) and not a foe.

Throughout my career, I have understood the need for and the power of healthcare technology, specifically in specialty practices. The approach Modernizing Medicine has taken to develop its ophthalmology EMR system, EMA™, with built-in industry expertise and intuitive features, has elevated healthcare technology.

Prior to joining the team at Modernizing Medicine, I was an ophthalmologist, partner and board member with The Retina Group of Washington, one of the largest group of retinal specialists in the country where we used the ophthalmology EMR system, EMA.

In the post below, I will cover why technology, specifically an ophthalmology EMR system, should be your friend and not your foe. My goal is that after you read my post below, you’ll better understand how technology can really help you increase practice efficiencies and patient outcomes.

1. Why Good User-Experience (UX) Matters

Poorly designed technology, specifically when it comes to ophthalmology EMR systems, is often a shared concern and hot topic in the industry. A poorly designed interface not only leaves you and your staff frustrated but leads to needing scribes and more scribes, typing instead of doctoring and being locked in to using the computer at your office. However, if you’re using technology that’s well-designed, these frustrations diminish. So how does a vendor help improve UX when it comes to an ophthalmology EMR system? A big part of that answer is YOU! Involving the end-users in the process through on-site visits, research panels and users conferences become critical investments for a company to make. Modernizing Medicine has a strong focus on UX as they realize involving their current clients in shaping the future of their product can benefit their customer base. At the company’s 2017 annual users conference, MOMENTUM, there were stations with eye-tracking technology, DesignLab sessions and options to sign up for research panels. Customer-centered design practices drive the focus of Modernizing Medicine’s UX team.

2. Importance of On-going Development

So how updated is the ophthalmology software you’re using in your practice? You want vendors you work with to continue to develop their products and provide the additional innovations along the way.

One of the unique aspects of Modernizing Medicine includes their foundation of having on-staff physicians who code. Ophthalmologists Steve Rosenfeld, MD; David A. Goldman, MD; Jonathan Criss, MD; and Paul Gallogly, MD have and continue to actually program EMA. No one knows an ophthalmologist’s workflow better than a fellow ophthalmologist.

Another example of on-going development includes Modernizing Medicine’s patient kiosk, modmed® Kiosk. As patient engagement increases in importance, kiosk allows patients to electronically fill out intake and consent forms, saving time for your staff and enabling the patients to be more involved in their healthcare. Tying this back to the value UX brings, modmed Kiosk was recognized for its design as the People’s Choice Award Winner at the 2017 UX Summit. Check out the video below for a behind the scenes look on how this was accomplished.

You don’t have a flip-phone anymore (or hopefully you don’t) or rabbit ears on your T.V., so why should you struggle with the limitations of outdated software in your practice or a lack of ongoing innovations from your EMR vendor?  

3. Value of Analytics

If you’re still on paper or using certain ophthalmology EMR systems, you’re probably missing out on the true power of data and analytics. With your EMR system, you should have the ability to dig deeper and gain insights on administrative, provider and financial analytics so you can drill down into the enterprise, provider and even patient level data. Having an EMR system that captures such structured or actionable data can help you uncover ways to improve multiple facets of your practice.

Modernizing Medicine’s Analytics platform helps to answer questions that benefit many aspects of your practice.

  • Which diabetic patients have missed their retinopathy check-ups?
  • Which of my patients were evaluated for an elective procedure like Lasik but did not undergo it?
  • Where am I sending macular degeneration cases? Should I hire a retina specialist to handle them in-house?

4. Guiding Principle of Customer Delight

We’ve all dealt with good, bad and mediocre customer service with restaurants we’ve patronized, airlines we’ve flown on, hotels we’ve stayed in and beyond. When it comes to technology and devices in your practice, you likely can relate to the lack of availability with support, limited self-help resources and overall unresponsiveness.

Your ophthalmology EMR vendor should be equipped to help you every step of the way whether you are just starting out or have been a client for years.  

At Modernizing Medicine many of our customer service team professionals have clinical backgrounds and we communicate important updates and messages through a variety of channels. Our offering of personalized support and training options based on the practice’s needs proves invaluable. At the end of the day customer delight is a guiding principle for the company. I experienced this first-hand when I was an EMA user and now as a member of the team. At the end of the day the tools and technology you use in your office should act as an extension of your own team.

5. The Changing Regulatory Landscape

We live in a world where change is constant, and that holds true with regulatory and compliance updates. As a physician, you shouldn’t have to spend your time on decoding new rules and staying up to date with the latest updates, your EMR vendor and their system should help you with that. Within EMA, the built-in MIPS intelligence platform collects your MIPS data within the flow of the exam, tracks your estimated MIPS Composite Score as well as your progress on each measure and benchmarks your performance against peers.

Additionally having access to the MIPS Advisory Services is another piece of the puzzle. At Modernizing Medicine, this team provides personal guidance from an advisor who is also trained in EMA. Both the software and the team can help alleviate the burden compliance often places on physicians and their staff.

I hope my examples helped to illustrate how technology, specifically the right ophthalmology EMR system can truly be your friend when it comes to practicing medicine. 

Michael B. Rivers, MD
Michael B. Rivers, MD

Director of EMA Ophthalmology

Dr. Michael B. Rivers is the Director of EMA Ophthalmology. In this role, he helps Modernizing Medicine evolve the ophthalmology platform by combining his years of experience as a board certified ophthalmologist and retina surgeon with his expertise implementing and using the EMA™ EHR system at the Retina Group of Washington (RGW). Michael speaks with physician users, listens to their needs and communicates them to the development, customer success and other teams at Modernizing Medicine.

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