Ophthalmology Software: Sharing is Caring
How ophthalmology EMRs help us efficiently share information with providers and payors
This article was sponsored by Modernizing Medicine. Read the original article published in Ophthalmology Management.
Being able to share a patient’s protected health information with other providers and payors quickly and efficiently is critical in today’s healthcare environment. A cloud-based ophthalmology electronic medical record (EMR) system enables us to do just that in far better ways than relying on a paper-based system.
Say “Goodbye” to Paper
Our practice is still relatively new — we opened in March 2016 — but we have been using an ophthalmology EMR system from the start. Shortly after we went live, our vendor began offering ophthalmology practice management directly integrated with the EMR system. We asked our team if it was something that would benefit the practice, and the answer was a unanimous: “Yes! We hate paper!”
Quite frankly, I wasn’t surprised. I have seen practices with an entire room filled with paper medical charts who employed a full-time records person to manage them all. That simply wasn’t going to work for our practice.
Sharing Information With Ease
Like most ophthalmology practices, we must often share clinical notes or continuity of care information with other providers. This is especially true with retina specialists, as we share a number of mutual patients.
We also need to ensure primary care doctors who refer patients to us are kept up to date on their patients’ care. Were we a “paper-based” practice, sharing information with other providers would pose an extreme burden to our staff. Thanks to our vendor’s revenue cycle management services, we don’t have to share data with most payors for reimbursement — the outsourced team manages our revenue cycle from before the appointment through full claim and patient adjudication.
We are located near a large U.S. Air Force base, and many of our patients are TRICARE members. The product supported by the revenue cycle team can share visit notes directly via e-fax or direct messaging.
Built-in Ophthalmology Coding Suggestions
In addition to the convenient information-sharing capabilities, our ophthalmology EMR system’s built-in suggested coding is also a great advantage. The system suggests users enter data based on the procedure(s) the physician actually performed and determines the code based upon the relevant criteria. The physician then selects the appropriate code for billing.
No More File Storage
In addition, our electronic fax service means we receive faxes as PDFs, which can easily be uploaded into the ophthalmology EMR system right into the patient’s chart. And not having paper charts means we don’t need large file cabinets!
Advantages of a Cloud-based EMR System
Another vitally important perk: Our EMR and ophthalmology practice management systems are based entirely on cloud technology, which has multiple benefits. For one, we don’t need to house and maintain our own server and we don’t need to worry about software updates — it’s all virtually out of sight, out of mind. In addition, we’re in a hurricane zone, and it’s a huge relief to know there’s far less chance the system will go down or that we’ll lose patient data during a natural disaster.
Being in the cloud also makes the system easily accessible; our doctor can finalize charts from the comfort of his home. If patients call after hours and need a prescription, he can easily fill them electronically and make a quick progress note in their charts. This is an especially important component for MIPS.
In general, our practice appreciates the convenience of having a cloud ophthalmology EMR system to improve communications with other providers and payors. Having the right technology in place is worth the investment to run a successful practice.
Eye M.D. of Niceville employs one comprehensive ophthalmologist, plus a staff of 8, who handle a patient volume of almost 40 visits per clinical day, 20 cataract surgeries per week, and up to two eyelid surgeries per week.
Want to learn how the ophthalmology EMR EMA can work in your practice?
Maria Ruttig is the practice administrator at Eye M.D. of Niceville in Niceville, FL.