Saving Time and Increasing Revenue With a Top Ophthalmology EHR

by Christine Sykora | Jun 26, 2018 | , , ,

Learn how Advanced Eye Care, SC has benefited in more ways than one with Modernizing Medicine’s ophthalmic EHR, EMA™

Transitioning from Paper Charts to a Top Ophthalmology EHR System

Advanced Eye Care, SCOur practice, Advanced Eye Care, SC, located in New Lenox, Ill., offers a comprehensive solution for all eye care needs, from kindergarten exams and annual appointments to complex medical management and surgery. Our five providers used paper charts that inhibited efficiency and made it difficult to prepare for upcoming government mandates. After years of researching electronic health record (EHR) systems, our group implemented EMA, the ophthalmology EHR system from Modernizing Medicine®, and we have experienced significant benefits ever since.

My Mission: Finding a New Ophthalmic EHR System

When I joined the practice in 2012, I was tasked with finding the right ophthalmology EHR solution for the group. The key driver for selecting a system included the need to increase efficiency, improve proper medical note documentation and easily generate reports for medical and marketing purposes. With paper, all those initiatives were manually performed and extremely time consuming. Also, as ICD-10 approached, we specifically sought an EHR vendor that had a solution in place versus someone that was outsourcing this component or still developing it.

When We First Met Our Future Ophthalmology EHR, EMA

selecting plans and morphologies in EMA for ophthalmology

We became familiar with EMA after seeing it at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Annual Meeting, and it was clear that Modernizing Medicine was ahead of the curve in terms of innovation.

We saw multiple ophthalmology software systems, but they still required template creation or drop-down menu selection, which was not something we wanted. Furthermore, as part of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO), we had the option of an initially funded EHR system of their choice. After we saw EMA, we decided to walk away from that offer.

Because EMA captured our ophthalmology needs so well and produced a detailed and organized note, we weren’t willing to sacrifice success by going with our ACO’s preferred vendor. In addition, EMA is easy to navigate, has a very attractive cloud-based platform and offers drawing capabilities, which our retina specialist values.

Let’s Talk EHR Implementation

When it came time for implementation, Modernizing Medicine took the lead and set the expectations for training. We participated in weekly remote training courses along with Q&A sessions which worked very well for our office. We initially reduced our patient volume, began entering each patient into EMA and then archived those paper charts. We operated at the reduced rate for two to three weeks and slowly started increasing patient volume until we were back to normal just six weeks after implementation.

Improving Our Work-Life Balance

Since ophthalmologists designed EMA to intuitively adapt to each individual’s style of practice, our staff and physicians can quickly tap their way through an exam via the native iPad application. Given the array of subspecialties in which our providers specialize, including cornea, cataract and refractive, and retina, it is important that our EHR system adjusts to their needs and not slow them down.

ophthalmologist Dr. Timothy KislaPerhaps the greatest testament to this improved work-life balance comes from Dr. Timothy Kisla, a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in cataract and cornea surgery. When he and I spoke about our ophthalmology EHR, he shared, “Since implementing EMA, I’m able to leave the office earlier and be home to have dinner with my family. With paper, I always had to be in the office because I never wanted to take charts home and risk a compliance issue. Now, I can easily check in with the office while I’m away, and I have the ability to review and finalize a note if needed. It’s important to have that work-life balance. Also, my time with patients has not been negatively impacted, which a lot of physicians fear; instead, it has actually improved. I’m so comfortable with the system that I’m able to document while I’m talking with the patient, just like I did with paper, and finalize the note shortly after the patient leaves.”

I recently performed a time study on Dr. Kisla and confirmed that it takes him two minutes or less to document a standard exam. EMA is that quick and easy to use.

We have cut our clinical hours by five hours per week and we see about 300 more patients a month, which has aided in increasing our revenue by 26% over the last five years.

Helping and Engaging Our Patients

Dr. Kisla focuses on providing the best medical care for his patients, so it was important that an ophthalmology EHR system enhance patient engagement versus detract from it.

patient portal in laptop showing contact info

With EMA, we can track patients for recall by generating a report that shows, for example, a list of glaucoma patients who need to be seen in four months, so we can follow up. That proved impossible with paper. We also have a number of patients that use the patient portal as a tool to stay actively engaged with the physicians regarding their care.

Listening to Our Feedback

What we value most about Modernizing Medicine is the continuous innovation they make in their products. If we submit an enhancement request, we then experience that change or see some aspect of it implemented in the product. Modernizing Medicine actually listens to their clients and makes improvements based on this feedback.

Key Benefits Experienced Using Modernizing Medicine’s Ophthalmology EHR System

  • Saved time due to ease of use
  • Achieved office efficiency and improved workflow
  • Increased patient volume and revenue
  • Improved documentation with automated notes and billing codes

Interested in learning more about the ophthalmology EHR Christine and Dr. Kisla discussed?

Christine Sykora

Christine Sykora

Practice Administrator

Christine has been surrounded by the medical industry her entire life and is also a corporate attorney. Through networking and a mutual connection, she was introduced to Dr. Kisla who was looking for an innovative administrator for his ophthalmology practice. As a supporter of family-owned businesses, she accepted the opportunity. She has served as the practice administrator since 2012. Excited by emerging technology in ophthalmology, Christine also enjoys the retail and marketing component of the practice and loves the fact that Dr. Kisla has maintained the ‘hometown doc’ relationship with his patients.

Christine is a mother to three young children full of life. In her personal time, she enjoys traveling, reading history and exploring new cultures. To learn more about Advanced Eye Care, SC, visit the practice’s website.

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