A Trainer’s Perspective on Ophthalmology EMR Software Implementation
First (Digital) Impressions
I first met Dr. Alan Malouf in September 2015 during one of our ophthalmology EMR training online sessions. He and his entire staff had an exceptional energy about them. They were excited about using Modernizing Medicine’s EMA™ ophthalmology electronic medical records (EMR) system and had a very positive attitude about learning it. During the EMR systems training, they were everything a trainer wants a client to be. They were involved in every example and asked lots of good questions. And, most importantly, they listened to the best practices we teach our ophthalmology clients with our EMR classes online.
They learned by putting specific, real-life scenarios into EMA under test patient names, which is part of Modernizing Medicine’s EHR training plan. This personalized process prompted mistakes and even some frustration when they got stuck, yet the exercise allowed them to figure out what works and what does not.
This trial and error method of medical records training online made them stronger, more efficient ophthalmology EMR users. They were on the right track and consistently asked thoughtful questions. After watching our EMA EMR training videos and completing their EMA training courses, they felt that onsite support would be valuable for training staff for EHR implementation.
How does onsite EMA training work? For implementation or for follow-ups months or years later, a Modernizing Medicine software educator comes to the practice and works with doctors and staff to help ensure a smooth workflow and correct data entry. Available to all clients, this can be an excellent opportunity to further develop EMA “super-users” and maximize use of EMA’s ophthalmology software features.
And I’m Off to Maryland
On their first day using the program in their live practice environment in November of 2015, I visited Dr. Malouf’s ophthalmology practice to give them hands-on training for EMR software. For the first half of the visit on day one, Dr. Malouf’s ease in applying his normal workflow to EMA was apparent. This was his first day seeing actual patients in an ophthalmology EMR. Although he did have some questions, we were able to zero in on basics he should include in his exams to ensure a complete note for each encounter. The ability to think ahead and “set the table” in EMA to increase efficiency is a skill that normally comes with time.
Within a week of the onsite electronic medical records training, Dr. Malouf had mastered this technique. Predetermining what ophthalmologists may want to use as their impressions and plans while still allowing room for edits is definitely a time saver. The entire ophthalmology group had been very interactive during all of their EMR training online, and the time Dr. Malouf put into practicing in his EMA Sandbox (or test environment) over the following months had definitely proven beneficial.
Ophthalmology EMR Training Round Two
By the time I came to Dr. Malouf’s practice a second time in March 2016 to provide additional medical office software training, he was very comfortable documenting a thorough visit note in EMA. Like a seasoned EMA pro, he concentrated on examining his patients and giving them each the personal touch they deserve—all while recording a beautiful exam with complete and thoughtful impressions and plans specifically for ophthalmology visits. He navigated through the Virtual Exam Room with ease and properly utilized EMA’s ophthalmology drawing tools to note findings he saw during examinations.
When he was finished documenting, he reviewed his visit, approved EMA’s suggested ophthalmology billing code (he was thrilled that ICD-10 is built into the EMR software) and comfortably finalized his notes before leaving the exam room. Dr. Malouf had really taken to EMA and proved to be a natural using the ophthalmology software. He is a prime example of what we hope our clients achieve through our ophthalmology EHR software training.
Currently, Dr. Malouf is about two and a half years into using EMA in his live practice environment, and he is a complete EMA rockstar! Depending on the schedule, he seamlessly sees 40-55 patients each day while documenting each encounter in the ophthalmology EMR software without the help of a scribe. He still calls me (and sends funny photos) periodically to remind me how much he loves EMA and how much he appreciates the value of both the EMA EMR training online and the personal onsite EMR tutorial.
If there was a poster child for EMA users, it would definitely be Dr. Alan Malouf. He remains passionate, patient, stimulated and positive about the software and genuinely appreciates the thorough visit notes the ophthalmology EMR provides and enjoys using EMA to document his exams. His enthusiasm and motivation are infectious and have benefited his entire team. He is a model client with a true success story.
This post was originally published on August 23, 2016, and updated on June 4, 2018.
Senior Sales Solutions Specialist and Product Expert
Heidi has been a part of the Modernizing Medicine team since 2014 and started her career with the company as an ophthalmology trainer. She currently serves as a senior sales solutions specialist and product expert for Modernizing Medicine.
Prior to joining Modernizing Medicine, Heidi was an ophthalmic technician, scribe and clinical supervisor as well as director of EHR implementation for two large multi-specialty practices. There she was responsible for training technical staff and managing daily clinic workflow. Heidi brings more than 17 years of clinical, technical and personal experience to the team.