Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Skyvision Centers Interview EMR

EMR Daily News

How They Did it – One Ophthalmologist’s Experience with ePrescribing

August 25, 2011

Did you hear the one about the ophthalmology practice that was forced to use ePrescribing to achieve meaningful use? The one where the doctors in the practice as well as the technicians and office folks were certain the entire process of ePrescribing would be a productivity sinkhole leading to little more than lost time? Whether you’ve heard this story or not please read on because this is the story of such a practice but the results were not at all what they expected.

Dr. Darrell White and his partners started Skyvision Center of Westlake® ,an ophthalmology and optometry practice in Westlake Ohio about six and a half years ago. From the point when they launched they knew they wanted to use an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system and their research showed that there were only two available at that time that would meet their specific needs.

After carefully considering both options they chose the SRS EHR from SRSsoft, primarily because they saw it as a product created by ophthalmologists for eye care practices. It was also the best fit that they were going to be able to get for their practice in 2005. Skyvision Centers has been using the SRS EHR since then.

Dr. White and his partners at Skyvision Centers didn’t buy an Electronic Health Record system so they would receive the HITECH Act EHR incentive money – there was no incentive money available when they made the decision to go electronic. But now things have changed and the incentive money is available, if they can demonstrate meaningful use. However, that wasn’t their only reason for moving forward. According to Dr. White “there is that nasty little penalty out there if we didn’t start ePrescribing, so we had to commit to moving forward with at least an ePrescribing system.”

In talking with Dr. White it’s clear that Skyvision Center is an extremely well run and productive practice. They’re able to help a large number of people in their area and they do it by being a patient centered high volume and high efficiency practice. They didn’t want to introduce anything that would negatively impact that productivity or their interaction with patients.

Dr. White said that while they were committed to putting the ePrescription system in place the expectations were quite low, with some referring to the process “as a boondoggle that would have a significant negative impact on productivity.”

They looked around and fairly quickly decided that since they were already using the SRS EHR the SRS ePrescribing system, Rx Workflow Manager™ would have the least negative impact on their existing workflow patterns.

After overcoming some of the initial issues that crop up in any new software installation Dr. White and his partners noticed that their front desk people actual found that the ePrescribing process worked “pretty well”. Even more surprising, the technicians discovered that they actually liked working with it – saying that ePrescribing was actually becoming a time saver, in some cases saving as much as 50% over the manual prescribing process.

Well, this is not at all what they expected. In a fairly short period of time Skyvision Center went from being a practice that tolerated the idea of using ePrescribing to one that embraced the idea to the point where they are activity encouraging all of their patients to allow them to ePrescribe.

In the past few months Dr. White has personally gone from hand signing about 150 prescriptions a week to signing only around one a day, helping to make an incredibly productive guy even more productive.

The HITECH Act is causing a lot of health care professionals to consider changes that they’re not comfortable making. While we should note that Skyvision Centers has found fully embracing the chase for “meaningful use” incentives is not cost effective, the experience that Dr. White, his partners and their team at Skyvision Center had can serve as an example of how some times, those changes can increase productivity and patient satisfaction

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