“With a web-based system you don’t have to have a server and a lot of equipment in order to make sure that everything is working fine. Dr. Cortes is able to see his Notes wherever he is and he just needs an Internet connection. He loves that capability.”
Psychiatry Practice Minds its Business with New EMR
Walk into Dr. Carlos Perez Cortes’ private psychiatry practice on the fourth floor of Ryder Hospital in Humacao, Puerto Rico, and you’re likely to hear laughter. That’s because Dr. Cortes boosts his patients’ spirits by airing comedy programming while they wait for their appointments. If you take a peek at Dr. Cortes while he charts, you’ll see that he’s also in a good mood. The reason: he recently switched EMRs and his efficiency is soaring.
EMR Taking Notes
In his review, Christopher Rivera, Practice IT Manager said, “We tried PracticeFusion for one month. The problem with PracticeFusion’s EMR is that Dr. Cortes didn’t like the layout of the page. He is very picky about that. Dr. Cortes does a lot of follow-up with patients who have conditions, such as depression and bipolar disorder. He wanted to be able to see all of the Notes, one following the other. With WRS, when you go to the Notes you are able to see all of the Notes following each other by the order of the date that the Note was done. Dr. Cortes liked that feature. For example, if you have five Notes in the system, when you go to Notes, you can click on an option that says, ‘View all Notes.’ When you click there, one page follows the other. It’s like a text document and he doesn’t have to go one by one to see what he wrote before. It opens up all of the Notes. In PracticeFusion you had to go to the date of that Note, then close it to go to the next Note. He didn’t like that. He wanted less clicks. That’s why he liked WRS so much. He made the decision to select WRS right away.”
Another must have criteria on Dr. Cortes’ Psychiatry EMR shopping list was to have a web-based system. “With a web-based system you don’t have to have a server and a lot of equipment in order to make sure that everything is working fine. Dr. Cortes is able to see his Notes wherever he is and he just needs an Internet connection. If he doesn’t come to the office and if he needs to do something online or work with some patients he accesses WRS from home. He loves that capability.”
Best in Class Service
Dr. Cortes wanted a Psychiatry EMR software company that provides a fast response to any requests or problems. When Dr. Cortes requested a Spanish dictionary be added to notes, WRS responded in the blink of an eye. “Dr. Cortes writes his notes in Spanish. In the Spanish language there are characters that have an accent, and there is a tilda above the letter n. I wrote an email which said, ‘We need a Spanish Dictionary in the notes.’ When I brought the issue to WRS, they spoke with their webmaster and within a week they included a dictionary in Spanish in the notes. The doctor is happy with that,” said Rivera in his review of WRS EMR.
Pointing out that Dr. Cortes has been practicing in Puerto Rico for 17 years and that he has 2,000 active patients, Rivera says that it is no wonder that he was attracted to WRS advanced e-prescribing capability. “Dr. Cortes sees about 25 patients a day. Most of our patients have to take medications every day for the rest of their lives. Ninety-five percent of Dr. Cortes’ patients either have Social Security or are requesting it. If they have depression, or a similar condition, they have to keep coming to a psychiatrist or they lose their Social Security. In the past, Dr. Cortes did patients’ prescriptions manually. It’s going to be easier for him to prescribe medications with e-prescribing. This capability will also help to prevent medication errors and drug diversion,” Rivera said.
Time is of the Essence
Taking Notes for patients during follow-up visits can be a time consuming endeavor that can interfere with patient interaction. “We have one main template that he uses with almost every patient. It’s a follow up visit. He follows up with patients every month. He wants to make sure they are okay. The system helps him to do a Note much faster because of the psychiatry templates.”
Rivera explained in his review that Dr. Cortes uses SOAP, which is a device for conceptualizing the process of recording the progress Notes in the problem-oriented record. S indicates subjective data. O designates objective data obtained by observation, physical examination, diagnostic studies, etc. “For subjective, he has 20 to 25 phrases he uses to describe what the patient is telling him. For objective, he has 20 to 25 phrases where he interprets what they have. For example, ‘This patient looks depressed, apparently the med is not working.’ He can keep choosing an alternative. When he chooses everything he wants he does a ‘save and edit’ and includes whatever needs to be included to have the Notes completed. He does that in two minutes. With paper it took about ten minutes. He can see 20 patients in five hours. Of course, if a patient comes with an emergency or a relative dies and they were already depressed, he spends more time with the patient. There are more things he needs to see from the patient and obviously that Note is going to take longer because he has to write new things that are not the regular, normal things,” said Rivera.
Making good use of the front desk staff is every physician’s dream. “We have everything already in WRS. The receptionist takes the phone call and she looks for whatever time is available in the system. We do everything related to appointments and scheduling in WRS. That helps with efficiency. It’s much faster and it’s much easier. If a patient calls because he doesn’t remember his appointment, before we used WRS the receptionist had to take the calendar and look for his name day by day, find him and tell him the date. Now it’s just a matter of putting his name in the system and right there you have his next appointment,” said Rivera.
Pointing out in his review that patients who receive Social Security for their disability frequently need to provide documentation about their appointments, such as when they started seeing the doctor and the date of their last appointment, Rivera said, “With WRS it’s much faster and much easier to access all of that information.”
So now that several months have passed since the practice began implementing WRS Psychiatry EMR, how does the practice feel about its decision to switch to WRS? “The system is easy. I believe in having everything online. It's a very smart way to work things. WRS is very good with problems. I call WRS and I get the response the same day. They have resolved everything I have asked for. The doctor is happy with the way WRS resolves our problems. They are always trying to make sure that we are happy with the system.”
When WRS learned that Dr. Cortes is a musician and plays piano at his church, WRS wondered if his fellow worshippers are aware that WRS deserves credit for allowing him to leave his business cares behind? Rivera, who is privy to what goes on in the doctor’s office knows well the effect that WRS has on a day in the life of this busy psychiatrist. Does WRS help Dr. Cortes leave his office behind so he can play at church? Rivera responded, “Exactly!”