“This system is amazing. It gives you the peace of mind that none of the information will be lost.”
Efficiency Soar with WRS Internal Medicine EMR
Dr. Peter Choy and Dr. Ricardo Calonge have a picturesque location for their Internal Medicine practice in Miami, Florida. Just a stone’s throw away from a scenic bay and situated next to Mercy Hospital, the location is indeed ideal. Unfortunately, the same thing could not be said about the two separate systems that the doctors were previously using to manage their busy practice. In 2007, they found one system that changed everything.
“We had a program that Dr. Choy’s friend had written for him. It wasn’t commercial. We were using it, but it was strictly just for the office visits. We had separate software for billing. When we had problems with that program, we would use paper. Many times the software would get stuck. That’s what drove us to find a new system. It was constantly getting jammed and we would have problems with it. When patients came in we would put vital signs in the system and the doctor would write his notes in that program. We were able to scan some tests into it as well, so we had to scan them manually,” said Cristina Garcia, practice manager.
With an eye fixed on transitioning to an EMR, Dr. Choy and Dr. Calonge met with several software companies. “They were thinking of converting to a more updated Internal Medicine EMR program with more capacity. We had several people come in. Then WRS came to our office one day. When both doctors met with the WRS team, they liked all of the functions that were available in the program so they decided to go with WRS. They liked a lot of the features like the billing module, because it was connected to the program so that everything would work together. One of the doctors was really interested in the Dragon dictation capability,” said Garcia in her case study.
No More Denials
Resubmitting rejected insurance claims is a laborious task that every medical practice wants to avoid. “WRS checks the claims for errors and if there is anything that is incorrect, WRS will tell you before you send the claim. This is a great feature because you can fix your mistakes. Before, it was ‘after the fact’—they send the claim back, it was wrong, the insurance denied it, go ahead and send it again. Now, it’s great. Within two weeks we get payments from Medicare and commercial insurance firms. Prior to WRS, it was a headache performing billing functions. It took up a lot of time. I would look through all the claims to prevent any mistakes, but sometimes you miss something and claims would come back denied because of an error. It was a lot more time consuming. WRS is a lot faster,” said Garcia.
Integrated Patient Portal
Having a patient portal with all the bells and whistles is enabling the Internal Medicine practice to do some nifty things, such as offering patients the ability to enter and maintain their personal health record. Garcia, in her case study, said many patients are embracing the portal’s myriad offerings. From requesting an appointment or a refill, to seeing their lab results, requesting records and printing intake papers… patients are reaping the benefits. “We also have information on diseases. For example, if the patient is a diabetic, they can get information on managing the disease. The doctors made a list of certain health conditions. The patients can go down a list and pick what they are interested in and it takes you to a website where you can print all kinds of information. I think the patient portal makes it easier for the patients. It’s easier for the doctors to do things through the computer than having to sit on the phone. Patients can get a lot of information through the portal instead of having to call the office and wait for the doctor to have a free moment to call them back. This way they can do things instantly. I think it’s a great help. The patients who do take advantage of it like the patient portal,” asserted Garcia.
At the End of the Day
What do doctors do at the end of a busy day when they still have labs to review? “WRS enables easy access to lab results from any place. Lab requests and results come directly into the system, so the doctors can review results from home, if they didn’t have time to do it here during the day. That’s really beneficial. After they leave here and go home they can review labs that came in through the EMR and then they write their comments and send it to the person here in the office who does the call backs for things that need to be done regarding lab results. They have access anywhere they go. It’s great that they can look at things from home and review labs. They don’t have to be here in the office or carry a bunch of papers home. They can just login and review labs if they didn’t have time to do it in the office.”
Garcia explained that the WRS E-prescribing capability has increased the practice’s efficiency and the telephone is no longer ringing off the hook with pharmacists questioning hand written prescriptions.
“The doctors like that they can refill the prescriptions electronically. We get the requests in from the pharmacies and the doctors can look at refill requests and fills automatically as well, which is very helpful. WRS E-prescribing is great. It reduces a lot of the phone calls, asking, ‘I don’t understand this, can you clarify that?’ Everything goes well through the computer and when people need refills, the pharmacy sends it in through the e-prescribing and the doctors either authorize the refill or, if they don’t want to authorize it, they put a comment like, ‘The patient needs to come in for a visit.’”
Reminding patients that it’s time for preventative tests and health screenings is a step in the right direction when it comes to improving patients’ health. Waiting Room Solutions Internal Medicine EMR reminds Dr. Choy and Dr. Calonge to tell patients when certain preventative tests are due. “They have the system set up where if a female patient comes in they’ll know if she hasn’t had a mammogram for this year and WRS will remind them to tell her she needs to get a mammogram or a pap smear. Or if a male patient comes in and they need to do a PSA exam, or they haven’t had a colonoscopy and they are over 50, the system will remind the doctors. Many of the HMOs are trying to promote colonoscopies, colon rectal cancer screening, mammograms, and bone density. WRS has all those parameters that you can put in the system so they’ll remind you, ‘this person is 50 so now they should have a colonoscopy.’ The doctors are trying to incorporate that function and use that for a lot of the preventative care,” said Garcia in her case study.
According to Garcia, the physicians required an EMR software firm that had achieved all of the government required certifications. “They were looking for somebody who was certified. The incentive was another big thing they were looking at. Waiting Room Solutions is certified. It was great that we received the first year incentive funds. We got the incentive promptly. In fact, we did it in mid December and in January we received the funds,” said Garcia.
The Price is Right
Keeping expenses in check can be a daunting task for a medical practice. “When the specialist came in to speak with Dr. Choy and Dr. Calonge, they liked the price. Compared to the other people who were here, WRS offered a lot of the things they wanted for just the right price,” said Garcia.
Acknowledging that implementation of EMR software was a challenge because the practice remained open during the start-up period, Garcia said, “We got through it and now that the EMR is operating and we've gone through the webinars and self-guided training, everything is fantastic. If we have an issue, we open a ticket. Within a day, WRS Team gets back to us. I call and somebody will call me back. WRS has now assigned a representative to our account and she called me and we had an interview. She asked me if we were having any problems and in the future if we want to set up one-on-one training. We could do that through the computer.”
Garcia continued, “Now that we know how to work all of the different parts of WRS, I do the webinars to find out other features and try to implement them. We are taking advantage of the whole program and all of the different benefits it has.”
Peace of Mind
So now that Peter V. Choy M.D. – Ricardo O. Calonge M.D. LLC has a perfect location by the bay, can the same be said about the practice’s Internal Medicine EMR? “This system is way better than what we had before. WRS is amazing. There’s peace of mind that none of the information will be lost. With the other program we had before, we lost some information and that was a big worry. WRS EMR is great. The doctors love it. It’s fantastic. They can look at everything right there from wherever they are, including any part of the patient’s record.”
“We can scan anything that doesn’t come in electronically into the program. We’re scanning everything. We are trying to get the old paper charts scanned into the system. That way, everything will be accessible to the doctor at any given moment. The doctors are really happy with this. It has worked out really well,” said Garcia.
Where will the Internal Medicine EMR take Drs. Choy and Calonge next? “The practice is eyeing Dragon Dictation Medical and the WRS Digital Pen. We’d like the patients to use the digital pen to fill out their information on a clipboard which goes into the program. We’re thinking about doing that.” No matter what features the doctors do add down the road, one thing is already evident. They are experiencing a better quality of life since implementing WRS. Garcia couldn’t agree more. “We’re such a busy practice because it is internal medicine and we’re the primary care physicians for a lot of the insurances. Everything has to go through the primary care doctor. Dr. Choy and Dr. Calonge do have a little bit more time to get out earlier and they don’t have to be writing all kinds of things on paper.”