“A physician knows what we are going through and knows how to make it easier for us. WRS has everything we needed.”
Southwest Sports and Spine Limbers Up with WRS
When Dr. Eugene Johnson opened Southwest Sports and Spine in Tucson, AZ in January 2010, he was confident that he could help patients feel pain free. But, first he had a few of his own pain points to deal with.
Up and Running
“I had to get up and running. I had to figure out how to get credentials and how to get all of the different insurances up and running. I had to buy equipment, including office furniture and exam tables. I had to line up with medication services, for the medications and injectables that we would use. That was the biggest challenge, finding out who to use and how often we would need them. I also had to keep everything within budget. I started to look for an EMR when I first opened the practice and that was a challenge too,” said Dr. Johnson.
Noting in his EMR review that he used eClinicalWorks when he was working at a large group practice, Dr. Johnson said, “I thought that since I was accustomed to eClinicalWorks, that’s what I wanted, but the costs for’ implementation and training were phenomenal. eClinicalWorks is server-based, so you have to buy all the equipment. There was a $25,000 starting fee. I was just starting a practice so I couldn’t afford that. I had to search for something that was affordable.”
During his EMR shopping experience, Dr. Johnson considered four EMRs. “I liked WRS. My staff and I were able to learn the system. I am just paying the monthly fee and we are very happy with the price. Right now, I’d be lost without WRS.”
Reflecting on the fact that WRS was created by a physician, Dr. Johnson said, “A physician knows what we are going through and knows how to make it easier for us. WRS Orthopedics EMR has everything we needed. Another reason that we chose WRS was because it has certifications. I knew WRS was certified and up-to-date.”
Spending Time with Patients
Dr. Johnson, who treats interventional pain patients who are over 18 years of age, sees patients with sports related injuries, worker comp injuries and car injuries. “The majority of my patients have osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis and degenerative changes in the spine,” he said.
Noting that he spends a considerable amount of time with patients, Dr. Johnson said, “We try to treat the patient and not the films. When a patient comes in we do an initial evaluation, which can take up to 60 minutes. We usually start off with conservative things, such as Physical Therapy, depending on the injury. After PT, if you are still not getting better, we may go into imaging studies, such as an MRI. With sports related injuries, we always start with PT. If that’s not working, we also do PRP (platelet enriched plasma) injections to help regenerate the ligament and the cartilage. Sometimes with a disc injury, people have a lot of flare ups and recurrences so they end up coming back and we may perform the same procedures depending on how long the injections work.”
Emphasizing in his review that he is proud of his promise to see patients within a week of their calling for appointments, he said, “We’re very laid back and we give a lot of care and support to the patient. If they don’t get a reduction with PT, we give conservative treatments. If not, we move into imaging studies and see if there is a disc, bone, or joint injury that could be causing the pain. From that point we move to more invasive techniques, such as epidural or joint injection. I also offer non-steroidal injectables.”
Dr. Johnson has customized WRS Orthopedics Templates to suit the exams and various procedures he performs. “I have Physical Exam templates for shoulder, knee, ankle, neck and back as well as a template for needles, right and left. Having those templates already in WRS is really beneficial. When I’m going through an exam, the template for that particular exam is already in the Orthopedics EMR so I just have to check off negatives and positives. That helps me get through it faster,” said Dr. Johnson.
Way To Go Dictation
Dr. Johnson is also accruing benefits from Dragon Dictation, which is integrated into WRS. “I’m using Dragon Medical because my typing skills are limited. The Dragon Medical is integrated within the WRS EMR system and is far superior to typing. I’m actually finishing all my work at the office so when I go home at night, I don’t have to do notes. That’s a big help. I have a laptop and I can continue that work at home too.”
E-Prescribing Beats Writing Rxs
With anywhere from 80 to 100 patients a week, Dr. Johnson is finding that the WRS e-prescribing capability is boosting his efficiency. “E-prescribing is working well and the patients like it. It’s very quick and very easy. The alerts about drug/drug interactions help us too. When we see the alerts we look at them. WRS provides us with that information, which is good.”
MU Money Makes Sense
Dr. Johnson couldn’t be more pleased that he has received Meaningful Use Incentive funds from the government. “I applied for MU funds and we received the incentive. WRS absolutely helped. The application is in the WRS system to prove that you are accurately meeting MU. Since you have everything documented, it helps you to get those funds. I definitely recommend WRS EMR to other practitioners. It was a big surprise for us to get that money; especially with just starting up a practice, that money was well needed and well deserved.”
Talk About Patient
No doubt about it. Typing can slow down a physician during an exam or procedure. “WRS’ integration with Dragon Medical dictation is very helpful. Dragon is compatible so I can really speak everything into the software and it easily flows right into WRS. That makes documentation even easier, especially if you are not a good typist. It works incredibly well so I really haven’t had any problems with it. I’m glad WRS and Dragon work very well together, that saves me a lot of time. I was doing work at home and now I don’t have to. I can finish everything at work,” stated Dr. Johnson in his review.
Physicians can’t afford a work stoppage due to a server-based system that crashes. No worries with WRS Cloud EMR. “In the past four years, I’ve had no major problems with WRS. When I was doing my fellowship and using eClinicalWorks we did have a problem where the system crashed and we actually had to shut down for the day. Being a new practitioner, I was always dreading that would happen to us, but it’s never been an issue with WRS web-based EMR, which is great. I recommend WRS to my colleagues. I haven’t had a problem in four years; the whole system has been excellent.”
Implementing an EMR can cause an uproar among the office staff. Not so with WRS. “The staff likes WRS, it’s working well for us. We like the little message tabs that the staff can give if there is a certain message about the patient. If there is a phone call they can document that right next to the patient’s name. The next time I open that note I will see the message and I can address the message at that time. That’s very helpful,” said Dr. Johnson.
Dreams Do Come True
Like many med students, Dr. Johnson dreamed of having his own practice. “When you first get out of medical school you are in so much debt and very nervous to be on your own. You are a little nervous about starting your own practice, but I plunged ahead. I would tell everybody to take that plunge. The greatest satisfaction is that you are your own boss. You’re in charge of everything. It’s also nerve wracking, but you set up your own parameters and rules, so it’s all how you want to do things. It’s very nice. You also get to choose your own EMR just like I did with WRS. WRS is very helpful to us and to my practice. Starting my own practice was one of the best moves I made as well as getting WRS for my practice. It makes it run efficiently.”
Elevating Patient Care
Judging from his ranch style office, it’s apparent that Dr. Johnson is pulling out all the stops to help his pain patients relax. “My office is very modern and relaxing. It’s a nice mellow atmosphere. We try to keep everything calm, especially for people who are coming in for a needle. The colors are neutral.” he said.
So, how are his patients doing? “They are doing very well. Usually when they see other pain doctors they talk about a series of three injections with epidurals. I do very well with my first one and if there is significant pain reduction after the first one, we usually don’t do the other two. We wait and see. If they need the injections, we can always give them down the line. I’m not really big on medication. I try to be more conservative as much as possible. If my patients are doing well with the one injection, we wait and see how long it lasts.”
Finally, Dr. Johnson said, “If patients want compassionate care, they should see us because I see all my patients, before, during and after the procedure. We’re not in a rush. I try to give everybody an equal amount of time.”
Pointing out in his review that he has four employees, Dr. Johnson envisions expanding his team. “We’re growing. Now we’re up and running and we’re thinking about taking on some nurses and PAs to help because I’m busy now.”
Finally, when asked to name what he likes best about WRS, Dr. Johnson said, “I like that it’s easy to use and I was able to train myself. It’s professional and definitely affordable. The note looks professional. WRS offers a faster, thorough exam and we have e-prescribing so the Rx will be done by the time patients leave their visit. WRS exceeds my expectations, I’m very happy with it. It has made my life much easier.”
So what does Dr. Johnson do when he hangs up his white coat at the end of a hectic day? We like to travel and fish now and again. WRS EMR does give me free time so I can do other activities, such as fishing and boating, which is nice,” said Dr. Johnson.