“Accessibility was my chief concern in choosing an EMR. The main reason why I chose WRS was because it was web-based. I also liked that the billing and charts are integrated.”
Kuraoka Clinic Serves Two Locations with WRS EMR
Imagine what your life would be like if you started an Internal Medicine practice in Atlanta, GA and then three years later you expanded to Columbus, OH. Could you hop on a plane every week, treat patients at the new location on Tuesday and Wednesday and fly back Wednesday evening?
Dr. Maki Rheaume, owner of Kuraoka Clinic, wouldn’t have it any other way. And while it does sounds pretty hectic, Dr. Rheaume makes practicing in two states look easy. How does she do it? She relies on WRS Internal Medicine EMR and Practice Management System.
Pointing out that she treats about 70 patients a week, Dr. Rheaume, said, “My staff is Japanese. They are bilingual. Japanese people who live in the Southeast and don’t speak English come to see us. We offer executive health care and yearly physical exams for all of the Japanese executives and families who live here. I opened in Atlanta, GA in March 2010. I opened the second office six months ago in Columbus, OH.”
Web-Based is the Answer to Accessibility
Kuraoka Clinic evaluated several EMRs, including eClinicalWorks and Practice Fusion. Emphasizing in her testimonial that her top priority was accessibility, Dr. Rheaume said, “With eClinicalWorks there were so many details in the patient’s chart and it looked very complicated. There were too many clicks involved and I didn’t like the way it looked. WRS can do both billing and EMR together and it is web-based. I can have access to a patient’s chart wherever I am, including when I’m at either practice location, vacationing in Japan, at home, or away from the practice. Accessibility was my chief concern in choosing an EMR and the main reason why I chose WRS was because it was web-based. I also liked that the billing and charts are integrated,” said Dr. Rheaume.
Managing two offices and treating patients at two locations in two separate states can be an overwhelming task. “WRS has been very helpful, so I’m very pleased. WRS is very, very useful. We can login to the system at the two different sites. We can also check how many patients are seen in Ohio and how much money the practice is generating. If people have a problem at the new practice, our practice (in Atlanta) can log in and help them too. It’s awesome, we love it. We can look at lab results and medication refills, together. If I need to do that for the other location, I can always log in and take a look and see. It’s been very helpful. For either location, wherever I am, I can just call in. All I need is the Internet,” said Dr. Rheaume.
Immunization Certificates Are Here
Providing handwritten certificates to show that you’ve given children’s immunizations can be a laborious task. “Children need certificates from their doctors to show that they’ve received their immunizations. Handwriting your own certificate is a pain but WRS has generated a report for immunizations, which is great. It cuts down on my work,” said Dr. Maki Rheaume in her testimonial.
Keeping expenses down is the goal of every new practice.“I didn’t have much money and I was starting a business. WRS Internal Medicine EMR is affordable, so that’s something that helped me. I like that I make monthly payments compared to paying $20,000 upfront for a system, and especially one that isn’t web-based,” said Dr. Maki Rheaume.
Superstar Team WRS
Having a team you can depend on even after the deal is made, eases the angst of transitioning to an EMR. “WRS meets my needs. I’m very particular and always expect the best. I like the WRS Team because they’re all very friendly so I’m always comfortable. I send e-tickets or emails if I have a problem, the team figures it out and provides me with an answer quickly. I don’t like when people don’t get back to me. WRS always tries to resolve the problem,” said Dr. Maki Rheaume.
Physicians’ technical skills vary and mastering a new system can be very trying for even the most web savvy person. “You have to do some self-guided training and play with the system. WRS Internal Medicine EMR has a really nice tool where you can learn everything online. I attended webinars and also purchased a training package. I set up the time and went through everything with Nora and Patti from WRS. It was well worth the money. Everyone should do training, especially if they have never used an EMR before. The one-on-one training is optional, but I recommend it because otherwise you end up spending more time trying to learn the system. I think you should spend more on training and conserve your time,” said Dr. Maki Rheaume.
Templates Increase Efficiency
How can a physician be more efficient when they have a lot of physical examinations to perform? “I have customized a couple of templates for physicals. I know what questions I have to ask, such as, ‘Do they have chest pain, shortness of breath, or deny or admit?’ In the History of Present Illness (HPI), I ask, ‘How long has it been since their last physical or last Pap test?’ Since my patients come from Japan, I also ask, ‘How long have they been in the United States?’ Those questions are in the customized template, so it’s easy.”
E-Prescribing Saves Time
Writing prescriptions can also be very time consuming. “When patients check in, we register their pharmacy, so by the time I see the patient, the information is in the system. If I prescribe Amoxicillin®, then I just type Amoxicillin and the pharmacy will pop up. I just select the pharmacy, press send, and the prescription goes to that particular pharmacy and the medication is ready for the patient to pick up. It’s been awesome,” said Dr. Rheaume in her testimonial.
So, how do patients feel about Dr. Rheaume’s use of high tech e-prescribing? “E-prescribing is very, very helpful because my patients don’t have to wait when they go to the pharmacy, so they’re extremely pleased. As long as the pharmacy is listed in the EMR, I can select it and send the prescription there. I always tell my patients once I send their prescription so they know that it’s available for pick-up.’ For things like steroid packs, which I can’t send electronically, I can choose to eFax the Rx, either way it works great,” stated Dr. Maki Rheaume.
Fax Queue Is a Fave
Pointing out in her testimonial that the practice offers many procedures, including breast, thyroid and lymph node biopsies as well as steroid and lumbar spine injections, Dr. Maki Rheaume said, “We have an ultrasound machine and a digital X-ray machine so patients don’t have to go to the hospital, instead they come here and they’re in and out. The test results go straight to the chart so they’re in our system. It’s so easy.”
Dr. Rheaume continued, “All of the referrals and labs come to the fax queue that is integrated in WRS Internal Medicine EMR. That’s been very helpful. You just go to the patient’s chart and you can see all the labs. They are automatically attached so you don’t have to do any of that work. Referral notes and all of the reports, such as colonoscopy, Echocardiogram and mammogram reports go to the WRS Fax Queue. We don’t have paper. We used to print those papers out and the staff would give it to me to get my attention.”
Moving In the Right Direction
So why did Dr. Rheaume choose to practice in Ohio and Atlanta? “Columbus has a large Japanese population. There’s a huge Honda factory there. I was asked by Honda execs if I was interested in opening another clinic there targeting Japanese people and since this clinic has been very successful we decided to go do it. We opened with a Japanese dentist who is situated next to me. We are two separate operations, but we share a waiting room and the break room. Honda has a workplace clinic with American doctors. Japanese employees are comfortable coming to me,” said Dr. Rheaume.
Pointing out in her testimonial that she graduated from medical school in Japan in 1999, Dr. Rheaume said, “I met my husband in 1997 in Osaka, Japan. He got a scholarship there and was doing research in one of the medical schools. We fell in love and he brought me here. We did our residency here. My goal when I was a medical student was to have my own practice in Osaka. I never thought about doing this here.”
When queried how she feels about practicing in the U.S., Dr. Rheaume was all smiles. “It’s awesome. It’s like a dream. I have a niche because I’m Japanese and we are the only Japanese speaking facility in the Southeast. I have patients who come from Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. Today, two ladies who live in Knoxville, TN drove three hours to have me give them their physicals. They feel comfortable being able to speak to a physician who knows their language. I treat children and adults. I like seeing children. The moms usually don’t speak English. They all want to come and see us, especially in Columbus. They didn’t have a Japanese doctor for 20 years so we’re busy there.”
Five Star Service
While the Atlanta office is located in a 20-story office building with high-end tenants and a lobby that resembles a five star hotel, it’s apparent that Dr. Maki Rheaume and her staffs’ emphasis on providing personal attention is an even bigger draw. “Our receptionist is very sweet and nice. We always accommodate patients with same day appointments, no matter how busy we are. I only take two insurances, but patients come in and I ask, ‘How did you find us?’ I have good reviews. I spend a lot of time with patients, they love us and they all come back.”
So what does a busy physician do with her time when she is not catering to her patients? “WRS frees my time to spend with my kids and do things with them such as going to Disney. Now I have two offices that I have to manage so I’m pretty busy.”
Is Dr. Rheaume glad that she can manage two practices with WRS? “Yes. If I’m behind with charting, which I frequently am, I can do a chart on the way to Ohio. I buy Wi-Fi and I chart at the airport, which is awesome. That’s because WRS is web-based. It’s so easy as long as I have Wi-Fi Internet access, I can just log in and do it. It’s awesome. It’s very easy to access WRS no matter where you are. It’s web-based, plus, it’s very easy. Very often, I have a covering physician because I go to Ohio. My covering physicians have all said that they like my system. WRS did meet my expectations. I like it. It’s easy for everyone in both offices to use,” said Dr. Rheaume to conclude her testimonial.