“Of the EMR choices, I don’t think any of them will work for an ophthalmology practice as well as WRS.”
Futuristic Ophthalmology EMR: The Eyes Have It
What if you could automatically remind patients that it is time for their yearly vision exam, with just a click of a mouse? Would being able to draw in your EMR improve your daily workflow? How much more efficient would you be if you could graph patients’ vital signs, such as vision and ocular pressure?
Just ask Richard Gordon, M.D. He’s already using these Ophthalmology specific features that are built into Waiting Room Solutions cloud EMR and practice management software.
About 40 to 60 patients visit Dr. Gordon at Ramapo Ophthalmology Associates in Pomona, New York every day. Dr. Gordon, who specializes in general ophthalmology and cataract surgery, with a subspecialty in glaucoma, performs a plethora of ocular and glaucoma procedures a year. With such a hefty patient roster and a busy surgery schedule, Dr. Gordon needed an Ophthalmology EMR that would go the extra mile to help him achieve the smoothest workflow ever.
The adage, “a picture’s worth a thousand words” rings true for Dr. Gordon. He uses WRS EMR Drawing Tool, which allows him to draw on a blank screen, default image, or upload his own image in all note formats.
“Ophthalmologists want graphic tools. You can create color drawings with WRS Drawing Tool. WRS integrated web-based drawing tool has made a huge difference. If you have a special template that you want to use, you can scan drawings in and draw on them,” he said in his review.
Emphasizing that WRS also offers a graph for vital signs, such as vision and ocular pressure, Dr. Gordon said, “You can quickly go to the graphic tool and see how those (vital) signs have changed over time.”
Keeping Track Of Images
Pointing out in his review that the practice does a lot of in-office testing, Dr. Gordon said, “The testing that we do produces an image–a color page, either a visual field or picture of the retina. Keeping track of testing can be difficult. WRS does a great job. We don’t need to keep a vast hard drive of images because once it’s uploaded, it’s integrated into WRS software. It astounds me that a lot of ophthalmologists will have an EMR and an entirely separate imaging management software. It just doesn’t make sense to me to have to have a patient’s chart open on your EMR and have to go to a separate program to access the images. And you don’t have to spend a fortune on image management with WRS.
Sure, WRS e-prescribing capability is helping Dr. Gordon to send prescriptions to patients’ pharmacies in record time, but this capability is also getting high fives from Dr. Gordon for helping him be more efficient and organized when it comes to documenting patients’ medications and getting refills. “E-prescribing is integrated into WRS. It is not a separate software, so it has been the biggest time saver for me. You can keep track of patients’ medications during the exam and move on to refills. There’s one place to do it. You don’t need to take a note of all the medications that they are taking, then rewrite the prescriptions, make a call for refills, then rewrite the prescription again, and then make another call. You just click on the software,” said Dr. Gordon.
Make Someone Happy
Dr. Gordon cares what his patients think about their experience, whether they are calling the office to schedule an appointment or sitting in the waiting room. WRS EMR patient portal is helping him achieve excellent marks for patient satisfaction. “Patients can manage their appointments within WRS without having to call the office. They can do it through electronic means–by messaging and e-mailing us directly and that saves phone calls. A lot of patients get frustrated if they call and then the call goes into voice mail. With WRS, it is much easier for patients to manage their appointments,” said Dr. Gordon.
WRS patient portal is also a convenience for patients because they can enter their medical history and insurance information online before they come to see Dr. Gordon. “When they come in the waiting room they don’t feel frustrated that they are spending a lot of time filling out paperwork. They can fill the information out at their leisure at home. It helps them and it helps us to see them on time. In addition to getting the paper work out of the way, they are not going to have to repeat filling out the information multiple times because it will auto populate. When they do it once, it will help them in the future when those forms expire,” said Dr. Gordon.
When Dr. Gordon goes home at the end of the day, chances are he is not stressed out from a crazy day at the office. “I go through the EMR and click off the things that apply and in this way I create a customized note for each patient. Ultimately, we are able to focus more on the patient than if we were sitting and scribbling and making sure that every element of the note is there, because the software thinks of it for you. I don’t have to sit and worry if I put the right elements in. It’s there and if I didn’t enter it, I can go back and fix it,” said Dr. Gordon, adding, “It’s much better to have a central place as far as medication management, allergies and things like that are concerned and when anything that comes up. I am spending a lot less time charting.”
Conferring With Physicians
Communicating with referring doctors and sending lab results is crucial to Dr. Gordon’s success in achieving excellent outcomes for his patients. “As far as communicating with other physicians outside of the practice, that communication is enhanced. Instead of spending hours dictating and editing notes, WRS generates notes for your letters to other physicians. It makes it much easier for me to communicate with other doctors so they are getting a lot more communication than they were in the past.”
When it comes to lab results, Dr. Gordon is a do-it-yourselfer. “It’s much easier to integrate lab results. I can instantly fax tests that we perform in the office from the software. I don’t have to ask a staff member to do it, which creates three or four steps to do it, which saves a lot of time. More data is getting to physicians in a better way.”
EMR Accessibility Is Key
Having access to patients’ charts from any location, especially when you are at the hospital is a requirement for an ophthalmologist who has a heavy surgery schedule. “I was in the operating room today and every nurse said, ‘I can’t believe you can get all that information here. Isn’t that great?’ I’m so used to it. I’ve been using WRS for several years. How can you properly perform surgery and see patients and not have all the information at your fingertips? I do remember the days when I didn’t have WRS. I’d have to get a chart and call in. It is amazing to me that I can get WRS at any time and enter notes. If I make a phone call I don’t have to write it on a sticky pad and bring it in the next day. I can just go to a web page and I don’t have to set up a Citrix server with every computer that I use. I just go to WRS login. It’s much faster and more efficient with a web-based EMR. If I’m in the hospital and have a consult on a patient I don’t have to go back to the office and get the chart. I can get the chart. I have enhanced access to patient information and to others if they need it,” said Dr. Gordon in his review.
In Case of Emergency
How accessible is WRS Ophthalmology EMR in the event of a disaster? Just ask Dr. Gordon. He recently came face to face with Hurricane Sandy and despite the catastrophic storm, his records were safe and he was able to treat patients. “If we were manning the system here, and the system went down, we couldn’t get the data. Even if we had the system here, it would have to be rebooted. It could have been a problem during the hurricane; we’d have to get an IT guy to come here. WRS does that on their end. We didn’t have to worry about that. Some offices didn’t have electricity. We have a generator here so we got the Internet up instantly. We were back in business in a day. As soon as the trees were cleared we were ready to go. There are a lot of contingencies built into WRS to make it disaster proof. We don’t have data storage here. We can access WRS from anywhere. There are several servers all over the place. If one goes down, there are others to back it up that are spread out geographically. The beauty of a web-based system is you can access it anywhere instantly just from a web page. We now have a dual Internet connection–a cable modem and one of the phone lines is a DSL line. It’s a great back up,” said Dr. Gordon.
Training Is Easy
Training staff on a new EMR can be a daunting task, especially if the staff shows resistance and the system is complicated. “WRS is a user-friendly system. No EMR is going to be easy to the point that it’s stress free. You have to learn to do things differently. Some doctors or office staff will do it easier than others. There’s some resistance. WRS was very helpful in guiding us along. The key to the system is to plan ahead and to use the video tutorials as much as possible. They really answer every question. Some people are used to getting computer programs and starting right away and if they have a question, they go to a computer manual and they will figure it out as they go. The more you can do WRS tutorials, the better. The tutorials are a few minutes each. They prepare you much better so you can be ready to use the system,” said Dr. Gordon.
Nobody Does It Better
Acknowledging that he had used a practice management system without an EMR prior to WRS, Dr. Gordon said, “I always liked web-based technology. Intuitively I believe that it's the future. Everyone is going to have cloud-based information. The licensing type of thing is very easy to do. You don’t have to buy very expensive servers. WRS is very flexible. You just need to have up-to-date computers with Internet connections. It’s very flexible.”
Getting Paid On Time
Time is money. With WRS robust billing software system, getting paid in a timely manner is not a problem. “WRS billing software works great. I don’t think any software does billing better than WRS,” Dr. Gordon said in his review.
WRS Certifications Are Key
When queried if WRS certifications were on his must have Ophthalmology EMR shopping list because he wanted to apply for Meaningful Use incentives, Dr. Gordon responded immediately, “Yes, absolutely. In today’s market you have to capture the Meaningful Use incentive. WRS had the certifications that made it very easy for us to receive our incentive. They made sure we had all the criteria and we got paid. We just had to make sure that we could qualify and once we did, we received our incentive.”
Track Your Order
Yet another WRS feature that Dr. Gordon is using is order tracking. “When I place an order for lab tests, as far as making sure patients are going for the test and getting the results and making them aware of it, that’s all integrated in the system. I don’t have to physically go to a notebook and make the call myself. It goes through each step in the process. WRS makes sure the patient went for the test and if the system doesn’t get a result it will send a reminder to the patient to get the test. By automating the process, it takes work away from the staff and cuts out mistakes,” Dr. Gordon said.
A Quick Fix
Let’s say a problem with your EMR crops up. You need a response from your software company yesterday, right? “WRS response is very quick. You make a lot of calls at the beginning. WRS has a messaging system which is efficient. They get back to you quickly. It’s easy to send them a message and get a message back,” stated Dr. Gordon in his review of the system.
Finally, now that Dr. Gordon has been using WRS for five years, can he imagine life without WRS? “No, I wouldn’t want to. When you look at a lot of systems, there’s a lot of frosting and not a lot of cake. WRS has a lot of cake. When you look at the options, if you are going to go to a web-based platform there aren’t many choices out there. Of the choices, I don’t think any of them will work for an ophthalmology practice as well as WRS.”
Dr. Gordon’s staff couldn’t agree more with his glowing assessment of WRS. “There’s always some resistance when you go to a new system. When we went to WRS, they were complaining and now they can’t live without it. They say, ‘We can’t go back,’” concluded Dr. Gordon.
Knocking On Patient Portal Doors
So what does the future hold for Dr. Gordon and his patients? “We are actively developing our website. We want to customize it to our ophthalmology practice. WRS is helping us with that. We want a seamless connection between the website and patients and the software,” he said in his review.
Another nifty initiative he is pursuing with WRS is the development of a cyber patient education center. “We’re in the process of developing the portal as an educational tool. We are going to incorporate links to the proper sites for web-based information. It will be a Center for Education,” said Dr. Gordon. While most of his patients are elderly and not so tech savvy, Dr. Gordon will be ready when the most computer savvy generation ever comes to his door. “As the population shifts and the boomers age, we’ll use more and more electronic information and reminders,” said Dr. Gordon enthusiastically.