“Once you learn the ins and outs of WRS, the ways to work it, it just flows.”
Cardiology Clinic Gets to the Heart of the Matter with WRS EMR
Good things come to those who wait. The problem is cardiologists don’t have time to wait, especially if their practice is growing and they’ve opened a second location.
Take the case of Ashish Parikh, M.D., owner of three-year old Newark, Delaware-based Heart & Vascular Clinic. He was using MicroMD for almost two years and it was slowing him down, so he switched to WRS web-based Cardiology EMR and practice management system.
At the end of 2011, Dr. Parikh’s solo practice was so busy that he added Vincent Varghese, D.O. In September 2012, Dr. Parikh expanded to open a second location in Middletown, DE.
“There were a few concerns that Dr. Parikh had with MicroMD that WRS was able to answer and take care of so he felt it was best to move to WRS,” said Trupti Patel, Practice Manager for both locations. She added, “Dr. Parikh is a very particular man. He looks for neatness and strategic placement of everything. MicroMD had two separate systems. There was one for practice management (PM) and the EMR. If he had to look for patient information he would have to go to the PM to see the recent appointments, etc. If you wanted the patient information as to what testing patients had done, what labs they had done and what medications they were on, he would have to go to the EMR. He just wanted a system that you just click and everything is right there. We didn’t look at other EMRs. We just had a couple of meetings with WRS and we were sold.”
Noting in her case study that cardiologists Dr. Parikh and Dr. Varghese are also certified interventionists, Patel said, “We do everything under the roof of cardiology starting from the complete blood draw panel, to echo and vascular studies, carotid DVTs, arterial studies and stress tests, including nuclear stress tests. They perform many procedures, including angioplasties and stents. The doctors are affiliated with Christiana Care Hospital in Newark and St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington. Each physician sees an average of 15 patients a day in Newark, as well as patients at the new Middletown location.”
Learning how to use a new Cardiology EMR system can be a chaotic experience, especially when there are over 15 employees. “We had in house training. WRS came here for the whole day and we had training over the phone. Once we learned WRS, we taught the staff. It was pretty easy. WRS was able to answer every question that we had. WRS customer service is really good. They are very responsive. If you send an email to our representative, Melissa, you have a reply within five minutes. She’s very prompt. That’s something that I like. No one has ever said no to us when we’ve asked them to help us out,” said Patel..
Have it Your Way – Cardiology Templates and Notes
How does WRS Cardiology EMR and practice management system increase the cardiologists’ efficiency? “Dr. Parikh is a very strategic man. He wants certain things a certain way. The notes need to look a certain way. Dr. Parikh says, ‘It’s no problem.’ He uses Dragon Dictation. That’s what makes it easy. WRS is very user friendly,” said Patel, adding, “We have different templates set up for the cardiology notes, procedure notes and medication notes. For the cardiology notes, the physicians have the HPI and Review of Systems, vitals, exam and Assessment and Plan. Concurrently, on the other side you see the allergies, medications, histories and habits. Everything is there.”
Being able to customize WRS templates is also a boon to the staff’s efficiency and it enables a smooth workday workflow. “When we do an echocardiogram, the technician fills in her information. The vascular staffer does it her way. When we have Coumadin® checks in the clinic, the clinic staff does it their way. Everyone customizes their own template,” said Patel in her case study.
Patient Portal: Way to Go
Heart & Vascular Clinic doesn’t skip a heartbeat when it comes to satisfying patients. “We have a website for our clinic that is patient specific. If you are a patient you can register on WRS Patient Portal. Patients have told us it is very easy for them to do that. They can enter everything from their name, birth date, family history, social history and medications they take. We have their patient privacy forms available on the portal if they need to print it out and they can sign it electronically. If they are not bombarding us with questions, we have more time to give to the patients in the clinic,” said Patel.
E-Reminders are a Fave
WRS Appointment Reminders are another win/win for the practice and patients. “The email reminders are great. The patients give us their email address and we put the reminders in. The patients can get the email saying they have the appointment at a certain time, and to confirm they just need to press the button. We get the confirmation that they are going to come in. They can send us an email through the system if they can’t come in for the appointment,” said Patel.
Medication Management at its Best
“If the patient has recently been seen by the physician, they can send us an email through WRS and tell us they need a refill and we will do it for them. As far as medication management it’s great for the patients. If a patient is starting aspirin and he hadn’t take it before, he can go into WRS and say, this is what I’ve added to my medication list. When the patient comes in, we confirm all the medications they are taking,” said Patel in her case study.
Better Care Through Documentation
Spending time searching through paper charts to find information about what transpired during a patient’s previous visit is old school. “Documentation is very important. When the patient comes in the next time, it reminds the physician what they have (previously) done. When patients call with queries on the phone, we can just look at the documentation and know what has happened with the patient,” said Patel.
On the Same Page
Now that Heart & Vascular Clinic has opened a second location, having a cloud Cardiology EMR is an efficiency booster. “The advantage of WRS is that at both offices we are viewing the same thing. I can be on the patient’s chart and my employee at the other office can be on the same patient’s chart and we can look at it at the same moment and we can discuss everything. Dr. Parikh and Dr. Varghese can be at the hospital and talk about the same patient while looking at the same patient’s chart. They don’t have to call the office to get the patient information; they can just log in and figure it out themselves. That saves time,” stated Patel.
Patients are sometimes hesitant to call a physician when they have a question. Using the Patient Portal, they can email their question and receive a quick response. “A patient recently emailed us a question and we answered it within five minutes. It wasn’t asked over the phone so it was not holding up anybody. We got the email and he had his reply within the first few minutes of sending the email out. We get questions about refills. When a patient emails, the question comes to me, the doctors and the clinical coordinator. Any one of us can answer.”
Scheduling is Easy
What’s a day in the life of a Practice Manager really like? “On a routine day, it’s easy. I am working more efficiently now than with our previous EMR,” said Patel, adding, “We just hover on the name of a patient, and we can get into their personal notes or their questions. If we need to add a new patient, you just go to scheduler, scroll, check ‘manage patients’ and ‘add new patient.’ Once you learn the ins and outs of WRS, the ways to work it, it just flows. When we get testing and lab work done in the office we always fax it to the primary care physicians. We use WRS Fax Queue to fax patients’ labs and studies.”
When queried what she likes best about WRS, Patel gets right to the point in her case study: “There’s one word that sums it up; that’s convenience. That’s the main thing. I like the fact that I can always view the same screen that the physicians are viewing while they are out of the office. It’s convenient for the doctors while they are working. They use Dragon Dictation and that eliminates all the time it takes to type.”
One Stop Shop
Finally, when it comes to what differentiates Heart & Vascular Clinic from other cardiology practices, it’s apparent that Heart & Vascular Clinic takes educating patients and offering convenience to heart. “We have magazines and if something interesting comes up we have copies of health oriented articles. We have a TV that is tuned into news programming. People want to hear the news. We also have links to educational information on our website. As a cardiology practice we are a one stop shop. We have everything under the roof of cardiology. We have a Coumadin clinic, which is unique because usually patients have to go to the hospital for that. That helps with patient satisfaction. It’s convenient. They come here and get attention within 15 minutes rather than sitting in the hospital and waiting. It’s a long wait. Here they are in and out within 15 minutes. We are comfortable with WRS because we feel like it’s doing the same thing that we are doing as a cardiology office,” concluded Patel.