Software Solutions/EHR

EHR: Your Prime Co-Management Tool

By F. Mason Smith, OD

SYNOPSIS

Electronic health record systems streamline work flow and facilitate referrals. Efficiency = profitability.

ACTION POINTS

EASY AND ACCURATE. A drop-down menu appears with doctors names. Patient file is then sent to doctor selected.
TRANSMIT DIAGNOSTIC IMAGERY. Send photos directly from instrument or by taking a photo with a tablet.
PROVIDE VARYING LEVELS OF EHR ACCESS. Enable employees to access only what they are authorized to access.

Co-management is an important part of my practice–and technology from my electronic health records system is essential to making this happen efficiently and profitably. I can refer patients and send electronic scans with just a few keystrokes, and send to other healthcare providers with ease.

I co-manage routinely with about 10 doctors (ophthalmologists and optometrists) pre- and post-operatively, along with other primary care providers and endocrinologists, to whom we send notes after office visits to monitor conditions like diabetes. Our electronic health record solution, Eyefinity EHR, streamlines and optimizes our communication with other healthcare providers.

SPONSORED CONTENT

To learn more about Eyefinity EHR, visit www.eyefinity.com/ehr

Choose a Cloud-Based, Mobile System

Eyefinity EHR is cloud-based and comes with a user-friendly iPad app. A cloud-based system is easier to maintain and back-up than systems that operate from a server in your office.The upgrades to the iPad are easier because it does not require an IT person to do it; it is just like upgrading any other iPad app. For the desktop version of the software, you do not have to download updates to all the PCs in your office, as it is done in the cloud, and again, no IT support is needed. You just sign in and you have the update. All the data is being backed up and encrypted off site as you use the system. It does not require any back-up process in the office. It also allows me to access patients records encrypted and securely from wherever I have access to the internet.

With an iPad, I can face my patients while I enter information. It works very well with a scribe in the exam room, as both of us can have an iPad and have access to the same patient record at the same time.

Dr. Smith consulting with his patient’s record in the exam room via his iPad. Dr. Smith says he values the ability of Eyefinity EHR to be accessed on any computer and mobile device in the office, or elsewhere, thanks to the system’s cloud-based technology.

More Efficient Pre-Operative Care and Referral

Communicating with other doctors in my EHR is more efficient. Eyefinity EHR formats the note outputs in a very clear manner, eliminating the need for the doctor to dictate or write a referral letter or a summary of the visit. The note outputs are also ready to fax by computer without printing the document. There are several ways a specific note can be added to the patient visit to ensure the co-managing doctor receives the information. One of the nicest parts of the Eyefinity EHR iPad app is there is minimal typing as you are tapping and swiping instead of typing. In Eyefinity EHR, one of the options in the treatment plan section is “refer a patient.” This allows me to easily select a doctor from a drop-down list that appears. Once I finish the record entry, the exam results are sent to the selected doctor by fax or e-mail.

Scan Co-Managing Print Documents Into EHR

When we receive print letters or documents from other doctors, we scan and save those documents to the patient’s record and open them later in the “attachments ” tab in Eyefinity EHR. You can also use your iPad to take a picture of the document, and it will attach to the patient’s record.

Transmit Diagnostic Images to Other Doctors

You can transmit any diagnostic image that is part of the patient’s record to another doctor through Eyefinity EHR. There are several ways to attach an image to a patient’s record: some retinal imaging equipment is integrated into Eyefinity EHR, you can send an image from a non-integrated retinal camera’s software, or take a picture using the camera on the iPad.

Give Staff Varying Levels of Access to Meet HIPAA Requirements

All allowed users of Eyefinity EHR are set up with user names and passwords. Each user is assigned privileges through the security setting that controls what functions they can perform. For example, only a doctor can write and send prescriptions. Likewise, different staff members can have different privileges. In our office, we are thoroughly cross-trained, so we allow most staff members to have privileges that allow them to use most functions, except starting prescriptions for medications. Some staff members can start refills and new medical prescriptions in the patient record, but only a doctor can send medications electronically. I use scribes in the exam room who are involved in the co-management process.

With Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements, patients can access their private health data online through a patient portal. There are firewalls, antivirus software and encryption to help secure the data, but we must always be diligent in knowing who we are sending data to and what safeguards other doctors have and their enforcement of privacy policies in their offices.

Two screens doctors will see as they co-manage patients with other health care providers. Once you click “referral,” highlighted and checked in the top image, the “fax receipts” screen, in the bottom image, shows.

Adjust Work Flow to Accommodate Co-Management Via EHR

If you are transitioning from a paper record system to an EHR system, there will be many workflow changes related to co-management and all other office functions. If you are changing from one EHR system to another, there will be workflow changes that will be based on the system you are using. Many older EHR systems are not as easy to use when sending notes to co-managing doctors regarding office visits. With Eyefinity EHR, sending information is just several clicks away since you don’t have to prepare a letter or organize the data to be sent.

Streamline Billing and Coding When Co-Managing

By the proper selection of the chief compliant and the visit type, Eyefinity EHR automatically directs the coding and billing options to be appropriate for what you are doing. The system learns what you normally do for a given diagnosis and puts those procedures at the top of the list of options to choose from. Once the diagnosis is made and the procedures selected, that information is then used to build the claim so that your billing staff can file the claim quickly.

Co-management is an important part of my office. Eyefinity EHR has streamlined the co-management process by making it easy to document and send patient records to another doctor. I can send the referral in just a few steps without having to type the letter and organize the records.

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F. Mason Smith, OD, is the owner of Family Vision Care in Mt. Pleasant, SC. To contact: masonsmi@bellsouth.net

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