The Problem: Launch a Lean, Multidisciplinary Practice
When Nate Evans, DC, launched his multidisciplinary practice in Pocatello, Idaho, in 2006, he wasn’t interested in hiring a large staff or allocating a lot of resources for chart storage. “I was looking for an electronic health records (EHR) system that would link together notes, billing, and practice management so that I could manage the practice efficiently with just a receptionist,” he says. He reviewed demo software from more than 15 different companies looking for the right system. “I invested a lot of time in the decision. As a young practitioner, I knew I’d be using whatever system I chose for a very long time, so I wanted to find a vendor that I was confident would stay abreast of technology changes and evolving government standards.”
The Solution: A True Partner with a Completely Customizable EHR
He found that kind of partner in Compulink, which offered him all the EHR training and expertise he needed to get his practice up and running. Compulink was also one of the first EHR systems to be certified, making users like Evans Chiropractic eligible to qualify for up to $44,000 in Medicare incentives. “The best thing about Chiropractic AdvantageTM is that it is completely customizable,” Evans says. “If there is anything I don’t like or don’t find efficient I can simply change it.” For example, he created a new tab for a common presentation, low back pain. The exam screen consists of the battery of orthopedic and neurologic tests Evans performs to diagnose such patients, in the exact order he does them. “All I have to do is select ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ for each test and with just a few clicks, I’ve documented that I performed 15 tests,” he says.
Evans’ partner is a family practice physician, and they employ several massage therapists. “We have dramatically different types of patient encounters and needs, in terms of documentation,” he says. “But because the Compulink software can be customized, it’s able to handle e-prescribing and lab request for the M.D., different exam screens for each of us, and keep track of multiple schedules and accounts for everyone in the office.” The fact that each partner can make changes to his own screens without affecting the other has helped make the multidisciplinary concept work.
The Result: Lower Overhead Costs and a Solid Grasp on Business Fundamentals
“Our Compulink software practically runs the office itself,” says Evans. “Without it, I know I would have needed to hire another administrative employee.” As it is, the receptionist is able to handle scheduling and follow up on any problem claims or missing payments. Evans Chiropractic’s patient files fit on a pocket-size external hard drive. There is no chart room and no off-site file storage. “You really can’t underestimate the savings—in money, time, and personal energy—from not having to process and store all that paper,” Evans says.
“Chiropractic Advantage creates a seamless connection between the front and back office,” he explains. He can usually finish his notes and post the charges before the patient even checks out at the reception desk. All billing is done electronically, saving postage and manpower.
“Plus, with everything electronic, it’s easy to monitor the health of the practice. Using Compulink’s reporting features, I can quickly monitor claim submissions, accounts receivables, patient volume, revenue per patient, and many other metrics with a few mouse clicks. It makes it easy for me to manage the business without giving up patient care.”
Pearls for Success
Evans acknowledges that starting out paperless may be easier than transitioning 20 years of paper records to EHR, but he doesn’t think the challenges should deter established practices. “The sooner you do it, the happier you’ll be,” he says. “Once you break the old routines you will quickly realize that EHR translates directly into time and money saved and the ability to see and help more patients.”