When Dr. Laurie Wade Cagle decided to build her own practice from the ground up in September 2013 she knew that getting started on the right foot with a completely automated office system would be a crucial first step. With prior experience with Compulink Advantage Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) and Practice Management software from her time at a previous practice, she knew it was the best option. Compulink’s reputation for providing the industry’s most attentive and thorough customer support to small and large practices alike was comforting in such a challenging and stressful time. Familiarity was another key factor because despite all the changes and stress associated with opening a new practice, Cagle already knew Compulink would provide the tools and service to keep her stay productive and profitable.
Total Practice Efficiency
After almost a complete year, Dr. Cagle feels that things have worked out well so far, and she attributes a large part of her practice’s success to Advantage’s many features and tools that automate her entire office. She sites Electronic Prescribing (eRx) as perhaps the single greatest tool for increased efficiency. By connecting EHR with a comprehensive network of pharmaceutical information, she ensures higher quality care for her patients, and greater communication with the pharmacy. She shares an example of how thrilled she was when Compulink’s training staff showed her how to access the complete list of medications her patients are currently taking. “I thought it was the greatest thing ever.” Aside from increased measures for safety and accuracy, she truly appreciates the time it saves. “The information I’m able to send and receive directly through the software eliminates so many steps,” says Cagle, “It’s just incredibly handy.”
As Dr. Cagle prepares for Meaningful Use, she sees how much easier Advantage makes compliance. She likes that Advantage reminds her before logging off if she has neglected any requirements. “The checks and balances are great,” Cagle says, “It protects you from yourself a little bit, which is great because it can save us thousands of dollars.”
With the new patient education requirements for Meaningful Use, Advantage is continually improving its offerings. There are increased options for patient education in the plan tab, and the access to Medline Plus is one of her favorite features. Cagle states, “The quick access to Medline Plus helps me get much more accurate information about what medications the patient is one, and I use it often.”
Aside from improving her efficiency to treat patients, the Practice Management software allows her to completely run her business with a very small staff. She loves using the VisionWeb integration to send orders for glasses to the lab. By eliminating the process of sending a written form, Dr. Cagle estimates it speeds up turnaround by at least one to two days. “With VisionWeb the lab can start working on the lenses right away. It’s the best!” says Cagle.
Another great feature for saving time is Compulink’s patient web registration. While many of Dr. Cagle’s patients do use it and make sure to pass along how much they love it, she admits that it can be a challenge to convince others to try it. However, she and her staff always try to encourage them, because it works well and saves everyone time.
Because Dr. Cagle is the only one in her office reading exams, she explains that the Notes and Alerts functions are regularly used for communicating with her staff. She can enter a note regarding the ledger or insurance, and her office manager is notified of the issue without her having to worry about a paper memo getting lost. She also likes how well Advantage handles billing and bookkeeping. These automated features allow them to easily manage collections and payments, as well as oversee the telling and the drawer on a daily basis, which frees up her staff to focus on patient care.
Better Patient Care
Having used paper records for six years before moving to a practice with Compulink, Dr. Cagle can’t imagine going back. “Obviously, paper gets lost and isn’t always legible. The pertinent negatives don’t always get documented, and it’s hard to keep everything together with a file. There’s just so much room for human error with paper,” Cagle says, “Now with over six years being paperless I can say record keeping is simply so much better with EHR.”
Dr. Cagle knows that one of the greatest features of Advantage is its customizable nature, however, she has found that the default exam templates that Compulink provides already fit her needs. Within seconds she can access all her most common exams, such as the glaucoma follow up and the contact lens follow up, allowing her to add individualized notes and then quickly move on. She also appreciates how easily it integrates with other software and equipment to share information. By connecting her auto refractor with EHR, all the results are imported directly, which completely eliminates tedious and time-consuming data entry.
The most important key to successful implementation for Dr. Cagle was the dedicated training staff at Compulink. Even though she had used Advantage in her prior practice, she had never received direct training. The opportunity for personalized training revealed many capabilities she had not known about, and she saw it as essential for her success. Says Cagle, “The training staff was wonderful. It’s entirely worth it for doctors and staff to learn from Compulink’s specialists.” Rather than try to train them herself, she saw the importance of letting Compulink train each of her staff members directly, and she says she will absolutely arrange for training for all future staff members. “If my staff and I aren’t using it to its fullest capacity we aren’t being nearly as efficient as we could be,” Cagle says.
Profitability and Excellent Patient Care
“All in all, I love the organization of Compulink and having all the automated tools to keep me productive and profitable,” Cagle concludes, “I love having access to everything I need, such as medical history, family history, refractive status, health status, and imaging right at my fingertips. While seemingly small things, the efficiency is invaluable.”