Illinois Retina Institute began using Compulink’s Ophthalmology Advantage Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Practice Management software in 2011 for our retina-only practice. Since implementation of the software, we have seen increases in our efficiency, profitability, as well as an improvement in our patient care and communication.
We decided to implement Advantage at our offices because of the software’s ease of customization. No two practices are alike, and subspecialties of ophthalmology vary greatly on their emphasis on different parts of the eye. To make the software suitable for our practice, we trained one of our staff members to fine-tune the screens, create new tabs, and remove or condense some of the existing tabs.
Advantage has several features that have made our practice run smoothly and more efficiently:
Compulink has the ability to automatically post payment receipts into a patient’s account and Medicare beneficiaries. As a result, our time to process payments has considerably improved since we implemented automatic posting nearly two years ago.
Electronic insurance billing
We electronically bill for all our claims. While our collection rate has remained static, we are able to bill with a faster turnaround, resulting in a shorter collection period between the date of service to receipt of payment.
Consolidation and accessibility to patient records
We have three offices and transferring paper charts between offices was a big problem. In addition, if a patient required a last-minute appointment at an office different from where his chart was located, it would create a lot of difficulties and faxing of chart notes back and forth. EHRs eliminate all that; the patient’s info is available everywhere, including on my home computer should that be necessary over the weekend or after hours.
Our revenue has increased regularly since we started business in 2003, and this has accelerated since we implemented Ophthalmology Advantage in 2011. Our revenue increased by about 17% in 2012 compared to 2011, and we are on track for an additional 17% growth this year.
Our staff is able to quickly and consistently update our records without increasing hours, despite our increase in patient visits. We have not reduced our staff as a result of using Compulink, rather, we have hired new technicians to meet our increase in patient demand. We see about 40-45 patients a day, and rarely work past 4:00 p.m.
Compulink software provides us the ability to input alerts regarding insurance coverage, denial, approval, or co-pay assistance for common, but expensive, drugs like Lucentis or Eylea. We are also able to set up alerts when payer consent for a patient’s intravitreal injections expires, thus ensuring that we have the proper approvals in place and will be able to bill the insurance company before administering the injection. We also established alerts for collecting co-pays or following-up with delinquent accounts. These alerts have improved our ability to collect.
Better Patient Care
Due to the ease of access to patient information, we are able to deliver better care to our patients.
Tabs keep the information organized making it very easy to retrieve information about the tests we performed on a patient. By clicking on an appropriate tab, we can easily review the results in an instant (rather than shuffling through pages and pages of paper charts).
Intravitreal injections are a predominant part of a modern retina practice, and an accurate and readily available patient history helps us to formulate a treatment protocol during a patient visit. We created a table to provide an overview of dates of previous injections and OCT and visual acuity outcomes. This allows us to quickly determine the need for injection, nature of drug, and technique. We also have an area for special comments such as: “8 weeks too long,” “inflammation with bevacizumab,” “needs subconjunctival injection for anesthesia,” etc.
We designed a retina specific version of the Continuity of Care Document (“CCD”) document that explains to the patient what their problem and diagnosis is, and what procedures we performed. The document also includes their next appointment date and time printed at the bottom. Our patients appreciate the information and we have eliminated both the possibility of human error and the need to fill out appointment cards. In addition, we are able to easily transmit this vital information to our patients’ primary care and other physicians, greatly reducing the possibility of omission or miscommunication between the patients and their doctors. All of a patient’s physicians operate with the same data, reducing duplication of procedures and consequently, patient and insurance expenditures. Furthermore, we reduce the possibility of mixing harmful treatments or drugs.
The Right Choice
Advantage has provided us with the ability to maintain efficiency while growing our practice. The customization and flexibility of the software makes it a perfect fit for our unique needs. As we continue to grow and change, we know that our software has the flexibility to meet our needs today and in the future.