Before opening her own clinic in 2004, Dr. Kathy Fang of Albany, CA, already had some experience with varied Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) systems from her time with the Veterans Administration, the University of California and other clinics. As an early adopter of the technology, she has long recognized the future of EHR, the powerful impact a good EHR renders on her productivity, and the freedom it provides in allowing her to oversee all aspects of her business. For her own practice, there was never a debate between EHR and paper.
For Dr. Fang, the advantages are as much about accessibility and portability as anything else. For her style of practice, EHR is the only way to operate with complete freedom and autonomy because it allows her to oversee all aspects of her practice remotely. Whether on a ski-trip or one of her frequent trips overseas, she can remain in touch with her practice. She is able to easily contact her staff and provide informed directions in response to patient inquiries. She can also leave the office and take care of her family without carrying around many paper charts, and still finish her charting remotely at her convenience. This level of accessibility to patient information not only improves her patient care, but equally importantly, it enhances her quality of life. “I can finish my work from anywhere and I have no need for an on-call doctor, all thanks to EHR,” says Fang. “The portability it affords is fabulous.” As for the other immediate advantages, Dr. Fang explains she no longer needs employees for charting and filing, and she has more office space for exam rooms. Because EHR eliminates extra-steps by allowing her to post directly to her ledger, it reduces posting errors and allows her to streamline the entire billing process. “I need less space, and I hire less people. In that way it saves me money and drastically improves productivity,” says Fang.
Integration and Outstanding Support
About four years ago, her longtime EHR system was discontinued and Dr. Fang found herself once again exploring the marketplace for the right EHR. She identified a few key components and capabilities that her new system would need, key among them being integration, conversion, and support. In the end, Compulink was the only solution that met all her criteria and ultimately exceeded her expectations.
The first key component was that her EHR be fully integrated with a Practice Management (PM) solution. Dr. Fang remembers the headache of having separate EHR and Practice Management (PM) software and trying to communicate between the two. She loves that Compulink offers integrated EHR, PM, and billing solutions that work together to ensure the flow and accuracy of the charting and billing. Her second requirement was conversion, or the ability to transfer over and convert the old data into the new EHR system. She was surprised to find out that not many companies were willing to convert the data from her previous system and instead wanted her to undertake that complicated task by herself. She is grateful that Compulink took care of this for her so that the patients’ information, and care continuity are securely preserved. By doing so, it also eased her worry over losing data if the old system crashes or malfunctions. “For anyone looking to switch EHR providers, they have to be able to convert their old data. This is a huge strength of Compulink.” Fang says. “You have to have strong support.” The strong level of support and customer service was also her third key component, and this proved to be the deciding factor in her decision to partner with Compulink. She wanted to ensure she had backing by the industry’s best. She recalls her own frustrations with her past providers as well as horror-stories from her colleagues trying in vain to contact customer support. “I am a good user, but if anything goes wrong I am limited in how much I can troubleshoot,” says Fang. “A responsive support team is critical because if problems occur it can leave us paralyzed. You have to have strong support, and Compulink’s service is really outstanding.”
A Forward Thinking Solution
Not only does Advantage meet all of Dr. Fang’s initial key qualifications, but she is also grateful to have Compulink on her side to assure that she is ready for the industry switch to ICD-10 coding in October, 2015. “My Compulink software will make the conversion completely automatic for me, including giving me the right ICD-10 codes to choose from,” says Fang. She is happy to have Compulink’s solutions and support staff by her side to make sure she doesn’t miss a beat and is able to continue qualifying for her Meaningful Use incentives. Having been at the forefront of EHR use, Dr. Fang has always seen it as the industry’s future, the best way for her to grow her business to its fullest potential, and to balance her work and life. Says Fang, “Compulink’s Advantage is just simply forward thinking.”