The government’s push for medical providers to switch to electronic health records has brought mixed reactions. While some practices are resisting any change, even with the incentive payments offered, McGee, Pickard, and Robinson (MPR) Eye Associates have embraced medical records and the potential they offer to improve patient care. They first had to overcome several small problems which internal testing revealed would result in failure to attest to Meaningful Use. Then they wanted to go beyond the incentive requirements and truly demonstrate a difference in the way they practice medicine, especially in regards to sharing information with other physicians and their patients. MPR Eye Associates wants to connect to the Healthcare Information Exchange (HIE) to help deliver better patient care.
The Compulink Solution
“We have been using Ophthalmology Advantage since 2006, so the software was already in place. However, Compulink’s renowned customer service really came into play in helping us achieve consistent satisfactory attestation values for meaningful use,” states Darrell Pickard, MD. Compulink identified small usage errors that were spelling the difference between success and failure such as hand entering medications in our E-Rx software rather than selecting and importing them. “We also needed to collect demographic information to comply with the government requirements, but our staff was uncomfortable asking the questions. Compulink personalized an intake form that can be printed, which was a great solution for our staff,” says Selina McGee, OD.
MPR Eye Associates has placed a lot of focus on information exchange, the core of stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements. McGee states, “Compulink has worked extensively to make our connection to the HIE in Oklahoma a reality, and participating in the HIE will improve continuity of care for patients.” A good example is a patient with diabetes; the eye care professional can look at real time data in the HIE and see lab results requested by other medical professionals. McGee says, “Many patients do not know their HbA1C or what their blood sugar levels are, but they may impact the physician’s decisions. Not only will we now be able to see these results, we will also be able push information back to the HIE so that other health care providers can view our diagnoses. When all have access to the entire patient record, the spectrum of healthcare providers is working together to improve patient care.”
MPR Eye Associates has been able to meet and exceed the government requirements. They received the Physicians Quarterly Reporting Service incentive in 2011, and the Meaningful Use Incentive for three providers – $54,000 – in 2012. They have Web registration and are able to electronically send patients clinical summaries after each visit. Patients can easily be forwarded information targeted to their particular diagnosis.
In addition to the ability to meet and exceed government requirements, Advantage readily provides the data necessary to run an efficient business. McGee recalls, “Before we had Advantage, we had to rely on our accountant to provide us with information about our practice. The information was historical only and not available when we wanted it.” The lack of necessary information makes educated business decisions impossible. Compulink allows reports to be generated that provide information on everything from accounts receivables by a specific physician on a certain date to overall practice trends over time. “Functions such as automatic remittance posting also takes much of the labor out of working with Medicare and other large third-party payers,” states McGee.
Armed with an efficient system and trustworthy data, MPR Associates has nearly doubled their gross collections in the time they have been using the software, and they have just opened a second location with an ambulatory surgical center. Pickard and McGee agree, “We cannot imagine running a business without Advantage.”