At some point, we have all asked or will ask ourselves, “is there ever a good time to implement a new EHR?” The truthful answer is: it depends. I recommend that new practices start from the beginning with an EHR as the extra features make it a no-brainer. Patients can be taught from the start to engage with the patient portal and create good habits with practice staff.
What if you are an established practice? When should you begin? Plan for two to three months of training and be able to enter 50 charts in the sandbox before you go live. To make this process easier, create time in your day — even just half an hour — to practice and do the same for your staff. Your office manager can help keep your team on track and should try to keep the owner and doctors on track too.
While it’s difficult to put down the phone and stop checking email, leave that one opening in your schedule to give yourself time to learn. I will always have another conference, event, or patient to attend to. So, my strategy is to schedule time for things I intend to accomplish or I will not get them done. Whatever your strategy is, you must commit to it; when you make that commitment, you will find that the “when” is no longer an issue.
Read Dr. Jasper’s previous post here. | Read Dr. Jasper’s next post here.
As I continue the process of learning Eyefinity EHR, I have found it has been a blessing to have my office manager involved early on. I am busy being a doctor and as with implementing anything new, it’s impossible to also be the manager.
From day one, we discussed the changes we were going to make by implementing Eyefinity EHR and reviewed the steps we would need to take. She has been on every phone call with our client manager and at every training. This ensures my team is engaged and following the steps needed to have a successful onboarding experience.
So far, we’ve found that when your team leader is involved and keeps the rest of the team engaged, the process goes much more smoothly. My office manager helped us set realistic goals and has taken the lead in making sure we meet those goals.
Read Dr. Jasper’s previous post here. | Read Dr. Jasper’s next post here.
Have you ever wondered what results can be gained from time spent learning new technology? Do you feel the need to adopt technology just because it’s the next big thing? If something “ain’t broke,” what makes the effort to change worthwhile? This month, Dr. Davenport returns to share her thoughts about the Return on Investment (ROI) of Education offerings.
Patients can surprise you. “I had a client with eyelid issues sending me pictures through Facebook,” Dr. Davenport recalls. “My patient was travelling and didn’t have access to her prescription. It was after (office) hours and I was at home but I was able to send a prescription from Eyefinity EHR on my tablet to get her the help she needed.” While not an experience Dr. Davenport had anticipated, the time and effort she spent learning technology, like Facebook, and changing to a cloud based Practice Management solution ensured she was prepared to meet her patient’s need.
Since investing in technology and training, Dr. Davenport estimates she has seen a 20% increase in business revenue. “My practice had to move to a bigger location. My demand and patient base has grown.”
Dr. Davenport believes her business growth is a result of the time she and her staff have invested in learning to get the most out of their software systems, benefiting both her practice and her patients. “We work really hard to give [our patients] the very best care. My patients see us in the office using technology and feel like they are getting better care because we are cutting edge.”
That said, Dr. Davenport cautions that success does not typically happen overnight. “You have to invest in your success to see great returns.”
“When we first started with Eyefinity EHR, it felt like everything took too long to do; something had to change. So, I booked a trip to the Eyefinity“Train the Trainer” event. The class was fabulous, the training was catered to what each attendee was experiencing, and it helped so much. Now, I love the workflow in Eyefinity EHR. I can’t imagine using anything else.”
A huge believer in leading by example, Dr. Davenport puts in the time to stay on top of product updates. “Understanding how best to do daily tasks is important, so I can support my staff when they have questions or are performing a task for the first time. Every six weeks or so Phernell does a ‘What’s New?’ webinar about the latest changes in Eyefinity EHR. I watch the recordings and find the information useful.”
Investing in education can lead to stronger relationships with your staff and a better patient experience. Dr. Davenport is a regular attendee at Eyefinity online training sessions and educational conference events. Register to meet and share tips for success with other eye care professionals at the next Eyefinity Education Conference in Boston, June 9-10.
Maria Davenport, OD, is an OfficeMate and Eyefinity EHR user who runs a single-doctor practice in Michigan. An avid believer in the value of continuous learning, she is always on the look out for ways to work smarter rather than harder.
As the on-boarding process began with Eyefinity EHR, I was introduced to my Client Advisor, Wendy, who spent time understanding what is important to me as the practice owner. It was nice that she was interested in getting to know the way we work so that she can better help us through this process. I quickly let her know that I am a goal-oriented person, and for me, the best thing to do is to set weekly progress milestones. I enjoy goals that can be posted, tracked, and celebrated when met. I’ve found that it helps us feel accomplished instead of discouraged; as challenges come up, we face the challenge and learn together, making our execution stronger.
From this discussion, Wendy created a customized chart that outlined and assigned the amount of time each step would take, allowing me to effectively plan our training. It isn’t everyday that a company takes the time to build a personalized connection or tools specific to my needs.
Read Dr. Jasper’s previous post here. | Read Dr. Jasper’s next post here.
Earlier this year, we sat down with Maria Davenport, OD, an OfficeMate and Eyefinity EHR user who runs a single-doctor practice in Vicksburg, MI to talk about the value of education. Because Dr. Davenport is always looking for ways to work smarter and not harder, she has attended four Education and Training events in the last three years to learn how to use her Eyefinity products to their fullest potential.
“Success for my practice is to stay lean by doing things more efficiently,” Dr. Davenport explained. “[Eyefinity EHR] makes it so I can focus on doing more, like attesting for Meaningful Use, MIPS, and MACRA. This is the first year I attested for Meaningful Use. It went well and I passed. The icon in the system made it easy to track my numbers daily to see how I was performing against the goal.”
Eyefinity EHR is designed to help ODs easily succeed with Meaningful Use, and that makes it an even bigger priority at our Eyefinity Education Conferences. Vice President of Professional Relations, Masoud Nafey, OD hosts breakout sessions on MACRA and MIPS at Education Conferences in addition to helpful webinars throughout the year. A portion of the Eyefinity website is also dedicated entirely to MIPS, hosting a variety of resources to help doctors succeed.
These are just a few ways you can educate yourself with Eyefinity. Everyone learns differently, and there are more educational resources available to customers, such as on-site training, online tutorials, and in-product messaging. If you use social media, there are private Facebook groups for each Eyefinity product containing helpful tips and peer-to-peer advice. And, of course, Eyefinity Training Support is available to assist you in your learning journey every step of way.
If you want a chance to connect with industry leaders and learn from professionals like yourself, consider attending the next Education Conference in Boston, MA, June 9-10. In the meantime, catch up on the MIPS webinars available in the MIPS Resource Center.
Have you been considering moving to a cloud-based Electronic Health Record but it just feels too scary, too hard on your staff, too much change for this moment in time? As optometrists we can all agree changing anything we are used to — or something that works because it has become an auto-pilot endeavor – is a difficult decision to make. When I joined Eyefinity as VP of Professional Relations I had day-to-day interaction with the team who was developing and promoting the product, answering customer calls, and working with new clients as they learned our software. I realized early on that as doctors, we learn best from each other; we want the truth and nothing but the truth; we’re ok with a little pain, but we want to know what to expect and then we’ll jump in feet first.
It doesn’t take an OD with 30 years of experience to know what might help you process the idea of embracing change. Of course, who better to share their journey than one of our most loyal Office Mate/ExamWRITER users who has decided to take a leap of faith. Enter April Jasper, OD, owner of Advanced Eyecare Specialists in West Palm Beach, Florida, a Vision Source practice. Dr. Jasper has been using OM/EW for years. Only recently has she decided to move to Eyefinity EHR. She intends to write a weekly blog chronicling her experience. We’d love to hear your comments as you walk the path with her.
Dr April Jasper, OD, FAAO
With the start of a new year I am looking forward to deploying a new EHR. As a long-time OfficeMate user, I adopted, ExamWRITER in 2006. I worked diligently, as many of you have, to integrate my equipment and reduce as much paper in my practice as possible. When I was faced with Meaningful Use, ExamWRITER took me through that challenge easily. Now we are faced with MIPS.
As we look at the future of healthcare one thing I know we all can agree on is that change will take place rapidly. It is imperative that we find ways to improve our processes in the office, speed up our data entry while eliminating errors and stay HIPAA compliant. And of course, keep costs to a minimum.
When I began looking for a solution to all these challenges in an EHR system, I looked at several options. I consistently came back to the company that I have built a solid relationship with over time and that is Eyefinity. I am impressed so far with EHR. Not just the software solution but also the process of getting started and onboarding with a team who sees my success as a requirement for their success.
As I move through this process of implementation I look forward to sharing with all of you my experiences and helping you to see what the process will look like as you start down this path to the future. Let’s work together to make it easy. After all we are all in this together!
Patients are the heart of any practice. Every day optometrists work to help patients from young children to the elderly detect early signs of chronic health conditions, see clearly, and look stylish. How you keep connected to patients determines your ability to monitor and meet their needs and their willingness to recommend you to their friends and family. This makes patient engagement central to your success and something that your practice management system should support you with.
Here are 5 ways to increase your patient engagement:
“Practices fill about 70% of their appointments through recalls” says Jeff Wainscott, senior product manager for Eyefinity. Your existing patients are the life blood of your practice. Text based recalls are quickly becoming the most effective way to prompt patients to schedule their routine eye exam. Texts are less evasive than a phone call and have a much higher open rate than email.
Reminding patients of their upcoming appointments are one of the easiest ways to generate a relationship outside of the practice. For the busy individuals out there, getting reminded of an appointment a few days before would be ideal and beneficial. Not only does it make a practice look organized and thoughtful, but also shows the effort a practice puts in to ensure that patients are taken care of for their appointment. Again, texting has emerged as a leading way for a practice to remind patients to show up for their appointment. Texts are typically opened within 6 minutes of being received and can achieve response rates (confirmations) above 40%.
A bulk of a practice’s remaining appointments are generated through their website, social media and advertising. How does one reach patients not in their recall list? Back in the day the yellow pages seemed to do just well, but ever since technology, the art of flipping through pages has evolved into “just Google it.” Online advertisements, pop-up ads, promotions, etc. are plastered all over the internet. Easily accessed by anyone who might be looking for a new optometrist or a simple check-up. Google dominates website searches by generating over 80% of traffic to a website while Facebook pages and Yelp reviews provide patients with content that may ultimately determine whether or not someone walks into a practice. Makes one think twice about starting a new Facebook page huh?
4. Reports (Online Forms)
Options are great! Imagine arriving to the optometrist’s office already having completed and submitted your information online. No printing, no writing, no paper forms. You were able to provide the information online when it was convenient for you. Having the option to make things easier or more accessible shows the adaptation of advancement within a practice.
How would the public know a practice is any good? “All practices must have a review process” says Jeff Wainscott. Going back to number 2, technology is easily accessed by anyone and everyone. Meaning a new patient may come walking in through the door just because of a good review located on the internet. Reviews are everything, Yelp was basically built around them, and to have them allows a practice to build relationships with patients before walking through the door.
Compelling reasons for why your practice management system should be as invested in patient engagement as you are.
Did you know that older versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported by Microsoft? That means those browsers aren’t receiving critical security patches.
Our top priority at Eyefinity is protecting the security of your patients while striving to keep up-to-date with the latest technology. To keep up with security standards, we will no longer be supporting Internet Explorer 7 on Eyefinity.com. Protect your practice from security threats by updating your browser if you are still using this version of Internet Explorer.
Keeping your browser up-to-date has many additional benefits beyond Eyefinity.com. Newer browsers take advantage of advancements in technology to run smoothly at a faster speeds. Many modern websites won’t work correctly in older browsers, leaving you unable to access all the benefits and functionality. Take advantage of the benefits that a modern browser can provide. Protect your practice and your patients by ensuring that you are using a modern browser version.
Last month, VSP was given the opportunity to participate in Sac State’s Academic Talent Search program with a week of optometry focused instruction. The class, titled “The Human Eye: Surgeries, Sight, and Spectacles,” allowed 6th-9th grade students with special interest in optometry to experience a hands-on introduction to the industry.
Dr. Jim Winnick developed and taught the class, with assistance from Rhonda Wilson of the Industry Outreach team. The instruction was designed to give students an inside look into the eyes and show how medicine, vision, engineering, and eyewear are connected.
“Teaching is the ultimate form of knowledge sharing. I’ve always enjoyed helping people better understand the visual system and the eye care profession,” said Dr. Winnick. “Teaching these young students was a bonus, as they seemed very engaged and interested in what they learned. My hope is that we left a positive impression with them as they continue their schooling and plan out their career paths.” Over the five-day class, Dr. Winnick and Rhonda welcomed several guest speakers from VSP Global, VSP Optics Group, The Shop, and VSP Mobile Eyes who provided an overview of the program and gave tours on board the mobile clinic.
Students who successfully completed the course requirements – participated in class, turned in homework assignments, passed the final exam and earned an “A” or “B” grade – received one unit of high school credit. What a great way to expose students to the optometry profession!
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Medical Association (AMA) teamed up to help doctors ease into the transition for ICD-10 on October 1, 2015.
Here’s a quick overview of the Guidance regarding ICD-10 flexibilities. The Guidance is for all services paid under the Medicare Fee-for-Service Part B physician fee schedule.
Claim Denials. For 12 months, Medicare claims will not be denied solely based on the specificity of diagnosis codes, as long as they are from the appropriate family of ICD-10 codes.
Quality-Reporting Penalties. CMS will not impose penalties for the Physician Quality Reporting System, value-based payment modifier, or meaningful use based on the specificity of diagnosis codes, as long as they use a code from the correct ICD-10 family of codes.
Payment Disruptions. CMS can authorize advance payments, if Medicare contractors are unable to process claims as a result of problems with ICD-10. To apply for advance payment, the doctor is required to submit the request to their appropriate Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC).
Visit cms.gov/ICD10 to learn more about the CMS/AMA joint announcement and the Guidance, including these FAQs.