Missed our stimulus money discussion? No problem – we taped it!

Our recent panel discussion “Stimulus Money: What Do I Need to Know?” attracted more than 500 people.  For those of you who may have missed it, we are providing access to view a recording of the panel discussion here.

We have received an overwhelming response to the panel discussion and will be putting together more online opportunities for you to learn more about the HITECH Act and EMR adoption so that you can position your practice to take full advantage of the stimulus money available to you beginning in 2011.

Review of Optometric Business Highlights EMR Adoption

Kim Castleberry, O.D., is featured in this piece (below) from the Review of Optometric Business on implementing electronic medical records and the benefits that EMRs can provide.

Dr. Castleberry, who uses ExamWRITER EMRs, is also one of the expert panelists featured in Eyefinity/OfficeMate’s free online panel discussion: “Stimulus Money: What Do I Need To Know?” taking place this Friday, Feb. 5, and Monday, Feb. 8. Click here to find out more and to register.

Kim Castleberry, O.D.

Read the first half of the story from  the Review of Optometric Business below. Click the link at the bottom to read the rest.

The Pace of Change is Accelerating – for Electronic Health Records and All the Rest

When it comes to practice management software and electronic medical records, change really is the only constant, says Kim Castleberry, OD, who runs a $2 million a year practice, Plano Eye Associates, in Plano, Texas (www.planoeye.com).

Back in 1991, Dr. Castleberry began using OfficeMate practice management and its ExamWRITER package for handling electronic medical records. He was among the first ODs to do so. “I wanted to reduce my overhead and have easier chart access,” he says. And that’s what happened.

Read the rest of the story here.

Healthcare Technology Program Extended

Still haven’t pulled the trigger on implementing electronic medical records (EMRs) into your practice? There’s still time to do so and prepare your practice to take advantage of federal stimulus money available through the HITECH Act.

VSP Global recently announced that it will extend the Healthcare Technology Program through June 30, 2010.  More than one thousand VSP providers have taken part in the program since it was first offered last June. This exclusive offer from VSP Global to VSP doctors provides Eyefinity/OfficeMate’s ExamWRITER® electronic medical records at no initial software license charge for existing OfficeMate® or OfficeMate Enterprise® users, or the OfficeMate Suite or OfficeMate Enterprise with ExamWRITER for first time users at no initial software license charge.

Questions about the Healthcare Technology Program? Call us at 800.269.3666

Lunch and Learn with the ExamWRITER Brown Bag eLearn Series

Why not kick off 2010 with some ExamWRITER electronic medical records education for you and your staff?  Two new Brown Bag webinars are now available at 12 p.m. in every time zone, and are provided at no cost to you.  Find a time that works for you and your staff and check out our eLearn series while you enjoy your lunch!

ExamWRITER Tips and Tricks Sessions

Learn ExamWRITER Tips and Tricks to increase your efficiency with medical record documentation, while eating lunch at your desk.  These Webinars are FREE* to all clients, and the subject matter will change each month. So be sure to check the schedule  often—you won’t want to miss a single session!

Monthly Schedule & Time/Zone

First Friday: 12 – 12:30 p.m. EASTERN     Facilitator: Lorie Lippiatt, OD

Second Tuesday: 12 – 12:30 p.m. CENTRAL   Facilitator: Ryan Wineinger, OD

Third Monday: 12 – 12:30 p.m. MOUNTAIN  Facilitator: Kim Castleberry, OD

Fourth Wednesday: 12 – 12:30 p.m. PACIFIC  Facilitator: Rebecca Johnson, COT

Q&A Sessions
With ExamWRITER Q&A sessions, you can get it to go by asking your question and leaving the session, or stay online to hear questions from your colleagues. Join these live, instructor-led sessions to get answers to your ExamWRITER questions.

Monthly Schedule & Time/Zone (Facilitated by Marsha Vaughn & Rebecca Johnson)

Each Tuesday: 12 – 12:45 p.m. PACIFIC

Each Wednesday: 12 – 12:45 p.m. MOUNTAIN

Each Thursday: 12 – 12:45 p.m. CENTRAL

Each Friday: 12 – 12:45 p.m. EASTERN

How to Participate

Register online by logging on and clicking the Daily tab. Use the calendar to select your desired session date, then click Register. You’ll receive an e-mail confirmation with the session password, registration ID, and the link you’ll need to join the session.

*Only the sessions titled Q&A and Tips and Tricks are free of charge. Other listed courses are part of the New Client package, and are available with the purchase of OfficeMate, ExamWRITER, or Enterprise software. If you’re interested in purchasing these courses, contact ossu@officemate.net. If you have questions about enrolling in a session, contact us at 800.269.3666, option 3, then option 1, or ossu@officemate.net.

Many Reasons for EMR Adoption

Why are doctors still not embracing adoption of EMR (electronic medical records)?

If you had asked me this question a few months ago, I would have stated the “C-word” (change) as the barrier.  While a small number of our population welcomes change, most people must realize personal benefits before traveling a different road.  And of course, there are those who will dig their heels into the dirt and move into change kicking and screaming.

Rebecca Johnson blog photo
Rebecca J. is the Director of Education for Eyefinity/OfficeMate

The following excerpt comes from a story in the October 5th edition of the AOA News:

“Doctors who begin using EHR’s by 2011 or 2012 can receive the maximum reward, up to $44,000 over five years through the Medicare program (75% of Medicare-allowed charges up to a capped amount each year).  But if you wait until 2015, there are no incentives.  Doctors should make plans to implement EHRs in practice before the end of 2010.”

The second group of individuals I spoke of can now realize the personal benefits of EMR adoption:  Improving patient care while enjoying the financial benefits offered by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  This was evident in the exhibit hall booth at Vision Expo West when I repeatedly heard doctors state, “I am ready to go paperless; I just don’t know how to get started.”

I plan to use the Eyefinity/OfficeMate blog site as a vehicle to communicate Best Practices of EMR Implementation.  I would like to hear from doctors who have successfully implemented ExamWRITER electronic medical records in their practices.  What did you do right?  What would you have done differently?  In addition, I would like to hear from doctors who are still on the fence and those who have purchased ExamWRITER but can’t seem to get off the ground. What is holding you back from getting started?  What challenges have you experienced in your EMR implementation?  Leave a comment here or email me at rjohnson@officemate.net.   Let’s make this happen – 2010 is right around the corner!

But my paper chart works just fine…

Guest blogger Ryan Wineinger, O.D. of Wineinger Vision Associates offers his perspective on implementing electronic medical records into his practice:

If your practice has not made the switch to using electronic medical records (EMRs) yet, I bet one of your excuses might just be the same as the title of my blog. There are a multitude of different reasons that a practice does not want to transition into the adoption of EMRs, but looking ahead to the financial incentives from the HITECH Act that become available in 2011, the time to implement is now!

Ryan Wineinger, O.D. of Wineinger Vision Associates in Shawnee, Kansas.
Ryan Wineinger, O.D. of Wineinger Vision Associates in Shawnee, Kansas.

I’ll discuss some of the details of the financial incentives of using EMRs in a future post, but first, I want to share my own practice’s experience with adopting EMRs:

In 2003, our practice made the jump and began using EMRs.  Until that point we only used our practice management software for scheduling, demographic information (recalls) and financial transactions.  We weren’t sure how to go about making this change, but we laid the groundwork and slowly started to chip away at the process.  Today, we file no paperwork in our office, and are much more streamlined and efficient, making the patient experience more enjoyable.

How were we able to do it? We devised four phases of implementation that covered every aspect of our practice. Slowly but surely, we essentially became a “paperless office.”

In our first phase of deployment, each doctor in our practice set up a running environment of ExamWRITER electronic medical records on their laptop. We set a goal to each enter one-to-two examinations per day as practice to get a feel for the program. The software was easy to use and we grew comfortable documenting examinations sooner than we expected in this type of environment.

Getting started and working through the first phase turned out to be the easiest for our practice.  It was an important first step, but many challenges remained.

Questions about my experience taking that first step with EMRs?  Leave me a comment here or email me at: rwineinger@gmail.com

Next time: Our second phase – the optical side of things.

Thanks for reading,

Ryan C. Wineinger, O.D.

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