With eye care professionals (ECPs) working their way back to ‘normal’ while the COVID-19 pandemic continues and uncertainty remains for all businesses, one optometrist is glad he made the switch to a more efficient practice management tool when he did.
The Eyefinity Team recently caught up with Shane Fontenot, O.D. of Advanced Family Eyecare to hear about his transition from Officemate/ExamWRITER to Eyefinity Practice Management and Eyefinity EHR from VSP Global®. Here’s what he had to say about his experience:
“I purchased Eyefinity Practice Management and Eyefinity EHR in May 2019 and went live with the cloud-based system about five months later in November 2019,” said Dr. Fontenot. “With all the craziness that began in 2020, I’m so glad I made the switch over to Eyefinity when I did. The change has allowed my team to increase our efficiency and see and treat patients safely and effectively throughout the pandemic.”
But how is this increased efficiency possible with a cloud-based system, and what exactly is the ‘cloud?’
Imagine being asked a month ago, “How would you feel about managing the care of your patients from the phone or the web?” I would hazard to guess that few of us had considered it a real possibility. COVID-19 awakened our industry to the applicability of remote care, while the government’s injunction of telehealth waiver 1135 made it a reality overnight.
Some say telehealth services, across all medical verticals, could have been adopted long ago. Though for good reason, telemedicine has been governed by strict regulations. Like me, many of you may have been watching the industry grapple with a position on this topic.
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.
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.
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!
As you may have heard from the barrage of news stories and primetime advertising, Microsoft recently released Windows 7. The release of Windows 7 seems to have quickly followed Windows Vista, which was released less than three years ago, and, arguably, for good reason. Windows Vista was neither well received by home users nor by companies. It’s estimated that only one out of three corporate computers runs Windows Vista, while most of the rest are still running Windows XP.
If you are planning to upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7, you may be disappointed by the short list of new features. Instead of bloating Windows 7 with a bunch of new features, Microsoft focused on streamlining code, creating a more stable operating system, and simplifying the maze of security options.
If you are planning to upgrade from Windows XP, you’ll be surprised by how much has changed. The first thing you’ll notice is all the eye candy. Microsoft overhauled the user interface in Vista, and, with some slight improvements, now appears in Windows 7.