September 12, 2013
Treasure Coast physician Dennis Saver, M.D., has been selected by the ONC as one of the 28 members of Health IT Fellows’ inaugural class, chosen because of their support for the meaningful use (MU) program. Dr. Saver is one of 12 physicians at Primary Care of the Treasure Coast, a primary care practice with a large geriatric population. According to Health IT, he and his practice began using an EHR seven years ago, first identifying super users and employing peer training. “Training is critical for achieving meaningful use stage one, and it also remains critical after attesting to meaningful use,” says Dr. Saver. Within three months of implementation, all physicians in the practice were only using the EHR.
Dr. Saver found challenges in engaging his geriatric patient population to use the patient portal and manage their medications. His practice set up a portal registration system during checkout to educate members about the free portal, and offered to enroll them on the spot. To help manage medications, staff told patients to put all their medications and over-the-counter medicines in a bag to bring to their next appointment. This increased action from 20 percent to 80 percent.
Dr. Saver called the efforts a team sport, according to Health IT. “Everyone played a part — from training to patient engagement — in helping the practice attest to meaningful use stage 1, and everyone works together to continue promoting meaningful use of the EHR.”