“Electronic health records are the answer to improving patient care.”
— Dr. Fleur Sack
Dr. Fleur Sack Reestablishes Her Practice on a Solid Foundation
After 20 years as a solo practitioner, Dr. Fleur Sack made the decision to close the doors of her Miami medical practice in 2003 due, in large part, to rising costs. While she knew that an electronic health record (EHR) could help her reduce expenses and improve care, the timing just wasn’t right. At the time, Dr. Sack felt that EHRs were too expensive and complicated, and that there were too few resources for guidance.
But Dr. Sack didn’t stay “retired” long. Soon, the South Africa native was once again caring for patients — this time at the VA Hospital in Broward County. “There’s something magical about sitting in front of a patient, helping them, sharing their life and health,” she recalls.
That love of patient interaction led her to return to the Miami community she had served for two decades. That was in 2012, and the difference was that this time, Dr. Sack could clearly see how viable EHR implementation was for her. As she started the process of opening a new medical practice, she realized that adopting, implementing and meaningfully using an EHR would be a critical factor in her new practice’s success. Fortunately, help was now available to providers through the Regional Extension Center (REC) program. And generous EHR incentive programs were being offered to providers who could demonstrate meaningful use of a certified system.
So, Dr. Sack joined the South Florida Regional Extension Center and began learning more about EHR systems and the incentive programs. With guidance from her REC, she selected a certified EHR and found the guidance she needed to implement it successfully. She also received the financial assistance she needed to adopt an EHR system through the EHR incentive programs. “The South Florida Regional Extension Center was a big help,” she recalls.
Today, Dr. Sack has fully integrated electronic records into her medical practice. She utilizes the system for everything from record keeping and patient communication to sharing lab results and e-prescribing. She can communicate with patients through the patient portal and secure email, allowing her and her staff to receive prescription refill requests and communicate lab results to patients more efficiently. Dr. Sack says her EHR is also helping improve the quality of care she provides. With her system, she is able to generate lists of her diabetic patients who are due for eye exams. Her staff then uses these lists to proactively call and remind the patients to schedule eye appointments.
It was only natural that using her EHR to generate and meaningfully use patient lists would result in better health care for her patients and improved health care quality for her community. In fact, it was long before Dr. Sack received her first EHR incentive payments for demonstrating meaningful use of the system.
For Dr. Sack, the decision to adopt an EHR was simple: It allows her to care for patients in her familiar Miami neighborhood and to “practice medicine the way it should be practiced.”
To learn how SFREC can assist your practice in implementing and meaningfully using an EHR, please contact us today. You may call us directly at 1-866-628-9193 or by email at .
The nation is entering a new era of health care where providers can use electronic health records to improve patients’ health and the way health care is delivered in this country.
Primary Care Physicians of Hollywood is staying ahead of the game with the help of Electronic Health Records.Primary Care Physicians of Hollywood is a family practice and internal medicine medical group made up of 10 providers. They have four locations located in Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Davie with a fifth location opening soon in Plantation. Dr. Moises Issa, M.D., F.A.C.S.G. has been a driving force within his practice when it comes to implementing Electronic Health Record (EHR) and staying proactive to keep up with technological change.
When asked what makes his practice special, he said "the difference between our practice and other practices is that we have 10 providers, we take walk-ins every day, we're open on Saturdays, and our network of specialists is greater than most practices, meaning we take all insurances and have specialists come to our practice to see our patients." Since there are multiple locations within their network, the use of EHR helps to better serve their patients. "It's easier to take care of patients because we have four different offices and I'm able to see the patients at whichever location I'm at that day." Mr. Issa pointed out that "before EHR we used to have to haul the charts from one office to the other if seeing patients in multiple locations. If the patients were going to be seen at a different location the next day, those charts would have to be brought back. Now with EHR, we're able to visualize everything at any location. We're also interfacing laboratories and the diagnostic center into the system. The margin of error has diminished a great deal." Dr. Issa has also utilized the ease of access from his home. "Another advantage of EHR is that I'm able to visualize it from home. For example, a patient called me last night from Los Angeles and needed medication because he forgot his bottles back in Florida. I was able to send the medications through E-Prescribe to L.A. from my house."
"Patients think you're very innovative when you walk into the room with your laptop, and they also feel like you're in touch and ahead of the game. The patients are used to seeing someone write while being seen by a physician. Now they're seeing someone on a computer so they think you're not behind the times." Not only are his patients responding in a positive way, but his staff is also embracing the positive changes that EHR has brought to the practice. "The younger staff was ecstatic about adopting EHR. The older employees that were around in the non-electronic era that are using electronic records have actually given the best feedback because now information is at their fingertips."
The South Florida Regional Extension Center (SFREC) has helped Primary Care Physicians of Hollywood every step of the way during the adoption process of EHR. "Without SFREC, we would not be able to do this." Jillian Larkin, now an Account Manager for the Miami area, was the Representative who helped Dr. Issa and his practice achieve the goal of Meaningful Use. "When Jillian came around and started talking to us, it was a relief because we received much needed guidance." When asked what his overall experience was with the SFREC staff, he responded with "excellent."
To learn how SFREC can assist in streamlining your practices' operations contact us today.
Gastro Health implemented Electronic Health Records over a decade ago, and this is their Success Story.
Gastro Health is a medical group made up of 50 physicians and allied health professionals in South Florida specializing in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, nutrition, and digestive health. Gastro Health implemented EHR 12 years ago via a vendor located in Weston. With EHR, Gastro Health is always organized! The technical aspect of an EHR allowed Gastro Health to run the clinical part of the office at all times. An EHR allows them to manage tasks and results. They are further able to have a process flow in the office, run operations smoothly, and continuously receive positive feedback from their patients.
“Prior to EHR, processes were longer due to the tremendous amount of paperwork. In the present time, we eliminated the redundancy factor and have modified our processes accordingly.” Mr. Alex Fernandez asked, “If it were your mom visiting Gastro Health, how would you want the system to look like?” He further explained, that due to an EHR, everyone from the physician, to the nurse, to the laboratory know there is an open order that needs to be reviewed and closed. “Everyone is in the loop, until there is a handshake between all divisions of Gastro Health.” This reduces error, closes the loop and allows for quality check at a consistent basis.
“Patients love it! Absolutely love it!” says Mr. Fernandez. His 19 year old family member has seen two different gastroenterologists – one at Gastro Health using an EHR and another in South Carolina using paper records. She stated to Mr. Fernandez that “walking into a paper record physician office is similar to walking into the dark ages!” People are always checking their bank accounts online, and we are at the point, where people want to check their health online as well. Whether it is to schedule an appointment, check prescription, or review lab work, the vast majority wants it to be as simple as booking a flight or reviewing your e-statement. Furthermore, Mr. Fernandez indicated that with an EHR, a patient is in and out of the office in less than 45 minutes, with the vast majority of the time spent with the physician. “Visiting Gastro Health, is not, a whole day affair due to EHR!
The SFREC assisted by educating Gastro Health in reference to documentation and meeting Meaningful use. “Ivette Valcourt, Account Manager at SFREC discussed every measurement with us and went back and forth in handling the smallest of details. The SFREC assisted us in attesting; it may seem simple to attest, but there are details such as running particular reports, and having certain screenshots that we were not aware of!” Mr. Fernandez noted: “We are very happy with the SFREC services, as you have prepared us during the attestation process, and have prepared us for any potential audit in which we have all proper documentation.”
To learn how SFREC can assist in streamlining your practices’ operations contact us today.
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