Juggling clinical and business responsibilities is not easy for independent physicians, but Dr. Jeremy Luckett, Internal Medicine, Vineyard Primary Care, Owensboro, KY, has succeeded in that endeavor. He credits part of his practice management success to AdvancedMD’s cloud-based technology, which ties together EHR, practice management (PM), e-prescribing and e-fax.
This approach of using technology with integrated workflow elements, as opposed to relying on standalone systems focusing solely on each individual task, ensured Dr. Luckett’s practice runs as efficiently as possible. Dr. Luckett finds that having such integrated technology streamlines his practice’s workflow in the following four ways.
- One database, one application.
Having one database and one application for EHR and PM eliminates the need to enter duplicate information into two different systems. “We need to input the information into the EHR to begin with, and having to do that multiple times is not efficient,” says Dr. Luckett. “Entering duplicate information into different systems can also lead to errors.”
- One look & feel means fast learning, ease of use. Integrated practice management system is easier to learn and use for staff as it has one look and feel. According to Dr. Luckett, when everything is unified, it’s easier to manage. It is more time-consuming for people to learn different systems, which may also “not talk well to each other.” With different systems, some staff members may know how to use one and not the other, whereas if it’s all integrated, everyone is on the same page. As an added convenience of the cloud system, Dr. Luckett and his staff can log in at the same time from different rooms or when working remotely and still look at the same information in real time.
- E-prescribing means easy refills for patients, physicians. The e-prescribing feature has made a big difference in how Dr. Luckett’s patients get refills. In Kentucky, strict regulations on controlled medicines led to many physicians limiting medications to 30-day supply. Instead of handwriting prescriptions every month, Dr. Luckett addresses refill requests by checking the system and sending the script to a pharmacy with a few clicks. The automated process has become much more efficient, particularly when one considers a host of regulatory requirements physicians have to comply with when prescribing controlled medications.
- Fax? What fax? Having fax integrated with the rest of the cloud platform has not only allowed the practice send faxed information directly to patient chart, sign off on labs or orders, file notes from other physicians and similar but also helped save on office supplies. “There is a tremendous value in being able to view, save and e-fax information to where it needs to go, all in one area. Regular fax was a nightmare to keep up with and we didn’t feel good about wasting all that paper and toner. Automating the process has made a huge difference for my small practice,” says Dr. Luckett.
To stay independent in a changing regulatory environment, including MACRA implementation, private practices need to be nimble in how they run day-to-day business operations. Eliminating inefficiencies and having the workflow down to a science may very well make the difference between surviving and thriving.