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    Intuitive EMR platform adapts to ophthalmic workflow

    Enhanced functionality, streamlined documentation among benefits of system

    Take-home message: Sarah Baroody, MD, shares her experience and changes in functionality since implementing an electronic medical record platform in practice.




    As an ophthalmologist, I always enjoyed drawing pictures of eyes on paper charts. After all, I had worked hard to refine my personal “eye exam forms” for use in patient records, and I was more than content. For these and other reasons, I dragged my feet implementing electronic medical records (EMRs).

    For several years, I visited the EMR booths at educational meetings and even received several demonstrations at my office. Just like buying a house, I knew what I didn’t want for a long time . . . until I finally realized what I did.

    I purchased my chosen software (EMA by Modernizing Medicine; now a product within the company’s specialty-specific suite, modmed Ophthalmology) during the summer of 2013. The cloud-based, intuitive system is built by practicing ophthalmologists and designed to adapt to the workflow. It went live in the practice in October 2013, and we were able to experience its functionality right away.

    Documentation streamlined

    Through an iPad application, clinical records can be documented quickly. Keyboard-less documentation lets one efficiently tap through an exam and generate notes on the spot, while spending more face time with patients. The intuitive design of the Virtual Exam Room within the app has diagrams of eyes with more detail than the previous paper forms, and the documentation steps are logical, intuitive, and trigger the billing codes.

    I am able to carry the tablet into an exam room and quickly reference past notes and view tests like optical coherence tomography (OCT) and visual fields. It takes just a few moments after the patient leaves to finalize a chart—no more charting after-hours.

    In addition, I have grown fond of the system’s ability to create keyboard shortcuts. For example, if I type “art” it automatically types, “Artificial tears recommended 2-4x a day and prn.”

    In my paper chart, I may have written “AT,” which is obviously suboptimal documentation providing limited details. This system has allowed me to be more thorough, clear, and complete in charting. There is a rhythm to the documentation.

    Furthermore, I am able to queue up and send medication prescriptions to the patient’s pharmacy during the visit. Using a smartphone app (modmed Pocket Practice), this can also be done from outside the office. With little effort, it is possible to search for an existing patient, create a new electronic prescription, or pull up a prescription history, and with one touch, refill a prescription.

    No longer is there worry about handwriting errors, or inefficient voice messages to the pharmacy. The result is a permanent record of prescriptions saved within a patient’s chart that are accessible at all times, even on the weekend.

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