What does it take for a large and rapidly expanding network of neurological practices to treat more than 1,000 patients a day across nearly 50 locations? For starters, it requires the right healthcare IT partner, one capable of integrating thousands of patient records into a seamless workflow. That partner would not only offer industry-leading design and function but would also be on the leading edge of the interoperability solutions that are critical in today’s interconnected world of medicine.
For Florida’s First Choice Neurology, that partner is eClinicalWorks.
Five years ago, First Choice Neurology was swamped in a sea of paper records, phone calls, and faxes. The practice was busier than ever, working with 35 major hospitals in Florida, but faced a major — and common — problem: How could they optimize their workflows while simultaneously addressing the challenges of interoperability and integration? Those are the very problems that must be solved if any practice is to continue to deliver the highest quality care.
So, in August 2013, First Choice Neurology chose the eClinicalWorks EHR/PM system for their network. Not only did the practice experience a seamless transition, but they are now enjoying data exchange with Epic hospitals thanks to eClinicalWorks’ participation in Carequality.
“We could have done a very costly interface dump from Epic to eClinicalWorks,” said Jose Rocha, director of the Central Business Office, “or we could use Carequality. Well, the interface was about $15,000. The Carequality was free. So, we made an intelligent decision to use Carequality!”
“We just click a button in eClinicalWorks, and it will give us a patient’s Problem List, allergies, medications, family history, social history, and immunizations. It’s made our care of patients much better,” said Dr. Susan Steen, a Tampa-area neurologist.
With eClinicalWorks, First Choice Neurology has finally solved the interoperability puzzle. With fast access to comprehensive patient records — including those stored in the Epic EHR used at Tampa General Hospital — the practice’s providers can now focus on quality medicine again.
The key to success was putting the patient’s story at the center of every care decision, and supporting physicians by giving them the tools to see the records from every provider who had previously treated a given patient. Medications, allergies, patient histories, surgeries — whatever clinically relevant information is out there, the eClinicalWorks EHR can now capture it and deliver it to the provider at the point of care.
“To be able to access information within seconds or minutes about what has happened in this patient’s past history, whether it was in the state of Washington or Miami, or wherever it was – is extremely important,” said Melissa Flores, a Certified Medical Assistant at First Choice Neurology.
With effective interoperability solutions in place, providers now have more complete information about each patient — helping to reduce unnecessary tests, enhance the quality of the doctor/patient encounter, and reduce the risk of physician burnout.