Drs Nigel Myers and Sheila Bowling of Village Medical Clinic in Fort Langley have used EMRs in their practice for about 10 years. They quickly learned that the technology could help them provide better patient care in a more efficient way.
They felt they could do even more if they took a deeper dive to fully utilize the capacity of what EMR’s can do to really help move the practice to a whole new level of excellence. So they took the opportunity to further learn about EMRs for optimal meaningful use (MU) level 3 through post-implementation support.
“The level of support offered and the incentive benefits enabled us to reflect on how we could fully use our EMRs,” said Dr Myers.
“I had no formal training before,” added Dr Bowling. “I knew post-implementation support could help me with my deficits.”
Together, Drs Myers and Bowling and their clinic staff connected with their local practice automation coach (PAC) for an assessment of their current EMR use and for support to maximize the usage of EMRs.
“We receive support from our front office staff and have a nurse as a part of our clinic team.” said Dr Myers. “We all work together.”
Through the initial assessments, the team learned that quality data input was a key area for efficiencies, effectiveness, and quality improvement.
The post-implementation support by the PAC showed Drs Myers and Bowling that they were inputting data into their dashboards, but inconsistently. Inconsistent data entry can impact the level of information retrieved or usage of functions such as referral letters, pre-populated requisitions, medical summaries, or charts.
“We were both inputting data into our dashboards, but just not in the same spots,” said Dr Bowling. “Now that information is standardized, we can more easily share information with each other and specialists, and with our patients.”
In addition to emphasizing the need for consistent and standardized data input, the PAC also highlighted the importance of having an up-to-date list of active patients. As EMR MU3 achievements are based on measuring consistency of EMR usage, the PAC encouraged the doctors to review and purge their patient lists to remove inactive patients.
The doctors were able to reduce their active patient list by about 52% and 20%, respectively. This has resulted in more accurate thresholds
Though initially overwhelming, the long-term commitment to optimizing EMRs is rewarding. The clinic now leverages thorough recalls, maximized CDM billings, and efficient information sharing, for better and proactive patient care.
“EMRs support the front office with manageable task lists by setting proper recalls and enables the nurse on our team to tap into the EMR to find CDM information about patients,” said Dr Myers.
The team at Village Medical Clinic has gained significant time savings and efficiencies. The doctors expressed that post-implementation support was one of most helpful quality improvement activities they have engaged in.