Electronic health records embedded with patients’ ocular imagery are among the major updates newly available in today’s EHR and practice management software.
While electronic health records (EHR) brought eyecare practices into the digital age, they challenged eyecare professionals (ECPs) to balance looking at a screen while maintaining eye contact with patients. Achieving this greatly improved when EHR systems became tablet based.
“The whole concept of being able to do an eye exam with an iPad versus having to do your whole exam with a computer screen is a total change in my 30-plus years in practice,” said Duane Wires, OD, of the Eyes on Main group practice with locations in Findlay and Ada, OH. “Now I can practice to the patient instead of practicing to the computer,” he said about his use of the EyefinityEHR system.
Now, the system has advanced even further with automated image integration.
Considering the fact that the practice of optometry is a progressive disease discipline, it’s clear that tracking images of the backs of patients’ eyeballs as they change over time is integral to managing vision care. “People don’t come in saying, ‘My eye broke today’ to their primary care physician,” said Steve Baker, president of EHR software company Eyefinity. “We watch for changes over time, two, three, five, seven years, to see if strange aberrations start to appear. Whether we’re using retinal photography, OCT, or other photographic devices, a plethora of images throws a lot of data to the clinician, and the optometrist needs a way to sort through those images.”
Up until now, electronically managing those images required multiple time-consuming steps that are no longer necessary with the integrated image management soon to be made available in EyefinityEHR. Now, instead of using third-party image-management systems, optometrists can access all of those images taken over time directly from the patient’s electronic health record. Launching within the Eyefinity program in the first quarter of 2019, integrated image management enables the ECP to look at all stored images one at a time or as thumbnails in a carousel to view six to eight images simultaneously to monitor changes over time.
Among the “coolest” features, according to Baker, is the ability for ECPs to access OCT imagery taken over time and “scroll through all the layers of all the images at one time, looking at the OCT layer for the last six years,” for example.
Because the imagery is embedded directly within the patient’s EHR and stored in the cloud, “securely sitting side by side with all the other patient information,” according to Baker, “all the doctor needs is an internet connection for anywhere anytime access, whether in the lane with the patient or at my kid’s dance recital.”
Tracking patients through your practice is among the latest advances available from Compulink. Smart workflow manages where the patient goes next in your office based on what type of appointment they have. “We’ve always had tracking, but now it is much more automated based on our workflow engines,” said Heather Bush, COT, product director. “Workflow engines track both the patients and the practitioners,” she explained. “We can run time-management reports to increase efficiencies.” One view of the dashboard on a computer screen or tablet provides an overall look at the entire office and where patients and practitioners are at any given moment.
Also recently introduced, Practice Watch automates reports, tasks and instant messages. Instead of manually running a report at the end of every day, the system can be set up to automatically generate a list of these tasks on a daily basis, for example. Another major upgrade allows for automated billing. “You can set up claim scrubbing to run automatically at a certain time every day to be entered into reports,” explained Bush. “You’re not spending time to run reports; they’re automated.”
Now in beta testing by Compulink is an engagement tool that texts information upon check-in based on a patient’s specific condition. “We can send information on refraction, add-ons, specialty IOLs, anything to educate the patient while they are sitting in the practice.”
Finally, among the 60 pages worth of recent updates to the Compulink system, patients can now pay their bills through their own online portal.
OPTIMIZING FOR MOBILE
Rev360 is migrating RevolutionEHR to a new technology platform that supports mobile devices, such as iPads, and provides a more user-friendly experience. The new platform also provides support for more advanced workflows, such as the all-new Patient Dashboard and Optical Dashboard.
In addition to offering its own suite of practice advancement solutions to RevolutionEHR users, including image management, patient engagement, product ordering, eyewear, and a quality reporting solution, Rev360 is committed to giving customers the choice to use an assortment of integrated partner solutions. This expanding list of partners includes equipment manufacturers; software partners such as business analytics, credit card processing, e-prescribing, compliance, revenue cycle management; and most recently, product partners that allow customers to order eyewear products directly within RevolutionEHR via Smartflow for Sight.
RevolutionEHR has been certified to the latest standards as defined by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. Slated for release in the first quarter of 2019, RevolutionEHR version 7 enhances core capabilities in the areas of interoperability and health information exchange, which will allow ECPs to efficiently and safely share data with other doctors, their patients and families.
This certification also enables doctors using RevolutionEHR to qualify for bonus payments under state-based Promoting Interoperability programs as well as federal reimbursement revision by Medicare under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
Improved patient engagement was also the goal of LiquidEHR’s most recent updates. After working with a third-party patient engagement platform for years, LiquidEHR has launched its own in-house system for fully integrated recall and online scheduling. “You can add the scheduling link to the doctor’s website or multiple websites, to Facebook, to insurance companies, to Google, wherever you’re trying to integrate patient scheduling,” explained Gabie Lambrechtse, director of business development of LiquidEHR. “The biggest scheduling benefit has been with the recall part of the system. Automated recalls invite patients to click to schedule online, and that recall immediately turns into an appointment.”
In addition, you can control what you do on the schedule and customize the questions you ask the patient—What are you coming in for? Which doctor? Which location? What time do you prefer? “This is the million dollar question because the system looks for what’s available, and the patient makes their selection,” explained Lambrechtse.
Beyond scheduling, LiquidEHR also recently added encrypted email in order to send Rx’s to patients and the ability to accept electronic signatures. LiquidEHR received Drummond certification at the end of last year.
Practice Director 6.0, the latest version, focuses on practice management, specifically simplifying the entire billing process and giving staff access to the information they need to bill correctly and effectively. The invoicing area was redesigned to flow smoother and quicker and added abilities for quick pay, scheduling reappoints and assigning recalls from one screen.
The insurance remittance area has simplified the posting of insurance payments while giving billers all the tools they need to account for every scenario such as negative checks and paying patients with overpays from previous checks. New advanced filters in reporting make it easier for doctors to keep tabs on the business aspects of their practice.
“Our goal was to make invoicing and billing easy enough that offices wouldn’t have to look to outside billing services as well as efficient enough that staff could still focus on patient interaction,” said Brandon Doyle, Practice Director national sales manager and support team lead.
Tighter security features allow doctors/practice owners better control of who has access to different functions, and 6.0 will also feature built-in eligibility checks, ERA posting and more throughout 2019.
“I am really pleased with how easily Practice Director helps us control and maintain a concise patient record,” said Patricia Dorsey, OD, Emporia, KS. “The software has improved my coding both diagnoses and procedures. My assistant, who handles insurance billing, recently told me that our turnaround on insurance was really speeding up, and we both think that is due to Practice Director. New employees coming in find it easy to understand the modules and how the system runs.”
Certified last year, Ocuco’s Acuitas activEHR features a long list of upgrades. Reporting enhancements include easy export of raw data to Excel for analysis, a new version of the inventory aging report and added new report filters, and a new sales analysis report, including insurance benefit adjustments and discounts.
For insurance, a new revenue cycle report provides totals by insurance carrier and patients share, updated insurance flag notifications showing only unread notifications, an insurance benefit rules engine that allows for changes and testing by carrier plan, an insurance benefits screen to reflect changes in plans, and to reduce rejected claims the patient mandatory fields configuration screen has been expanded to include new fields that may be required by a carrier.
The scheduler now displays the number of changes made by a patient, and appointments can be organized by types and time of day to optimize business. The web scheduler allows for Facebook pixel and Google pay-per-click tracking, and progress on Facebook and Google is identified to successful booking or the specific stage where the patient dropped off.
New buttons on the text messages in page include Action, Reply, Confirm Appointment, Cancel Appointment and Completed. On outgoing text messages, patients can now confirm or cancel appointments by replying to an appointment message.
A long list of upgrades were also made on the clinical side of Acuitas activEHR as well, and they include listing medications, a new contact lens fitting search, and new grids for dry eye, implantable devices and macular degeneration.
COMPLYING WITH MIPS
Because CMS is continually changing MIPS reporting requirements, MaximEyes from First Insight releases updates periodically to ensure that the EHR complies with 2015 Edition certification and clinical standards that meet technology, capability, functionality, and security requirements. Built-in MIPS calculators, measures indicators, and automated performance reports within MaximEyes EHR help to increase MIPS composite performance scores and determine what data eligible clinicians need to report for MIPS performance reporting periods.
MaximEyes EHR is a 2015 Edition certified EHR technology (CEHRT) for quality reporting and promoting interoperability, which is a requirement for participating in MIPS 2019. First Insight’s certified MACRA-MIPS healthcare professionals provide complimentary assistance to MaximEyes customers who participate in MIPS 2018 by assisting them with how to submit their data and finalizing their MIPS 2018 reporting.
“The MIPS assistance First Insight provides to MaximEyes EHR customers is an invaluable service. It’s a huge time saver and stress reliever. First Insight knows exactly what needs to be done and how to do it efficiently,” according to MaximEyes user Holdrege Family Vision Clinic in Holdrege, NE.
Uprise from VisionWeb announced new service tier additions to Uprise practice management and EHR software—Uprise Pro and Uprise Essentials. Uprise Pro boasts a complete suite of embedded tools including secure messaging, frame catalogs, ePrescribing, patient education, patient recall and reminders, and code verification. Uprise Essentials comes bundled with secure messaging and ePrescribing. Both Uprise Pro and Uprise Essentials are cloud-based solutions that can be used on tablets or desktops and allow ODs to stay connected with their business whether they are in the office, at home, or on vacation. “Uprise Pro has been the perfect technology addition to my modern eyecare practice. The time savings with Uprise has allowed me to open up three more exam slots a day and make an additional $20k each month,” said Matthew T. Stanley, OD, of Eye Care Associates of Manhattan, P.A., Manhattan, KS. “And, with VisionWeb’s Revenue Cycle Management Service taking over my claim management, I’ve seen an increase in my claim submission rate and no longer have to wrangle all of our medical and vision claims.”
Compulink Healthcare Solutions 800.456.4522 CompulinkAdvantage.com Sales@CompulinkAdvantage.com Eyefinity 800.269.3666 Eyefinity.com CustomerCare@Eyefinity.com First Insight 800.920.1940 First-Insight.com Sales@First-Insight.com LiquidEHR 866.618.1531 LiquidEHR.com Sales@LiquidEHR.com Ocuco Inc. 800.708.1610 Ocuco.com Ocuco.US Sales@Ocuco.com Practice Director 844.574.2020 PracticeDirector.com Info@PracticeDirector.com Rev360 877.738.3471 Rev-360.com Sales@Rev-360.com VisionWeb 800.874.6601 VisionWeb.com Sales@VisionWeb.com