In this new world of health care, a veritable cornucopia of reporting databases has popped up. The IRIS Registry claims to help in this process, but, before we can report data, we have to record it. I have visited several practices across the country to see their “solutions,” and on the whole I have been shocked and disappointed.
Some of the greatest facilities—large buildings with outstanding lighting and architecture—contain various assortments of “caves,” if you will. In these windowless back rooms, legions of assistants pore over notes, trying to discern chicken-scratch handwriting and determine which measures were met. Then, of course, there is the part where they have to document these data into some type of online registry.
This is only the beginning. When ICD-10 rolls around, I can only imagine how much more the chaos will grow. Five-digit ICD-9s become 7-digit codes, with everything from orca bites to flaming jet skis having to be documented; staff demands will certainly grow. In the new era of practice, in the MillennialEYE world, am I concerned? Not at all.
Why is that? One of the benefits of starting a practice from the ground up is the ability to change the way we practice altogether. Certainly, you can see 80 patients with two scribes running nonstop without a lunch break every day, but wouldn’t you prefer to see 40 and financially come out the same? This is the approach I have taken in my practice. By choosing an efficient EHR, I am able to go without a scribe, without a billing consultant, and without a coding consultant. Everything is done electronically for me for a monthly subscription fee, saving me tons of overhead.
So, what did I do for meaningful use and PQRS? I pushed a couple of buttons on my computer. Within seconds, I had all of my meaningful use data calculated for me, matching the CMS website and allowing me to easily fill out the form myself. PQRS was even easier, taking about 10 minutes of my time, all without any extra assistance other than Modernizing Medicine’s EMA Ophthalmology.
As we enter an even more technologically dependent era in eye care, we cannot forget that we still need to provide personal, quality care to our patients. The time for paper charts has come and gone, and choosing the right EHR—just like choosing the right topography device—is critical to achieving success in your practice.