It was 2008, and more than ever the world of medical practices was starting to embrace the dreaded demon known as the Electronic Health Record. After a year of looking at 6 different demons, we settled on 1 system that seemed to be sent from heaven and didn’t have all of the demonic qualities of the other systems. And the winner was… SRS!! But could we pull this off? Could we actually implement this system?
Implementation Success and Sustainable Growth
Rumors were out that many had tried other systems, only to fail. One physician voiced his concern and decreed that the practice administrator would surely lose his active employment status over this decision, should it turn out to be an epic fail. How fortunate we were to have an award-winning team to lead the charge of our implementation. We chose Cinco de Mayo, 2009, to go live. We did it without even a bump in the road and kissed paper charts goodbye forever. With 5 providers who ranged in age from 35 to 68, it was thought to be an insurmountable challenge, but due to the effectiveness of the EHR we had chosen, we sailed into the medical-record waters without a hitch.
Was this the right decision? Did we make a mistake making this leap of faith? What results have we seen from this decision?
Our practice has grown from 5 physicians to 7 and the volume increase on our system was absorbed without any difficulty.
In the past, adding a remote location was full of complicated logistics. We have since added a remote location, and it barely required anything more than an internet connection to be up and running.
Enhanced Communication – Internally and Externally
We have seen our callback response time to our patients improve to the point that patients have accused us of not checking with a physician before returning calls. The SRS messaging system has created a customer-service level that is more than we could have wished for.
Then, along comes another demon called meaningful use, but thankfully, our decision, again, proved positive. With the support from the SRS team, we achieved meaningful use with great success.
Savings and Efficiencies with SRS and Dragon Medical
With remote access, our physicians no longer have to come into the office to review records prior to surgery. Call coverage has been improved with the ease of access to patient records.
Staff efficiency has been increased due to the implementation. We have increased our clinic production without adding additional clinical administrative staff. No more chasing paper charts.
Electronic orders are issued for all testing and referrals, with the ability to track the completion to ensure results are received and reviewed by the ordering physician. The old excuse—“That must have fallen through the cracks”—has been eradicated from our office.
With the addition of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Medical, our dictation is completed at the time of service and we have cut over $50,000 out of our annual operating expenses.
Did we make the right decision? Absolutely we did! Slayed the dragon… slayed the demon!