I’ll usually just go in and I’ll start chatting and I’ll usually sit in my little wheelie chair and have the tablet in my lap and I’ll just type as the parents are talking and you’ll ask questions like I normally would’ve done and I would’ve normally just written them on the paper. If it’s something complicated or personal or whatever I usually do just put it aside and then talk directly with the patient and then I’ll just document after I leave the room. For the well visits we’ve written like a review of systems that has all of our usual checkup questions, how’s the baby eating and we have certain things we can click off on so I’ll mostly just be using the touch pad to click on the baby’s formula and it will drop down which kinds of formulas or if they’re breastfeeding or how they’re peeing or pooping and all that’s right in our review of systems. And they were good, athena helped us to take our usual paper questions that we used on our well visit forms and we just converted them over. I think now actually everybody uses these pediatric questions.
My favorite thing about being a pediatrician is the patient parent interaction, actually caring for patients, the art of medicine more than the business side of medicine. When they’re here we have their charts, it is better medicine, we don’t have to wing it as much because it’s all right there. If we put in there it’s in there, we know their allergies, we know what shots they’ve had, we know when they saw the specialist, what that specialist told us to do or ask us to do for labs. It does improve the quality of care.
What we’re finding on the revenue side it helps tremendously because if we need to support the documentation to support our claim being paid and on appeals we do need to send that documentation or EHR so at a click of a button I can move that EHR over to the revenue side and attach it to the claim.
No faxes come into our office actually go directly to athena, they categorize it so you’re not scanning, you don’t have people who are just scanners in your practice, everything gets in the system. It goes to the right person so if I order a lab it comes to me not to someone who’s covering that day. If something’s not done we get a little warning saying the patient hasn’t gone to lab or hasn’t done his x-ray and those are all beneficial to patient care.
Instead of us just sitting there and keying in an EOB or our front desk having to pull 60 to 70 charts a day and file those away, they now can do a much higher level of work that benefits our patients.
There are a couple things specific to pediatrics that are very much benefited [by the] EMR, which is like school forms, which we produce a lot of. The whole reason you’re coming for your checkup when you’re in 7th grade is to get your school forms, you don’t get kicked out to prove that you’ve had your tetanus shot, that you can play sports and stuff. We did develop a way to make a school form out of the athena system and that’s huge, that was a huge amount of paperwork that our nurses were doing, writing in dates of shots on pieces of paper for schools. So there’s something about the volume of pediatrics and that kind of just well checkups and stuff that I think benefits from being able to document like shots and medical problems whether they need an EpiPen or asthma or whatever we can put right into our school form.
One of the other major advantages to athena is with lab testing and lab results. We get our reports the latest the next day; it’s right on our clinical inbox. If for some reason that lab doesn’t get back there are built in alarms that tell us that such and such a report is not returned.
I think athena being web-based is one of the biggest strong points for my physician group. It gives them control of their time so there’s not this rush where at the end of the day you’ve seen 40 or 50 patients and you’ve got to now do all this work in the clinic. They can actually go home, eat dinner with their family and then after dinner go online and finish their work. So it gives them a lot of flexibility in when they want to finish their work and they’re happier for that.
I try and get other people to join athena because I think it is the best company out there for increasing revenues, playing the insurance games that we have to deal with these days. The fact that we knew we’d have to do it at some point, that the government would make us do this at some point, we thought let’s just be proactive and do it so that we can do it in a controlled fashion.
I think it’s inevitable and so I think that if there’s money available that people should do it.
Bottom line is making sure the people who come into this office leave with the care they deserve.
athenaClinicals for Pediatric Providers athenaClinicals provides Pediatricians across the nation acess to a cloud-based, flexible, and low-cost EMR to get more control of their practice,...