The patient’s I’ve cared for, we have a very close bond. Athena has actually improved my interactions with patient and with patient care.
athenahealth has made it a lot easier for us to run our practice. They’re always staying ahead of where I need to be.
Wright State Family Physicians is a group of family physicians that practice primary care. The practice is a multispecialty practice. There are approximately 150 physicians. We have about 23 locations.
The biggest challenge in family medicine is communication and information management because information comes in from a variety of different sources.
When we get outside information from other places, doctor’s offices and labs, it gets faxed to Athena and then Athena scans those records and documents into the computer.
At the beginning of each day I turn on the computer and I’m able to see anything that has happened during the night, whether it be lab results that have come in or x-ray reports that have come in and I’ll have that at my fingertips first thing in the morning.
We don’t need to have chart files any longer so we’re pretty much very close to being a paperless facility.
athenahealth created a solution to improve business processes in physician offices. We provide a service offering so people are actually working to categorize faxes, paperwork that’s coming into the office. So instead of the practice staff doing that work our service operations is doing that work.
The virtual back office is something behind the scenes that is helping your practice run most effectively. So all that paper that you’re getting, you don’t need it, you don’t want it, you don’t want to see it in your office, we’re sending it here to Athena. We’re able to get images created so you can access that data online via athenaNet.
When there’s less mess people do their jobs better and so there’s better quality of care.
When I first started in the practice our patient scheduling was all done on paper and it was chaotic.
Scheduling with Athena is much easier than before. The schedules are uniform. Any time a patient is schedule at one practice site it automatically appears on the other site’s practice schedule.
Having both the billing and scheduling and the medical record now computerized really makes the clinical work flow a lot smoother throughout the day. The first thing that Athena does to help us with the patient encounter is that it allows simultaneous access.
We have medical assistants that put all of our information into the computer for us so they will see the patients first. They will get vital signs, the reason that they’re there.
So that when I enter the room I can do it more quickly and I can do it with all the information I need already having been reviewed.
“So tell me what brings you in today? Well my husband decided to go on a cruise at the last minute. Oh how nice. And I get sick on a swing set so putting me on a boat is not a good thing”.
Having the computer in the room also helps me as a clinician because not only do I have access to the patient records, I can use the computer to draw on other sources of information that will also help me make clinical decisions.
And you put it right behind the ear and you change it every three days.
I’m doing that right while I’m talking with the patient and a lot of times I can tell the patient what I’m doing and actually engage the patient in the process. I can do the prescriptions right there in the room.
“Which pharmacy do you go to? Walgreen’s on Dorothy Lane and Whitman. Okay, so we’ll go ahead and get this prescription put in for you, you should be able to pick that up within the next hour or so.”
I can order any lab tests right there in the room, print those lab orders out and have them ready for the patient at the time they’re ready to leave the office.
It’s really hard for physicians to keep up with various rules, regulations, formulary status and I like that Athena updates their system on a regular basis.
In terms of keeping up with ongoing guidelines and ongoing performance review and performance improvement, Athena has been tremendously helpful.
So the rules database, it is our wealth of information that we’ve gathered throughout the years. It’s a wealth of payor information, it’s coding information and it’s formatting information. It looks through the claims before they get out the door so they’re actually paid right the first time and paid faster.
Athena allows our billers to work more claims faster and so our reimbursements go up in terms of volume of reimbursements in the speed of which they come in.
As we identify P for P programs or other incentive programs that a client of ours may be participating in, we can build out the rules for that program and then those rules are available to every other practice that’s coming on board to our platform.
Getting practices paid more is something I believe we’re best in the world at.
Because we learn throughout and we learn from all payers and we learn through denials and we also learn through our clients, through co-sourcing we actually change rules nightly.
athenahealth also provides us with direct depositing. So all of our payments that come in from the insurance company go to athenahealth and then they also at the same time take the EOB information that comes in with those deposits, those checks and applies it directly to the accounts within Athena. So I do not have to have personnel sitting in an office somewhere doing all that data entry. As Chief Operating Officer, Athena affords me the availability of a quick dashboard, a snapshot if you would, of all my locations and how they’re operating and how they’re doing.
Athena has been really helpful to us especially to me. I’m medical director at three different facilities. Because I’m not able to carry a medical chart with me wherever I go, I take my laptop or I take another mobile device with me and I have everything that I need at a moments notice.
Having Athena outside the office has really added a lot of flexibility to my workday and a lot of flexibility to life as a whole.
athenahealth has allowed us to become a more profitable practice so it’s like working -- they’re part of the team.
I don’t think many of our customers think of us as a vendor. Most of our customers consider us a partner, which is exactly what we want to be.
For us it has been a really, really good experience.
I’m very optimistic about our practice and about the future. I see Athena as one of the many tools that can be used to enhance our practice and enhance the management of what we do. I really look forward to what the future is going to bring and to make our jobs so much easier and more effective.
Wright State Physicians Having a centralized medical billing and medical scheduling software has allowed Wright State Physicians to improve their daily workflow and...