“It was such an easy system to learn. We didn’t have to research anything. It was all right there for us.”
Wilmot Medical Center
When you’re considering the transition to an electronic health record (EHR), it can be helpful to hear a first-hand account of the process from another medical professional. In an effort to prepare you for the steps ahead, we spoke with Renee Rakoczy, office manager for a small family practice in Illinois, about the practice’s experience during the transition to Care360 EHR. Ms. Rakoczy works at the Wilmot Medical Center with Dr. Mackie Snebold, whom we previously interviewed about the practice’s EHR experience.
The practice used a step-wise approach to adoption, implementing Care360 in stages so that staff members could learn the system at their own pace. We asked Ms. Rakoczy some questions about her office’s transition to EHR so that other physician practices can benefit from the information:
Were finances a concern when you decided to adopt an EHR? If so, how did adopting Care360 impact your office finances?
Wilmot Medical Center is a very small practice with just one physician, so finances were a big concern when selecting an EHR vendor. Care360 EHR ended up being the most cost-effective solution for this practice because of its web-based platform that doesn’t require users to invest in additional hardware or software licenses.
After implementation, office workflow slowed slightly while staff adjusted to the new system. After the initial learning curve, the practice went back to scheduling the same number of patients. Financially, the practice is doing just as well as before the switch, and recently received $18,000 in Meaningful Use incentive payments following attestation.
Who in your office made the decision to switch to an EHR system, and what provoked the changeover from paper-based records?
The practice physician, Dr. Mackie Snebold, decided to transition to an EHR because of mandates issued by the federal government that would impact Medicare funding. The office’s paper-based system was also causing inefficiencies. Staff members were spending entirely too much time trying to locate charts despite the small size of the practice. Time was also wasted correcting errors in written patient records and reconstructing incomplete notes.
What aspects of the Care360 platform made it easy to learn and use?
Office employees started with the Care360 ePrescribing module and found it to be so user-friendly that they wanted to implement the full EHR. Just by watching the online webinars, the staff was able to fully train themselves. “It was such an easy system to learn, and we didn’t have to research anything. It was all right there for us,” said Ms. Rakoczy. It was also easy for the staff to identify what they needed to do to comply with government standards for Meaningful Use of a certified EHR.
What aspect of Care360’s system made the biggest impact on your transition and how?
Care360 comes with ready-to-use templates that make entering data faster and easier. Other EHR systems that the practice considered didn’t have templates in place, and most of the staff didn’t have the skills to create them. In addition to the built-in templates, the flexible, step-wise approach to implementation helped the practice transition smoothly.
If you had one piece of advice for other physicians considering EHR adoption, what would it be?
“Don’t be afraid of it,” said Ms. Rakoczy. She knew another office whose employees were terrified at the prospect of leaving paper-based records behind. Once they saw the way Care360 strives to make EHR implementation easier, they felt more confident getting the transition process started.
To learn more about Wilmot Medical Center’s transition to Care360 EHR, read Dr. Mackie Snebold’s Physician Testimonial.