SAN DIEGO, Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the course of its 30 year-plus history, San Diego Cardiac Center has grown into one of the city's largest specialty medical practices, its nine cardiologists combining broad knowledge and years of experience with medical technology to deliver all aspects of cardiac care from dietary management to heart transplants.
Providing preventative, diagnostic, intervention and treatment services to more than 150 patients per day, practice physicians, nurses and administrative staff by 2004 were spending increasing time and effort fighting through an avalanche of patient charts, billing statements, claims and other paper-based documents, a situation that demanded inordinate amounts of time searching for "lost" files and completing charts instead of seeing and treating more patients and efficiently filing claims.
San Diego Cardiac Center had been utilizing a UNIX-based scheduling and billing system to automate billing and scheduling, but staff recognized the practice's need for a full-fledged integrated practice management and electronic medical records system. Chief Administrator Janet Hake and cardiologist Dr. Peter Hoagland reviewed a number of EMR systems before choosing MedInformatix Inc.'s open architecture SQL-based Practice Management (PM) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solution.
San Diego Cardiac Center's patient recordkeeping process, as well as all other aspects of practice management operations, with a few initial fits and starts, was transformed once doctors and staff familiarized themselves and became comfortable using the MedInformatix system.
"Our old UNIX system, with its use of terminals rather than PCs, enabled us to eliminate paper-based scheduling and billing, but did nothing to eliminate cumbersome patient charts, which physicians and staff sometimes misplaced," Hake recalls. "Physicians and staff were becoming increasingly frustrated by filling out and accessing redundant paperwork.
"The change [to MedInformatix PM and EMR] was complete in about six months and continues to evolve and improve with solution upgrades and changes to our own processes."
Each of San Diego Cardiac Center's 50 employees uses MedInformatix' PM and EMR solution daily, which seamlessly integrates with CardioDX, a program from a Florida company by the same name, which the practice uses for reporting the results of various cardiovascular testing procedures performed in its office.
Medical and billing charts long ago became a vestige of San Diego Cardiac Center's past, with MedInformatix' system providing doctors and nurses with a few keystrokes all pertinent patient information as well as all billing and claims information to administrators and staff. The system tracks patients' location at the facility from check in to examination to check out, and enables doctors to complete notes much more quickly, often in the exam room itself.
"Timeliness is of the essence in a referral-based subspecialty practice like San Diego Cardiac Center," Hake said. "Before we implemented MedInformatix [PM and EMR], there was often a one to a one-and-a-half week turnaround before our transcriptionists would complete and send our cardiologists' notes to primary care physicians. They are now forwarded on the same day. In fact, the system enabled us to eliminate our two transcriptionist positions within six months of going live," she said.
Additionally, MedInformatix' PM's appointment reminder function supports another vendor's solution that automatically calls San Diego Cardiac Center's patients, a task that once took staff members a full half-day, each day to complete.
As part of the solution's EMR function, the practice also uses MedInformatix' e-Prescribing (eRx) function that enables San Diego Cardiac Center's communication with pharmacies. The practice is leveraging this, as well as additional MedInformatix EMR elements, in its effort to achieve Stage 1 Meaningful Use certification under The Federal Government's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for Health Information Technology.
"We are preparing for attestation, which should take place by the end of the year," Hake said. "MedInformatix is working with us to implement processes and reporting so we will meet meaningful use requirements."
"I can't imagine how we once were able to function entirely as a paper-based practice," Hake concluded.
MedInformatix, Inc. (www.medinformatix.com) is a leading national provider of fully integrated Electronic Health Records. The products have been built around MedInformatix's 25 years of workflow expertise. MedInformatix's suite of products is designed on a single database using Microsoft SQL. Whether the client is a single physician who went live in 1994, a 13-location cardiology practice, the busiest radiology practice in Manhattan, or one of 15 other serviced specialties, MedInformatix accommodates their needs. MedInformatix can turn the dream of a paperless, integrated practice into a reality.
MedInformatix Version 7.5 is now certified to meet 2011-2012 criteria supporting Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment act (ARRA) as a Complete EHR by the Drummond Group.
This Complete EHR is 2011/2012 compliant and has been certified by an ONC-ATCB in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments."
MedInformatix, October 22, 2010, Version 7.5, 1022201024238, Clinical Quality Measures: NQF0013, NQF0421, NQF0041, NQF0024, NQF0028, NQF0038, NQF0059, NQF0061, NQF0064. Additional software used: TrueCrypt v2.0, email software, spreadsheet software.