SHELTON, Conn., Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As the push to reshape the U.S. healthcare system gained impetus, Robert D. Russo M.D. and Associates Radiology decided to acclimate itself early to impending health care information technology regulations by participating in the Stage 1 Meaningful Use initiative. The practice earned federal incentive bonuses last year using MedInformatix RIS with EHR Version 7.5, one of the first software platforms certified for the MU process, to collect specific patient data reported to the federal government.
A provision of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Meaningful Use initiative encourages radiologists to use certified technology to improve the quality of patient care. Qualifying physicians who satisfied MU objectives in 2012 may receive up to $44,000 over five years in incentive bonuses from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. MedInformatix RIS with EHR Version 7.5 is certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator - Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB).
The practice, which performs 80,000 procedures annually from six locations in Bridgeport, Fairfield and Stratford, enlisted MedInformatix's technical support in configuring the software to collect and quantify specific patient measures.In some cases, the MU requirements expanded upon information normally gathered such as incidence of allergies -- pertinent data for patients injected with contrast dyes before undergoing MRI and CAT scan procedures. In other cases, the practice collected information for the first time on current medications, flu and pneumococcal vaccines, and smoking history, according to David Grandchamp, Russo and Associates Radiology's Director of Information Technology.
New features in MedInformatix Version 7.5, which the practice implemented over four months as an upgrade to the vendor's earlier platform, helped produce optimal results for MU and made key administrative tasks easier. Examples include:
- The Patient Portal Module, a secure site where registered patients can electronically access clinical summaries, radiology reports and medical histories. To satisfy MU objectives, the practice attested that such information was available to half its patients within three days of a visit; the service, in fact, has been made available to all. "It's attractive especially to patients who want to be their own advocates and have access to their records to share with other physicians or carry with them if they move," Grandchamp said.
- Custom reports, which serve as business intelligence tools analyzing activity by user, patient, physician and location. During the MU attestation period, the practice used it to verify required measures were obtained before a patient left the office and to pinpoint users that neglected to collect MU information.
- Improved insurance eligibility tool through integration with revenue management clearinghouse partner Zirmed. With the integrated platform, the practice can check eligibility of walk-in patients in less than a minute and avoid calls to insurance carriers. The system verifies eligibility of other patients before appointments in batch files processed overnight.
Grandchamp echoed other healthcare IT directors in crediting MedInformatix with enabling the practice to realize reduced costs and improved efficiencies by eliminating paper-based records. Through scanning capabilities, the system consolidates all relevant patient data, including driver's licenses, images and impressions, and physician notes, into a single electronic jacket.
The practice's history with MedInformatix, the vendor's MU expertise, and the platform's "housekeeping tools" that measured the quality of the practice's data gathering made the decision to participate in the federal initiative an easy choice. "We knew we wanted to be part of the big picture of an evolving health care system and saw the benefits of exchanging health data electronically and empowering patients with better tools to monitor their health," Grandchamp said.
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.