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EHR and EMR management – getting data and making sense of it all

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | April 27, 2015
Health IT Rad Oncology Primary Care
From the April 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

“All the articles saying EHRs are so horrible — that’s old news in the radiology world,” Deaton says. “That used to be RIS and PACS in the radiology world five years ago. The radiology market is ahead of the rest of the market.”

Radiologists do have a particular challenge when it comes to choosing an HER system with the best workflows. “A lot of people have been faced with the choice of getting an EHR and getting a RIS, and we can offer both,” Deaton says.

In December, Viztek received FDA approval to market its Exa EHR, which the company says enables a seamless exchange of information for radiologists and technologists, enhancing workflow with a user-friendly design and removing the need for doctors to log in to separate EHR and PACS systems.

This is Viztek’s first endeavor into non-radiology- exclusive EHR. Deaton says Exa could be a particularly good fit for multispecialty groups, such as an orthopedics practice opening its own MRI center. “The trend in the market is consolidating practices to compete with the hospitals,” Deaton says. “That’s where the compass needle’s pointing for most people now.”

Patients aren’t left out of the equation, and Deaton says Viztek worked to enhance Exa’s patient portal, with patient use being part of Meaningful Use requirements. Aside from being able to do simple things, like updating insurance information or paying bills, patients can use it to request a follow-up exam with their primary care doctor, or schedule a CT if a doctor prescribes one.

“The question was, how much can we drive exponential adoption of this product so now it’s a medical Google for yourself?” Deaton says. “We see there’s going to be a move to be patient-centered. It was a change for us because we’ve always looked straight to the doctor.”

Populating a patient’s medical record with a variety of information from insurance carriers and outside laboratories is also a big task. WESTMED Practice Partners, a multi-specialty group practice in Westchester County, N.Y., uses the Qvera Interface Engine to populate patient records. Merin Joseph, WESTMED Practice Partners’ executive vice president and chief information officer, says it provides a lot of time savings for doctors and helps to prevent ordering of unnecessary patient tests. The Qvera software accesses insurance claims databases for various carriers. If a doctor asks a patient if they’ve had an MRI and the patient doesn’t remember, the doctor can use Qvera to pull claims data for that patient. When laboratory reports come in from Quest Diagnostics, for example, the Qvera Interface Engine makes sure the information goes on the correct fields in the EMR.

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