06 Jun How Optometry EHR Software Helped a Group Practice Grow
Treating hundreds of patients each week is the norm for Dr. Greg Caldwell, who is one of four optometrists at a large eye care group practice in Pennsylvania. As their optometry practice continued to grow, paper charts and records caused daily inefficiencies for him, his staff, and colleagues.
Dr. Caldwell began searching for optometry EHR software to save time, so his practice could focus more on the reason they all came to the office each and every morning: to help patients. This is how Dr. Caldwell and his partners found the right solution and some of the benefits his practice has experienced ever since.
5 Benefits Our Eye Care Practice Experiences with MaximEyes EHR
- Customize Workflows: Modifying encounter forms and types save us time reviewing patient history and navigating during the exam.
- See More Patients: I gain an hour back into my daily routine by optimizing workflows, pulling previous exam findings and assessments, and easily modifying treatment plans—which means our practice can see 2-4 more patients per day.
- Two-Way eRx: Prescribing medications electronically is a huge time saver since we treat many glaucoma patients.
- Centralize Records: Having full access to records in a centralized place helps make better clinical decisions and provides better patient care.
- Remote Access: Accessing patient records remotely gives us the data we need quickly and from any location.
What challenges did you and your staff experience before you started using MaximEyes as your optometry software?
Before we chose MaximEyes as our optometry software, we were using paper for everything. Everyone in our practice was documenting notes and the handwriting wasn’t the best. Now we’re able to read notes in the electronic health record (EHR) and find the information we need easily.
We treat glaucoma patients a lot in our practice and pachymetries are taken in one visit. In MaximEyes EHR, we know exactly where to find the information. I’m able to click a button to see the last five years of pressures, with graphs that show visual field results. Compared to flipping through a chart, reviewing records is painless.
Having full access to records in a centralized place helps our clinic make better decisions and provide better patient care.
You have a large optometry practice and offer a wide range of services. How did you decide that MaximEyes was the best fit?
I interviewed colleagues at conferences and then visited several practices already using optometry software. Once we narrowed it down, our entire team of doctors went to a practice in Delaware to see MaximEyes in action.
All morning we observed their process with patients: from check-in to examination to check out, and optical or contact lens procedures. After seeing how this practice operated so efficiently with MaximEyes EHR firsthand, that experience cemented our decision.
The beauty with MaximEyes EHR is the bandwidth coverage is more than capable to handle our diverse set of specialties. If you have a group optometry practice—or even a practice with two doctors practicing different types of optometry—go with MaximEyes EHR software. It will cover that range of specialties without the headache of comparing and contrasting different solutions that aren’t a good fit.
How has MaximEyes helped you and your staff save time?
MaximEyes makes it easy to simplify encounter forms and types, which saves us time reviewing patient history and navigating during the exam.
We can pull previous exam findings and assessments, then modify the record accordingly for that day’s visit and treatment plan. This improved documentation and examination process helps us spend more time with each patient.
From check-in to check-out, an average patient visit can last anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour. By using an optometry EHR like MaximEyes, we’re gaining an hour back into each day, allowing us to see 2-4 more patients per day.
Which office processes are easier with MaximEyes optometry software?
When a patient has been with our practice for ten years, there are ten years of refractions to review. I need to quickly figure out how this patient’s glasses prescription has changed.
Instead of digging through charts, I click one button in MaximEyes to see years of data. I look at what the lens has done and quickly flip through the patient’s past medical history—whether it’s in the anterior segment or posterior segment.
Any of the visual fields or ancillary testing I’ve done is right there at my fingertips. Because our visual fields used to be on heat-treated paper, over time they would fade. Looking at the visual field results without results being compromised makes life a lot easier.
What are your top 3 MaximEyes features and how are they making you more efficient?
1. Prescribing medications electronically (eRx)
Electronic prescribing of medications via a bi-directional eRx is the number one feature for us. Especially in such a big glaucoma practice—or really any type of therapeutic practice—this ability is so valuable.
Right now, it’s allergy season and I’m in Pennsylvania. Everything is blooming and just tearing everyone’s eyes apart. Today I prescribed an anti-allergy medication four times. In the past, I would have written that out every time or called the pharmacy and waited or dictated.
When patients used to call in requesting prescriptions, prescribing them at our clinic used to involve a labor-intensive process. In MaximEyes I open the patient’s records and prescribe the medication right through the platform.
2. Accessing patient charts remotely
When I’m on the phone with a patient, I have the convenience of logging in from wherever I am at to review their record while we’re on the call.
The same perks apply when I’m traveling, and a colleague needs me to look at a chart and provide recommendations or treatments. Unless you like taking all of your charts with you on vacation, MaximEyes EHR is the way to go.
3. Modifying exam records and finding data easily
Being able to click any part of the exam quickly or looking at EHR data in MaximEyes as a whole helps us be more efficient and effective for our patients.
We had a patient with a corneal ulcer come in for a follow-up visit and were able to find measurements from the initial visit, examine the patient, and modify the records as needed.
If we want, we can go back five exams to review their records. Try doing that with paper—you and your staff will spend a lot of time unearthing that information just to treat a single patient.
How would you rate the customer support you get from First Insight?
On a scale of 1-10, I’d rate their customer support as an 11. My colleagues who are using a manual process or other optometrist software solutions often experience frustrations that our practice doesn’t.
For example, I often treat dry eye conditions, ulcers, and glaucoma, so I prescribe a lot of medications. Yesterday I wrote seven prescriptions and on prescription #8, I received an error message. I notified my office manager who contacted the MaximEyes support team online.
Because MaximEyes support was able to access everything via online chat, they were troubleshooting right then and there. By the time I saw another patient, the issue was resolved and I sent the prescription to the pharmacy.
The MaximEyes support team is very receptive to feedback and suggestions, and they are great about communicating any software version updates with our staff. Recently I was at SECO and I stopped by the MaximEyes booth. I asked their team to show me some tips and shortcuts with different patient use cases, and I learned a lot.
Do you have pro tips for other eye care professionals who are still considering an optometry EHR?
Optometrist software is just like any other technology—it’s a significant investment and there’s a learning curve. Switching from paper to electronic health records is a big change. Once your staff makes it past that learning curve, you’ll all look back and say: Man, how did we ever do this on paper?
If you’re not retiring within the next two or three years, just do it…purchase optometry EHR software. You’ll find that EHR software makes your practice more relevant and efficient. You’ll be able to track everything. You’ll also be able to investigate what’s working and what isn’t in your practice. Pick the right optometry EHR system and you’ll never regret it.
About Greg Caldwell, OD: Dr. Caldwell is the co-owner of Enhanced Eye Care in Duncansville, PA. He is a well-respected lecturer who has given over 500 lectures in over 13 countries. He is a co-founder of Optometric Education Consultants. He has published articles in all major optometric magazines. Dr. Caldwell has been a participant in multiple FDA investigations, and he is the President of the Blair/Clearfield Association for the Blind and Visually-Impaired. In 2015 he was awarded the Albert Fitch Memorial Alumnus of the Year from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University. Dr. Caldwell is a member of the Pennsylvania Optometric Association. Connect with Dr. Caldwell on Twitter or LinkedIn.