Ophthalmology Business

DEC 2012

Ophthalmology Business is focused on business topics relevant to the entrepreneurial ophthalmologist. It offers editorial, opinion, and practical tips for physicians running an ophthalmic practice. It is a companion publication of EyeWorld.

Issue link: http://digital.ophthalmologybusiness.org/i/98302

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Page 14 of 27

Finding support, aka, going to Lamaze class The transformative experience of having a child often requires support from peers, and the same can be said with the transformative experience of implementing an EHR system. If you work in a small ophthalmic office, it's even more crucial that you find support from others in a similar situation—whether it's the ophthalmic practice down the street or one across the country. Talk with colleagues at meetings—particularly those who are further ahead in the "giving birth to an EHR" process— to see what you can learn. We were surprised at how candid some of our fellow practices were about their own hurdles, but it helped us avoid the same mistakes. The complicated pregnancy Sometimes a new mom might plan to have a natural childbirth, and she ends up needing a Caesarian section. The same last-minute change can happen with your EHR system. You may think everything will run smoothly, and you end up having to change the practice management system you're going to use. Change happens. Be ready for it. Another common complication (or challenge) is learning the new language involved with EHR. Before we got our EHR system, we weren't familiar with technical terms like radio button. Just in the way that pregnancy and childbirth is made easier when you learn some of the related lingo, it made life easier when we started using the same language the EHR folks used so we could better communicate and overcome our learning curve. Staying committed Once the mother's in labor, there's absolutely no turning back. That baby is coming and all of your fears have to be cast aside. The same can be said about starting to use an EHR system. You have to have an unwavering commitment and remind yourself of its greater good. At the end of the day (or should we say, at the end of your delivery?), your EHR is about taking care of your patients. Your patients come to your office to see the doctors and the technicians they trust. They don't care what kind of server you have or what kind of EHR system you use. If you keep the focus on better patient care, you can get closer to using an EHR system that will work effectively for your practice. Much like the stories of painful and long labor, every mother knows it was worth it in the end. We feel the same about our EHR baby. OB Editors' note: The authors work for the Eye Care Center of Central Pennsylvania, which has 15 locations in central Pennsylvania. Robert Lamont is the CEO, Scott Peterson is the CIO, and Leslie Mackner is the clinical IT coordinator. Contact information 866-995-3937 December 2012 • Ophthalmology Business 15

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