The holiday season can be overwhelming for many practices. With patients trying to use up their insurance benefits for the year or families coming in to get new glasses for the holiday season, you may find your practice overbooked! But this season, you might be a lot busier for a different reason.
As 2014 quickly approaches, many practices are getting ready for meaningful use. There isn’t much time left to participate in the program to receive incentives, and Stage 2 will require that your practice has a 2014 certified EHR. So whether you are preparing for stage 1 or stage 2, most of you should be looking for a certified EHR.
As you shop around for software, you’ll come across two options: a complete certified EHR or a modular-based certified EHR. There is a lot of confusion between the two, and we’re here to give you a quick breakdown.
Modular-Based Certified EHR
Modular-based certification requires adopting multiple different products with modular certification to meet all meaningful use requirements. For example, pairing a modular ePrescribing system with a modular EHR.
- You can continue to use products that you've already purchased and currently use in your practice.
- Modules can cause confusion when you need to determine whether your EHR is certified for meaningful use:
- You will need to collect certification numbers for each product in use and submit them as a package solution.
- Products will be accessed by ONC as a comprehensive solution and if they met the criteria, ONC will issue a new certification number that you will use to attest.
- It is not the individual vendors responsibility to make sure that each module is certified.
- You will need to be familiar with ONC certification requirements.
- You have freedom to choose vendors for each module.
- You can add new software with new functionality with existing software
- Modules might require more training because of various systems which can be inefficient and costly.
Complete Certified EHR
These systems have been tested by a federally approved certification organization through the vendor. They meet all government requirements, and offer the technological capability, functionality, and most importantly, security to meet all meaningful use criteria.
- The vendor does all the work for you. You can start the meaningful use program whenever you’re ready. If you are starting Stage 2, it is a good idea to get a written statement from your vendor to indicate that the product is verified for Stage 2.
- Seamless user interface, so there is no need to switch between systems.
- Can be less customizable – you get all the features the software comes with.
- Stable Security to maintain data confidentially within one system.
- You have the ability to share info with other systems.
Understanding the differences between a modular and complete certified EHR is the first step in your decision making process. The next step is to access your practice’s needs so you can determine which solution will fulfill your unique needs. How efficient is your practice workflow? Do you already use multiple systems? Are they already certified for Stage 2? Or perhaps you are new to meaningful use and can’t afford the time to make sure that all modules will integrate with each other?
If you do not want to worry about integrations and shopping for multiple products, you are looking for an EHR that has complete certification, check out Uprise! Not only are we an all-in-one solution, we are also certified for Stage 2 Meaningful Use. Whether you are planning to take on Stage 1 or Stage 2 in 2014, Uprise has you covered.
Technology is everywhere these days. And everyone has differenct comfort levels when it comes to using the latest technology. In the optical industry new technology is taking over, especially when it comes to optical software. So with all of the options available for eyecare providers, how will you determine which technology is the best fit for your practice?
We've got a flow chart to help you determine which optical software technology is a good fit for you: client-server, cloud-hosted, or cloud-based. Answer questions like, do you know how to maintain a network of servers? And, how do you want your system upgrades to happen? Answering these questions will get you closer to discovering which optical software might be best for your practice!
Want more fun tools to help determine which optical software is the best fit for your practice? Check out our shopping kit packed full of great resources!
If you haven't heard, Uprise, our cloud-based practice management and EHR solution, has received Meaningful Use Stage 2 Certifcation as a Complete EHR! As 2014 rolls around, many of you might be looking for a practice management and EHR system for Meaningful Use Stage 2. If you are, make sure that your EHR is certified for Stage 2, because all EHR vendors will have to be re-certified.
Check out our infographic that covers a quick recap and comparison of Stage 1 and Stage 2 and find out what Stage 2 entails.
Looking for a practice management and EHR solution that is Stage 2 certified? Look no further! Uprise is ready to take on Stage 2 with you!
It’s the 6th edition of 10 for 10! You know the drill; we feature a member of VisionWeb’s tenacious 10 and ask them 10 questions about VisionWeb’s company culture, projects, insights, industry trends, and much more. Today, we interview Julia Crawford, Director of Product Strategy, and she’s here to talk about meeting meaningful use criteria for ODs.
1. What is your role at VisionWeb?
I am the Director of Product Strategy at VisionWeb. I develop concepts, coordinate, and implement the strategic direction of VisionWeb’s suite of products, services, and processes. My job is always changing so it’s never boring. As the industry evolves, the technology needs of VisionWeb’s partners and users also evolve. I am always looking for new collaborations and different ways of doing things. There’s inspiration at every turn.
2. Meaningful use has been a big topic in the healthcare industry, but what exactly is it?
The Meaningful Use Program was introduced in 2009 as part of the HITECH Act to promote the use of electronic health records (EHRs) in an effort to make healthcare more consistent, transparent, allow for the measurement of quality of care, and assure that patient health records are seamlessly transported between doctors regardless of their specialty.
3. What’s the first thing an OD needs to do to get started?
If you haven’t invested in a certified EHR, reduction in medical errors, clinical decision support, and improved communications between patients and other doctors are among the many benefits of an EHR. Registering for the program is as easy as filling out a form on the CMS website, but it is recommended that you communicate with your staff and have a plan to begin.
4. Meaningful use has been making a big impact on healthcare as a whole. What advice can you give ODs who are hesitant to get started?
If meaningful use is done the right way, it can improve your practice’s processes and allow you to see more patients and document everything properly. This will elevate the standard of patient care. But to make sure that it is done right, you need to find a system that makes it easy to do so. A lot of systems out there are already certified for Stage 2 meaningful use, but a lot don’t make it easy. A certified EHR is required for meaningful use, but finding an easy-to-use solution is just as important. Just because an EHR is Certified for Meaningful Use, doesn’t mean it is ‘meaningfully useful.’
5. How will participating in meaningful use affect a practice’s day-to-day tasks and routine?
The tasks required to meet the objectives of the program are basic tasks that you should already be doing. For example, core objectives include protecting electronic health information and maintaining an active medication allergy list. However, for auditing purposes, it is always a good idea to document everything, which might require extra measures and time.
6. Will it hurt a practice if they choose not to participate?
Yes. If practices choose not to participate by 2015, they will be penalized through lower reimbursements for care provided to Medicare patients. They will be subjected to the adjustments that start at 1% per year (starting in 2015), up to a maximum of 5% annual adjustment.
7. Does meaningful use have any benefits for patients?
In general, EHRs allow doctors to provide better care for their patients.
- EHRs allow collaboration with doctors of different specialties which means receiving more information about your patient and their history resulting in a more accurate diagnosis. Patients will have the benefit of having different doctors taking different points of view instead of individually which might lead to missing out on the whole picture.
- EHRs reduce medical errors (definitely a benefit when your patients don’t receive a wrong prescription).
- If your EHR comes with a patient portal, your patients will be able to submit questionnaires and review follow-up materials online, cutting down the amount of time in your practice. Furthermore, patients can communicate with their doctors and receive advice via secure email directly from the patient portal.
8. If a practice chooses not to participate in the meaningful use program, should they still get a certified EHR?
Absolutely! One of the key things for practice long term survivability is continual access to more patients. If a doctor chooses not to use a certified EHR they will not be able to participate in sharing patients with those doctors that have implemented a certified EHR. Also, a certified EHR will allow you to participate in other programs such as the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH).
9. How have the trends in the EHR scene changed since the introduction of the Meaningful Use Program?
We are seeing an increase in adoption of EHRs as well as more practices moving to more collaborative solutions. Though the rapid increase in adoption can mostly be attributed to the program’s financial incentives, as well as Medicare adjustments (aka penalties) for those that opt out of the program, more practices are actually seeing the benefit of having an EHR and moving away from paper records or a combination of solutions.
10. What’s your favorite thing about working at VisionWeb?
VisionWeb is like family to me. My favorite thing by far is the people I work with and the freedom I have to collaborate on new ideas to always be improving our products and services to the customer.
We hope that Julia was able to answer some questions you may have about meaningful use. But if you are still a little confused or hesitant to get started, download our eBook and find out everything you need to know about Stage 1 Meaningful Use.
Cloud computing in eyecare has become a hot topic of discussion in the eyecare industry. Especially when it comes to practice management and EHR solutions for your practice. While legacy systems have been the traditional software solution to running a practice, there are now new technologies and more options than ever before for eyecare providers.
Have you seen the latest Uprise video that dives into some of the many benefits that a cloud-based practice management and EHR solution can have for your practice? You might even recognize the voice behind the video! It features the talented Emily Tarver who you might recognize from her series of Haverty's commercials, or as a cast member on VH1's Best Week Ever.
Cloud Computing in Eyecare With Uprise
Want to see more VisionWeb videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest updates!
The VisionWeb team got a chance to take Vegas by storm last week at Vision Expo West. With the launch of Uprise behind us at AOA's Optometry Meeting in June we were able to really sit down visitors and discuss the ins and outs of our cloud-based optical software, Uprise.
And we know that show attendees are there to shop around and learn more about the products and services they are interested in. So before the show we created a few documents to help our visitors evaluate the needs of their practice to help them determine which optical software solution might be right for them. And if you're still on the fence after the show be sure to check out our eBook, Selecting a Practice Management and EHR Software: The Ultimate Guide for Optometry.
Optical Software at Vision Expo West
The VisionWeb team all set up in the booth and ready for visitors on day 1 of the show!
Floor graphics around the hall making it easy for you to find your way to the VisionWeb booth.
Keeping busy at the show!
"Cloud" candy production is always an adventure, but it's a delicious one!
Didn't get a chance to see us at Vision Expo? Make sure you take some time to get to know more about Uprise!
Cloud-based solutions are those that are available through an internet browser and use a “Software-as-a-Service” model (SaaS). That means you don’t have to worry about servers or software installations, and you get predictable, fixed monthly pricing instead of heavy upfront costs. The healthcare industry is quickly adopting cloud-based technology and we give you three reasons why we think a cloud practice management system and EHR is changing the software game.
There is no need to worry about servers when you use a cloud-based practice management and EHR software. As a result, you don’t ha
ve expensive in-house servers to purchase upfront or ongoing IT maintenance costs to worry about. On top of saving on upfront costs, cloud-based solutions use a “pay-as-you-go” pricing model, which means you get affordable monthly pricing too!
Because you only need an internet browser to access the system you have the freedom and flexibility to access the software securely while on the go. If you are visiting multiple patients in different exam rooms throughout the day, you should consider carrying around iPads.
When you use a cloud-based solution, your vendor handles data storage and backups for you. Because of this, cloud-based solutions are designed to keep your data safe and secure on the Web. Cloud-based vendors should be 100% HIPAA compliant and need to meet government security standards for data transmission and storage. They go to great lengths to ensure backup redundancy, disaster recovery, and both physical and cyber security measures that protect data. This is a level of security that isn’t practical for most practices on an individual basis.
In our newest eBook, we further discuss how a cloud practice management can benefit your practice and give you information about other technology options including client-server and cloud-hosted solutions.
Can you believe that Vision Expo West is coming up in just two weeks? We've been really busy making plans and we can't wait to meet everyone at the show! VisionWeb has been in the eyecare industry for more than a decade, and a big part of our marketing efforts go into tradeshows. So it's safe to say that we've had our fair share of experience with them! We know that sometimes, things don't go as expected, especially at a big trip like Vision Expo West. So we've come up with a list of expectations and realities we expect to face at tradeshows. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
Expectation: Leaving early so you can breeze through airport security.
Vision Expo West is an international conference and it's held in Vegas every year. Most of you will probably be flying in from a different state or maybe even country. If you are a frequent flyer, you should know that it’s always a good idea to get to the airport early and get through airport security as fast as you can.
Reality: Getting stuck at airport security because you’re behind someone who hasn’t flown before.
Yes, you are required to remove your shoes! Doesn't it always seem like you're stuck behind someone who isn’t as experienced as you are? On the other hand, there's no need to push or get unneccessarily flustered.
Expectation: Getting work done and enjoying the fight.
Time on the plane can be productive. Try catching up on work and preparing for the show, or just take some time to relax and maybe watch and in-flight movie.
Reality: Barely cramping into a seat next to a chatty passenger.
There’s barely any legroom, you are uncomfortable, and your neighbor just won’t stop talking about her cats!
Expectation: Strutting across the tradeshow floor in your professional attire.
You get to the tradeshow and you're ready for business! Vision Expo West is a great place to not only check out the latest in the eye care industry, but also network with your peers and customers. So dress to impress!
Reality: Feeling like your feet are on fire from all the walking and standing at the show.
The long hours at Vision Expo can be unbearable! Be prepared for tradeshow feet; don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes.
Sometimes, reality just doesn’t meet your expectations, but it’s not always a bad thing!
Expectation: Getting harassed by pushy salespeople to check out their product.
You just want to casually check out a product and maybe watch a demo; not coerced into buying it! Some salespeople just don’t understand that aggression is not the way!
Reality: Enjoying all your free swag!
Expect tons of giveaways at the show! Even if you are not interested in a product at first, don’t be afraid to walk up and see what the brand has to offer. And if you are still not sold, you could at least walk away with some giveaways.
Expectation: Being bored because it’s just another business trip.
You’re an industry veteran and you’ve probably seen it all. The long hours are just not something you look forward to.
Reality: Learning a whole lot about industry trends and the latest products.
We guarantee that you will learn something new at Vision Expo if you make full use of the opportunities at the show. Also, if you are an OD, make sure you participate in continuing education to keep yourself updated on best practices for the care and treatment of your patients. (Prepare to be mind blown!)
Expectation: Being extremely productive on your business trip.
Vision Expo is strictly business. Your boss doesn’t expect you to have fun at work! Don't forget that report due on Monday about what you’ve learned at the show.
Reality: Having the time of your life!
While there should be plenty of learning and high levels of productivity, who are you kidding?! You're in Vegas! Have a blast - we won't tell!
If you’re planning to be at Vision Expo West, stop by the VisionWeb booth (#MS9035) and check out Uprise, a cloud based practice management and EHR solution. Watch one-on-one demos or attend hourly info sessions, and be sure to pick up a few of our giveaways.
Not going to Vision Expo West? Don’t worry, you can still check out Uprise and request a demo online!
Finding a practice management and EHR solution that can handle your practice's unique needs can be a challange. It's an important investment for your business, so the evaluation process should be a careful one.
Don't let the different technological options, government regulations, or even a slick salesperson overwhelm you! This eBook will help you determine your needs and supply you with tons of information to help you make a decision that is best for your practice.
Selecting a Practice Management and EHR Software: The Ultimate Guide for Optometry
In this eBook, we discuss:
- Your practice needs: You will learn how to create a practice profile, list your functional needs, and build a requirements description.
- Different technology options: We will give you a full run-down of a client-server, cloud-hosted, and cloud-based solution.
- Total cost of ownership: Get a clear picture of your total investment. Hint: It doesn't just involve the cost of the software!
We've also included a 9-page evaluation kit equipped with templates, a flowchart, and worksheets that can guide you through the buying process.
Before you start shopping for a practice management and EHR software, read and complete the exercises in this eBook. It's packed with lots of information and questions you need to ask before you purchase a software!
Every practice is looking for ways to add value to their practice whether it's by saving money, saving time, increasing data security, higher patient satisfaction, or by building greater efficiency on day-to-day tasks. And a cloud practice management system can help add value to your practice in each of those areas. Not everyone knows how utilizing the cloud can help their practice gain value and succeed. So we're here to help explain the different ways that a cloud practice management system could add value to your practice!
Cloud practice management systems can be a big money saver compared to traditional practice management systems. Client server systems have heavy upfront hardware costs, plus additional maintenance and upgrade fees. But with cloud-based systems there are no heavy upfront costs, and the payment plan is usually based off a monthly subscription plan. Included in the monthly subscription fee are maintenance and upgrade costs that the system vendor handles themselves. Upgrades happen automatically without any additional purchases for your practice.
Cloud practice management systems also require less setup than systems that have to be installed on each computer. With a cloud-based system, users have access to the system by logging in through a URL, so there is no time wasted getting software installed on every computer in the office, which means a faster go-live time when you get started.
Cloud systems also save time because mutliple employees can have access to and edit data in real time. So as a patient travels from room-to-room during an appointment their file can be open in more than once place and continuously updated.
Practice management systems built in the cloud have to adhere to strict government and HIPAA regulations when it comes to data security. For example, Uprise has 128-bit encryption, separate databases for each user, data centers secured with a number of physical controls to prevent unauthorized access, and a number of other measures to ensure privacy and security at all times. This is tighter security than most eyecare practices would be able to provide on their own on-site at their office. And if your information is stored in the cloud it is also protected from any disasters that could occur at your practice, like a fire.
Increased Patient Satisfaction
Some cloud-based practice management and EHR systems come with a patient portal that can be a huge benefit to your patients. Patient portals give your patients the ability to interact online with healthcare professionals. They are also able to update their personal info and track lab results, vaccine info, prescriptions, and treatment plans. And, with an EHR patient info is easily shared between different clinics and doctors which helps reduce the need for patients to take repeated tests and fill out duplicate forms at each doctor visit.
Greater Day-to-Day Efficiency
Storing your data in the cloud also helps to increase daily tasks around the office. Want to use tablets that you can carry from room-to-room? No problem. With a cloud-based system you're able to log into the system from any device, anywhere. That includes logging in from home if you need to finish up work after hours! Cloud-based systems also encourage collaboration between employees throughout the office, because as we mentioned before, multiple users are able to access the same data at the same time.
Cloud-based practice management systems can provide great advantages to any eyecare practice, big or small. And it's important to weigh all your options when searching for the right practice management system that will fit with your practice. Check out Uprise and see if it fits the needs of your practice!