Case Studies

Picking EHR for practice growth - Acupuncture and Natural Medicine Clinic

Introduction

As an experienced acupuncturist-herbalist, Dr. David Cook knew from the beginning, when he began his search for an EHR, that his “eastern style” medical practice would require flexible software in order for him to be successful. He also wanted an EHR that was effortless.

“I needed something that would allow me to make specialized notes,” he says. “I did the 30-day trial on all those popular ones in the market such as DrChrono and MacPractice. Considering the type of practice that I run, this just wasn’t going to work for me.”

Background

Dr. Cook opened his private practice in January 2015. He shares an office space with several other acupuncturists and sees his patients two days a week. “As an acupuncturist-herbalist,” he says, “I generally treat pain and other conditions.”

Prior to opening his private practice, Dr. Cook worked full-time at Kaiser Permanente. It was after he changed his schedule to part-time at Kaiser, and started billing his own practice two days a week, that he began the search for an EHR.

But the road to finding the right EHR system can be a bumpy journey for any provider, especially when there are many choices on the market to sift through that often don’t meet the basic criteria of a practitioner’s need.

The Challenge: anticipating the needs of a growing practice

Early on, Dr. Cook was already looking towards the future of his practice. Although his patient volume is relatively low (he operates his private practice part-time), he anticipates making the shift to a more full-time private practice in the near future. When he makes the shift to a full-time practice he anticipates seeing between 150-200 patients every month.

“I chose an EHR not just based on my current needs, but on where I’m going as well. When I get to the level in my practice where I start accepting insurance, I know that these other EHRs would not have made the cut. They don’t have the templates I need, nor do they allow me make to specialized notes for each patient. Some of them aren’t even hit the HIPPA compliant. So those were automatically nixed from potential possibilities.”

“With other EHRs,” he says. “I felt as though I had to try and create a work-around to get what I needed from the software. I felt like I was wasting time, and they just didn’t meet the standards that were necessary.”

Selection Criteria: What makes the perfect EHR?

Currently, Dr. Cook manages everything from payroll to appointment scheduling on his own. As a result, every minute that he saves through an efficient and intuitive EHR is that much more valuable to him. This is in part the reason he ruled out the other EHRs.

“What I was looking for was a software that allowed me to make my notes quickly and efficiently. I also wanted to be able to make templates specific to each patient,” he explains. “I thought I wasn’t going find anything out there that would be suitable …”

That was until he tried ChARM EHR.

Using ChARM EHR in Practice

“I started using ChARM EHR in January,” he says. “As a physician, I realized that I could tailor the software to meet my needs as well as the needs of my private practice. It was top notch from the very beginning.”

When a patient comes into his office, Dr. Cook uses ChARM to enter their key complaints and decide which level of intake he needs to do for the appointment. He created these intake levels using a ChARM template.

“When their treatment is over I’ll also pre-book their next appointment, and then charge them. ChARM was the most flexible in meeting the needs of my practice out of all the other EHRs on the market. One of the other things I thought was awesome about ChARM EHR is how the files are part of the template. Additionally, the patient portal is just so easy and intuitive which sold me too.”

He can’t wait for his practice grow in the near future, especially with the support of an intuitive, easy-to-use EHR:

“ChARM EHR allows me to run my business at the size I want, and still have time to play music or spend time with my family. You guys are on par with all the things that a provider needs to run his or her practice. I would not think of getting rid of ChARM EHR! In my opinion, ChARM sets the standard in EHRs.”

Life After Implementation

Dr. Cook has noticed a significant increase in the productivity of his practice since implementing ChARM EHR. He has even told other providers in his office about his success with it — “I tell them how suitable it has been for my practice. To one of the old-school providers in my office, I said, ‘if you’re going to step up your practice, this is the company to do it with.’”

Ultimately, he says: “ChARM saves me time, which will allow me to make more money as soon as I open up the time in my schedule. At this point, I’m able to see more patients in a shorter amount of time and keep up-to-date on their notes really well. And it’s all up in the cloud. I don’t have to worry about anything. I have my laptop or iPad handy, and it is really efficient and easy to use.”

What You Like to Say to Other Customers About ChARM EHR?

“I would tell them that I already went out there and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out which system to use. And nothing was flipping the bill, and then ChARM EHR came along and it’s head and shoulders above the rest. It is small-practice friendly, and they want you to succeed. ChARM EHR is number-one. I am telling people about ChARM even when they are not even asking about it.”