Editor’s Note: A West Virginia surgical practice recently got a pleasant surprise, when it discovered that implementing Meaningful Use measures not only provided the practice with financial gain, but with a “useful tool in care for” patients.  And best of all, the process of attesting was much less stressful than anticipated, thanks to a little help from friends in the Allscripts online client community. Here, in their words, is the story they shared on our online community:

Meaningful Use

Cathy Boyle and Dr. C. Andrew Heiskell, MD FACS celebrate receiving a $90,000 Medicare MU incentive payment.

At Heiskell King Burns & Tallman Surgical Associates, we are a general and vascular surgery practice comprised of 4 surgeons, 3 mid-level providers and approximately 40 additional office staff.  As a specialty group, we imagined all sorts of tortuous scenarios that would have to be endured for our practice to meet the requirements for Meaningful Use Stage 1.  We procrastinated, debated, procrastinated some more and then FINALLY committed ourselves to taking the MU plunge and the self-inflicted agony it was sure to produce.

Within a few days of choosing which measures applied to us I came to realize that the process would not be so difficult if I made good use of the ProEHR system and the resources available to me through Allscripts.  Not only did I have a step by step tutorial on ClientConnect to answer my questions about each measure, but I also had a wealth of information from practices who had “boldly gone before me” to draw from on the MU Community Page.  Once I started to get a handle on how the measures were built into the ProEHR system I then discovered the best part – the Reporting Module.  This module was my salvation.  I have seen several other EHR systems and none of their MU reports compare to Allscripts.  It was easy to see our anticipated percentages, make corrections and run the reports again to confirmation that all was well.  When we attested January 1, 2012 I knew without a shadow of a doubt that we would hit every measure and be successful.  Sure enough, our check came three months later and there were “Yippee’s” from everyone in the building.

In looking back I am not surprised that we were anxious to trot down the MU trail, nor am I surprised with our exuberant celebration when the payment arrived.  What does surprise me is how much benefit our specialty practice is reaping from the implementation of these measures.  Our patients LOVE receiving clinical summaries and our providers are THRILLED that we have a system that reminds us to ask about screening tests specific to each patient.  What we thought would be “just another requirement” has become a truly useful tool in caring for our patients.

To other Allscripts Professional users, if you have not yet implemented the Meaningful Use changes and are anxious about making the plunge, please take a deep breath, log onto ClientConnect and just get going. The experience might pleasantly surprise you!

Have you attested for Meaningful Use? If so, share your story below.

 

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About the author

Mavis is the Director of Outcomes Marketing at Allscripts. She works with the company’s Quality and Outcomes team to collaborate with Allscripts clients to study and share clinical and financial improvements achieved after implementing Allscripts solutions. Mavis has more than 15 years of experience in healthcare communications, and master’s degrees in both journalism and healthcare quality and patient safety.

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