EMR TECHNOLOGY INSIGHTS
Mike Checkley - December 17, 2019
Leading the Way
Our Success is Your Success
In a business like ours, forward momentum never stops. But while we work to improve existing products and bring new innovations to market, it’s also important to reflect on where the real victories happen: with the people using Accuro to keep up with the demands of their patients as well as their own lives.
Although we spend a lot of time at QHR looking for ways to improve Canadian healthcare, at the end of the day it’s our clients’ achievements that are the true measure of our effort. This month we’re sharing a story of one Accuro user’s pursuit of excellence, and two cases of Accuro being used as a tool for larger-scale change.
Dr. Theo Fourie – A Champion in Our Corner
When Western Medical Clinic in Brandon, MB moved its 40-year old practice to a new space four years ago, Dr. Theo Fourie seized the opportunity to bring Accuro and its suite of tools into the clinic. Now, WMC’s 14 physicians and 3 allied health professionals run with Accuro-centered workflows that help keep their practice thriving.
In his 37-year career, Dr. Fourie has been progressive and determined in his approach to medicine. “I never accept that something is not possible,” he says. “I listen to what my customers want and offer new technology they are comfortable using, and applying Accuro products in an innovative manner helps me achieve that.” WMC’s broad adoption of Accuro products speaks to that innovative approach, and its staff, Providers, and patients definitely feel the benefits.
“Traffic Manager replaced the old light system we used to indicate when we were ready for a new patient, and we got rid of the paper notes we used to communicate with nurses. Everything is tracked electronically and as a result we need fewer staff to service all the doctors.”
Dr. Fourie explains that new doctors to the clinic use Waitlists to manage their new patients; Database Queries are used to analyze for quality improvements in the clinic as well as for Residents’ research projects; and the clinic’s higher-volume Providers use Accuro Dictation to transcribe notes directly, which has eased the load on the office’s one transcriptionist.
WMC’s patients love the convenience of Online Booking, which also reduces the need for staff to book and confirm appointments by phone, and once in the clinic patients can securely complete forms on a tablet rather than on paper.
“We’ve gained tremendous efficiency in our processes and streamlined our services by adopting these, and other, Accuro features,” Dr. Fourie reports. “Staff work more efficiently, and more work is getting done by the same staff compliment.” It’s even a standing item on the regular Partners’ meeting that Dr. Fourie demonstrates his workflows to help others in the clinic achieve the same efficiencies.
Asked where he’d like to see the clinic go in future, Dr. Fourie says, “We have been voted the best medical clinic in Brandon, MB for 2019 by the readers of the Brandon Sun. I would like our clinic to be known as a centre of excellence with timely and efficient workflow and services by staff that care.” We couldn’t agree more.
Midwives – Tradition Embraces Technology
At first glance, the age-old practice of midwifery may seem at odds with the high-tech modernity of the EMR. But midwives have become one of the fastest growing groups among our Accuro clients and they’ve embraced everything that the EMR brings to their work.
What does Accuro offer that makes it so appealing to this traditionally paper-based practice? Topping the list is remote accessibility. “Midwives don’t work in a specific clinic all the time,” says Wendy Pearle, a midwife and Accuro user in Guelph, ON. “We’re at clients’ homes, we’re in the hospital, we’re out in the community, and [with Accuro] we have access to client records all the time. I don’t have to go back to the clinic to look through a chart, and it makes for better quality care and a better experience.”
Sharing information is also an essential part of midwifery practice. Especially in multi-practitioner clinics, midwives cover for each other when schedules require it, so being able to securely share and update information among team members is invaluable. And in cases of a difficult delivery where care must be transferred to a physician, Accuro helps ensure that all information is up to date and makes for an easy transfer of data to the receiving physician.
Accuro’s benefits to midwives extend beyond the technical, though. Wendy happily admits that “Accuro has made my life more efficient and I have more time to be with my family.” Paper-based tasks that used to take hours after her last appointment are now done in Accuro in just a few clicks, and “at the end of my day, I’m at the office just cleaning up the place and not doing anything with charting.”
This past year, QHR attended 5 midwifery conferences across the country, including both provincial gatherings and the Canadian Association of Midwives national event. The result is a current total of 390 Accuro users – up from just 27 in 2017 – and a stronger relationship between tradition and innovation. Rather than compromising the intimate care and hands-on approach that midwifery offers, we’re proud to see Accuro’s powerful functionality helping to enhance those connections by giving midwives more tools, and by extension more time, to do what they do best.
The Orthopedic Waitlist Project – An Idea Whose Time Has Come
If you’ve needed a hip or knee replaced in the last few years, you know that Canada’s surgical wait times are a problem. The Canadian Institute for Health Information found that 30% of Canadians are waiting longer than the recommended six months for such surgeries, and at least some of that is a product of the referral system. Across orthopedic practices, almost 80% of people referred to an orthopedic surgeon are ultimately not viable surgical candidates, meaning an enormous waste of both patients’ and doctors’ time.
To combat this problem, British Columbia’s provincial government has backed an initiative to streamline the referral process for orthopedic patients. Using Accuro’s platform and data services, and with the guidance of a dedicated QHR project manager and implementer, orthopedic surgery referrals in test communities are merged into a central database. That list is then reviewed and patients’ level of urgency and surgical eligibility are assessed to get them in the right stream. Finally, any referrals deemed “likely non-surgical” are automatically referred to a non-operative specialist (in sports medicine, for example) to ensure those patients are getting the correct treatment.
In Kelowna, where the project has been underway for 2 years, wait times to see an orthopedic specialist have gone from 9-12 months to just 6 weeks. QHR’s data analytics tools and hands-on training ensure the process runs smoothly, and surgeons are spending far less time redirecting referrals to other practitioners and more time doing much-needed surgeries.
Whether it’s large-scale initiatives like this one, smaller-scale implementation in clinics like Western Medical, or organic adoption in demographics like the midwifery community, seeing our products in the hands of healthcare game-changers is what drives us to do better. We believe Canadians deserve the best we can deliver, and we’ll keep the goal in sight through 2020 and beyond.
Has Accuro helped your practice reach new heights? If you’d like to share your story, we’d love to hear it. Email us at email@example.com and let’s celebrate your success!