Ever since Lori Duquette, OD, took over ownership of what is now Duquette Family Eye Care in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, in 2010, she has been working to improve the practice’s productivity. Implementing a top-notch electronic health records (EHR) system was the first step for Dr. Duquette, who selected OfficeMate/ExamWRITER. A year later, her practice went live with Eyefinity EHR. In 2017, the practice completed the transition from a server-based system to the cloud platform, adding Eyefinity Practice Management. Now, both solutions are critical tools for all patient touchpoints, says Linda Duquette, office manager and Dr. Duquette’s twin sister.
Even before patients step into the office, the Eyefinity cloud platform is already empowering a high-tech connection through its patient portal. “We activate the patient portal for all new patients and, in an email, explain that they can log in and complete their
medical history information, such as family members with glaucoma, prior to their appointment. Our staff is well-trained to engage with those patients who arrive without needing to do any paperwork,” says Linda Duquette. “Our patient flow is very efficient.”
Dr. Duquette and office staff use the system to gather the clinical information at every step of the encounter. Through an iPad app, staff easily gathers pretesting data, and when Dr. Duquette enters the exam room, the data is available instantly to her. “I use Eyefinity EHR throughout the exam. With a one-touch tab, I can see the patient history and testing. It’s a handy way to look at data
from multiple visits at one time,” she says.
One of her favorite features is that because she’s working on a laptop or iPad, she’s able to keep eye contact with patients, never needing to turn her back to them to record her findings. “I can also send my chart notes in a letter to the primary care provider while the patient is sitting there. Patients are very impressed when I tell them I have just sent a note to their primary care doctor or that their prescription has been ordered and is ready at their pharmacy,” says Dr. Duquette.
The database within Eyefinity EHR also helps in comparing images and data to her patient’s findings.
Billing and coding efficiency
Following the exam, the EHR system helps ensure Dr. Duquette and her staff are coding as accurately and completely as possible, through automatic prompts. “It makes me a better record-keeper, consistently,” she says.
In addition, that level of accuracy eases the in-house billing process and, as a result, the cash flow. Linda Duquette says that it’s a vast improvement in timely billing over an outsourced billing and coding service used in the past. “It has also allowed us to participate easily in programs such as MIPS for Medicare patients because we can submit the data and track it easily.”
Finally, the software system helps the entire staff close the loop on helping patients fulfill all their prescription needs. “I mark my prescription recommendations, and the optical staff can see everything that I recommended,” says Dr. Duquette. Linda Duquette
adds that by the time the patient arrives in the optical, the opticians or contact lens technicians have already verified any insurance plan and printed that information for the patient to see.
By participating in the VSP Global Premier Program, the practice can deliver additional incentives for patients to shop for their eyewear. “We can show them that they get the best value with a great selection of frames,” Linda Duquette says. The opticians can provide information about the patients’ VSP plan, including a comparison of what they would pay elsewhere. “That differential is
huge. It shows patients the value of their vision plan, especially their VSP plan,” she says.