Case Study: EMR Solution Improves The Practice of Medicine at Gastrointestinal Associates
- Enhanced quality of care
- Eliminated transcription costs, previously $125,000/year
- Increased overall staff productivity and interoffice message communication
- Eliminated paper charts and improved quality and legibility
gMed implements a system that thinks like a Gastroenterologist
gMed™ was founded in 1997 to replace the paper chart with a better electronic alternative, one specialty at a time. gCare™ is a complete system designed to fully automate clinical documentation and procedure reporting needs.
Gastrointestinal Associates, Inc. is an 18-physician practice that operates on the principles of sensitivity, compassion and professionalism. When the cost and inefficiency of being a “paper” practice limited their ability to consistently meet those standards, the search for an electronic health record (EHR) solution was pushed to the forefront. Knowing the decision would bring in many players, an IT consultant was used to shepherd through the RFP process, set-up site visits and develop an informatics committee consisting of 3 physicians and 3 managers that still exists today.
A comprehensive review was done over a 2–3 year period to understand the benefits and best EHR solution — ultimately, to find a solution that eliminates human error, improves the practice of medicine and would better the patient experience. The search started very broadly, simply posting a question to the Medical Group Management Association GI board to gauge reactions from other practices in the industry. Originally, generic EHR solutions were analyzed, but they did not deliver on what Gastrointestinal Associates needed. Gastroenterology Care Center in Miami, FL (www.gicarecenter.com) pointed them towards gMed, a specialty-based EHR provider for gastroenterology practices.
“We knew right off the bat that gMed understood what we were looking for,” said Jonathan Sternlieb, M.D. of Gastrointestinal Associates, Inc. and Chief Medical Information Officer of Holy Redeemer Health System. “The solution gMed provides thinks like a Gastroenterologist, and the work flow is more natural. All the generic solutions were vanilla templates with expensive add-ons.”
When Sternlieb went to the practice executive committee and board with the proposal, he knew that the solution would need 100% acceptance to be successful in delivering on the promises of EHRs. Generic solutions seemed like a burdensome step — most likely leading to extensive customization and a large learning curve rather than simplifying the process. The streamlined and user-friendly, familiar interface of gCare™ seemed like a natural fit for the practice. For a diverse group of workers, going with gCare was simple.
“Knowing how important it was to eliminate the inefficiency and cost of paper charts, we had to provide a solution that was simple and recognizable,” said Sternlieb. “gCare felt like traditional forms we were used to and that bolstered acceptance across the board.”
Prior to gCare, there was a definite delay in physicians getting results while staff shuffled through tedious paper charts. Now, physicians have comprehensive tools with all the patient records uniformly stored. Focus has moved back from managing the practice to the practice of compassionate and professional gastrointestinal medical support.