Rena Taddeo is the office manager for Bel Air Medical Associates in Bel Air, Maryland. She works alongside Dr. Syedah Sherry Gilani and Dr. Syed Farid Mahmood, a husband and wife team practicing internal medicine. Taddeo has worked with the doctors since they opened their office 21 years ago, and today there are 9 employees total. The doctors collectively see about 40 patients per day, and half of those are Medicare patients.
In 2012, the practice was ready to convert its paper charts to electronic health records (EHR). It was also planning to participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive program. This program—a predecessor to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) new Quality Payment Program (QPP)—encourages eligible professionals to implement and demonstrate Meaningful Use (MU) of certified EHR technology to receive incentives. Using EHR technology in a meaningful manner, such as e-Prescribing, sharing information electronically to improve quality of healthcare, and submitting clinical quality measures, helps a practice qualify for these incentives.
One of Dr. Mahmood’s acquaintances had recommended that they look at Quanum EHR. Bel Air Medical Associates was already using Quanum eLabs from Quest Diagnostics, so moving to Quanum EHR seemed like a natural upgrade, since the system would automatically transfer information for patients who had already done lab work with Quest into the EHR. This would save time, as the practice would not have to create new files for all of those patients.
Taddeo said that the transition from paper files to the EHR was indeed very easy.
“All our data came over from the lab side,” said Taddeo. “It was so efficient – in 24 hours it was there. We had no problems.
“We went through online training and the Quest Diagnostics team was extremely patient, and they continue to be so today. From the very beginning, the customer service has been phenomenal.”
The cloud-based EHR can be accessed via iPhone® or iPad®, and Taddeo says the doctors enjoy this mobility, especially when they are working at home. This feature allows them to write prescriptions or check patient labs. But perhaps the biggest improvement to their practice has been the efficiency that the EHR brings.
“Everything is so accessible and there’s so much clarity; it’s very easy to find a patient’s chart,” said Taddeo. “Prior to obtaining the EHR it used to take so long when we needed to retrieve information through the paper records, especially if someone needed a prescription refill. I cannot believe we used to work that way. Now we can immediately fill prescriptions.”
Taddeo also appreciates how the system has continually improved over the years.
“Whenever we have suggestions or feedback for the Quanum help desk about aspects of the EHR that could be improved, we notice they get improved. That has been satisfying.”
When the practice reported for MU for 2016 it used the Quanum reporting service to help it successfully attest. This fee-based service helps guide a practice through the measures they need to submit.